|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 53|
Shared governance is an important element in higher education decision making. Through the joint decision making process, faculty members are provided an opportunity to help shape the future of an institution while increasing support for decisions that are made. Presidents, those leaders who are legally bound to guide their institutions, must find ways to collaborate effectively with faculty members in making decisions, and the first step in this process is understanding when and how presidents and faculty leaders interact. In the current study, a national sample of college presidents reported their preparation for the presidency, their perceptions of the functions of a faculty senate, and ultimately, the locations for important interactions between presidents and faculty senates. Results indicated that presidents, regardless of their preparation, found official functions to be the most important for communicating, although, those presidents with academic backgrounds were more likely to perceive faculty senates as having a role in all aspects of an institutions management.
In agricultural production and breeding, implementing automatic picking robot in orchard farming to reduce human labour and error is challenging. The core function of it is automatic identification based on machine vision. This paper focuses on apple detection and counting in orchards and implements several deep learning methods. Extensive datasets are used and a semi-automatic annotation method is proposed. The proposed deep learning models are in state-of-the-art YOLO family. In view of the essence of the models with various backbones, a multi-dimensional comparison in details is made in terms of counting accuracy, mAP and model memory, laying the foundation for realising automatic precision agriculture.
Detecting subjectively biased statements is a vital task. This is because this kind of bias, when present in the text or other forms of information dissemination media such as news, social media, scientific texts, and encyclopedias, can weaken trust in the information and stir conflicts amongst consumers. Subjective bias detection is also critical for many Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks like sentiment analysis, opinion identification, and bias neutralization. Having a system that can adequately detect subjectivity in text will boost research in the above-mentioned areas significantly. It can also come in handy for platforms like Wikipedia, where the use of neutral language is of importance. The goal of this work is to identify the subjectively biased language in text on a sentence level. With machine learning, we can solve complex AI problems, making it a good fit for the problem of subjective bias detection. A key step in this approach is to train a classifier based on BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) as upstream model. BERT by itself can be used as a classifier; however, in this study, we use BERT as data preprocessor as well as an embedding generator for a Bi-LSTM (Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory) network incorporated with attention mechanism. This approach produces a deeper and better classifier. We evaluate the effectiveness of our model using the Wiki Neutrality Corpus (WNC), which was compiled from Wikipedia edits that removed various biased instances from sentences as a benchmark dataset, with which we also compare our model to existing approaches. Experimental analysis indicates an improved performance, as our model achieved state-of-the-art accuracy in detecting subjective bias. This study focuses on the English language, but the model can be fine-tuned to accommodate other languages.
The COVID-19 dataset is obtained by extracting weather, longitude, latitude, ISO3666, cases and death of coronavirus patients across the globe. The data were extracted for a period of eight day choosing uniform time within the specified period. Then mapping of cases and deaths with reverence to continents were obtained. Bayesian Geostastical modelling was carried out on the dataset. The study found out that countries in the tropical region suffered less deaths/attacks compared to countries in the temperate region, this is due to high temperature in the tropical region.
On February 15, 2012 off the Indian coast of Kerala, in position 091702N-0760180E by the oil tanker Enrica Lexie, flying the Italian flag, bursts of 5.56 x45 caliber shots were fired from assault rifles AR/70 Italian-made Beretta towards the Indian fisher boat St. Anthony. The shots that hit the St. Anthony fishing boat were six, of which two killed the Indian fishermen Ajesh Pink and Valentine Jelestine. From the analysis concerning the kinematic engagement of the two ships and from the autopsy and ballistic results of the Indian judicial authorities it is possible to reconstruct the trajectories of the six aforementioned shots. This essay reconstructs the trajectories of the six shots that cannot be of direct shooting but have undergone a rebound on the water. The investigation carried out scientifically demonstrates the rebound of the blows on the water, the gyrostatic deviation due to the rebound and the tumbling effect always due to the rebound as regards intermediate ballistics. In consideration of the four shots that directly impacted the fishing vessel, the current examination proves, with scientific value, that the trajectories could not be downwards but upwards. Also, the trajectory of two shots that hit to death the two fishermen could not be downwards but only upwards. In fact, this paper demonstrates, with scientific value: The loss of speed of the projectiles due to the rebound on the water; The tumbling effect in the ballistic medium within the two victims; The permanent cavities subject to the injury ballistics and the related ballistic trauma that prevented homeostasis causing bleeding in one case; The thermo-hardening deformation of the bullet found in Valentine Jelestine's skull; The upward and non-downward trajectories. The paper constitutes a tool in forensic ballistics in that it manages to reconstruct, from the final spot of the projectiles fired, all phases of ballistics like the internal one of the weapons that fired, the intermediate one, the terminal one and the penetrative structural one. In general terms the ballistics reconstruction is based on measurable parameters whose entity is contained with certainty within a lower and upper limit. Therefore, quantities that refer to angles, speed, impact energy and firing position of the shooter can be identified within the aforementioned limits. Finally, the investigation into the internal bullet track, obtained from any autopsy examination, offers a significant “lesson learned” but overall a starting point to contain or mitigate bleeding as a rescue from future gunshot wounds.
Although Europe is on the threshold of a new industrial revolution called Industry 4.0, many believe that this will increase the flexibility of production, the mass adaptation of products to consumers and the speed of their service; it will also improve product quality and dramatically increase productivity. However, as expected, all the benefits of Industry 4.0 face many of the inevitable changes and challenges they pose. One of them is the inevitable transformation of current competition and business models. This article examines the possible results of competitive conversion from the classic Bertrand and Cournot models to qualitatively new competition based on innovation. Ability to deliver a new product quickly and the possibility to produce the individual design (through flexible and quickly configurable factories) by reducing equipment failures and increasing process automation and control is highly important. This study shows that the ongoing transformation of the competition model is changing the game. This, together with the creation of complex value networks, means huge investments that make it particularly difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the ongoing digitalization of data raises new concerns regarding legal obligations, intellectual property, and security.
Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant life which is most frequently found as phosphate in water. Once phosphate is found in abundance in surface water, a series of adverse effects on an ecosystem can be initiated. Therefore, a portable and reliable method is needed to monitor the phosphate concentrations in the field. In this paper, an inexpensive dip strip device with the ascorbic acid/antimony reagent dried on blotting paper along with wet chemistry is developed for the detection of low concentrations of phosphate in water. Ammonium molybdate and sulfuric acid are separately stored in liquid form so as to improve significantly the lifetime of the device and enhance the reproducibility of the device’s performance. The limit of detection and quantification for the optimized device are 0.134 ppm and 0.472 ppm for phosphate in water, respectively. The device’s shelf life, storage conditions, and limit of detection are superior to what has been previously reported for the paper-based phosphate detection devices.
The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This paper presents the research and application of model predictive scheduled charging of electric vehicles (EV) subject to limited available power resource. To focus on algorithm and operational characteristics, the EV interface to the source is modelled as a battery state equation during the charging operation. The researched methods allow for the priority scheduling of EV charging in a multi-vehicle regime and when subject to limited source power availability. Priority attribution for each connected EV is described. The validity of the developed methodology is shown through the simulation of different scenarios of charging operation of multiple connected EVs including non-scheduled and scheduled operation with various numbers of vehicles. Performance of the developed algorithms is also reported with the recommendation of the choice of suitable parameters.
The requirement for maintaining data integrity in laboratory operations is critical for regulatory compliance. Automation of procedures reduces incidence of human errors. Quality control laboratories located in low-income economies may face some barriers in attempts to automate their processes. Since data from quality control tests on pharmaceutical products are used in making regulatory decisions, it is important that laboratory reports are accurate and reliable. Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) tablets is used in treatment of diarrhea in pediatric population, and as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 regimen. Unfortunately, zinc content in these formulations is determined titrimetrically; a manual analytical procedure. The assay for ZnSO4 tablets involves time-consuming steps that contain mathematical formulae prone to calculation errors. To achieve consistency, save costs, and improve data integrity, validated spreadsheets were developed to simplify the two critical steps in the analysis of ZnSO4 tablets: standardization of 0.1M Sodium Edetate (EDTA) solution, and the complexometric titration assay procedure. The assay method in the United States Pharmacopoeia was used to create a process flow for ZnSO4 tablets. For each step in the process, different formulae were input into two spreadsheets to automate calculations. Further checks were created within the automated system to ensure validity of replicate analysis in titrimetric procedures. Validations were conducted using five data sets of manually computed assay results. The acceptance criteria set for the protocol were met. Significant p-values (p < 0.05, α = 0.05, at 95% Confidence Interval) were obtained from students’ t-test evaluation of the mean values for manual-calculated and spreadsheet results at all levels of the analysis flow. Right-first-time analysis and principles of data integrity were enhanced by use of the validated spreadsheet calculators in titrimetric evaluations of ZnSO4 tablets. Human errors were minimized in calculations when procedures were automated in quality control laboratories. The assay procedure for the formulation was achieved in a time-efficient manner with greater level of accuracy. This project is expected to promote cost savings for laboratory business models.
The aim of this work was to recover phenolic compounds from grape skins produced in Greek varieties of the Ionian Islands in order to form the basis of calculations for their further utilization in the context of the circular economy. Isolation and further utilization of phenolic compounds is an important issue in winery by-products. For this purpose, 37 samples were collected, extracted, and analyzed in an attempt to provide the appropriate basis for their sustainable exploitation. Extraction of the bioactive compounds was held using an eco-friendly, non-toxic, and highly effective water-glycerol solvent system. Then, extracts were analyzed using UV-Vis, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy. Also, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity were measured. LC-MS chromatography showed qualitative differences between different varieties. Peaks were attributed to monomeric 3-flavanols as well as monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric proanthocyanidins. The FT-IR and Raman spectra agreed with the chromatographic data and contributed to identifying phenolic compounds. Grape skins exhibited high total phenolic content (TPC), and it was proved that during vinification, a large number of polyphenols remained in the pomace. This study confirmed that grape skins from Ionian Islands are a promising source of bioactive compounds, suggesting their utilization under a bio-economic and environmental strategic framework.
The analysis of proportionality as a test is raised as a basic foundation for the achievement of Fundamental Rights. We used legal dogmatics and empirical analysis to seek the expected results, from the reading of the RV Oakes trial by the Supreme Court of Canada. In cases involving freedom of expression, two tests are used to resolve disputes. The first examines whether, in fact, the case can be characterized as a violation of freedom of expression; the second assesses whether this violation can be justified by the reasonable limit clause. This test was defined in the RV Oakes trial by the Supreme Court of Canada, concluding with the Oakes Test, used worldwide as a proportionality test. Resulting is a proportionality between the effects of the limiting measure and the objective - the more serious the harmful effects of a measure, the more important the objective must be.
Among different droplet manipulations, controlled droplet-splitting is of great significance due to its ability to increase throughput and operational capability. Furthermore, unequal droplet-splitting can provide greater flexibility and a wider range of dilution factors. In this study, we developed two-dimensional, time-dependent complex fluid dynamics simulations to model droplet formation in a flow focusing device, followed by splitting in a Y-shaped junction with sub-channels of unequal widths. From the results obtained from the numerical study, we correlated the diameters of the droplets in the sub-channels to the Weber number, thereby demarcating the droplet splitting and non-splitting regimes.
Radiant chilled ceiling (RCC) has been perceived to save more energy and provide better thermal comfort than the traditional air conditioning system. However, its application has been rather limited by some reasons e.g., the scarce information about the thermal characteristic in the radiant room and the local climate influence on the system performance, etc. To bridge such gap, an office-like experiment room with a RCC was constructed in the hot and humid climate of Thailand. This paper presents exemplarily results from the RCC experiments to give an insight into the thermal environment in a radiant room and the cooling load associated to maintain the room's comfort condition. It gave a demonstration of the RCC system operation for its application to achieve thermal comfort in offices in a hot humid climate, as well.
Sophisticated numerical simulations like finite element analysis (FEA) involve a complicated process from model setup to post-processing tasks that require replication of time-consuming steps. Utilizing FEA automation program simplifies the complexity of the involved steps while minimizing human errors in analysis set up, calculations, and results processing. One of the main challenges in designing FEA automation programs is to identify user requirements and link them to possible design alternatives. This paper presents a decision-making framework to design a Python based FEA automation program for modal analysis, frequency response analysis, and random vibration fatigue (RVF) analysis procedures. Analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) are applied to evaluate design alternatives considering the feedback received from experts and program users.
Public green space promotes community health including daily activities, but these resources may not be available enough or may not equitably be distributed. This paper measures and compares the availability of public green spaces (PGS) among low, middle, and high-income neighborhoods in the Riyadh city. Additionally, it compares the total availability of PGS to WHO standard and Dubai availability of PGS per person. All PGS were mapped using geographical information systems, and total area availability of PGS compared to WHO and Dubai standards. To evaluate the significant differences in PGS availability across low, medium, and high-income Riyadh neighborhoods, we used a One-way ANOVA analysis of covariance to test the differences. As a result, by comparing PGS of Riyadh neighborhoods to WHO and Dubai-availability, it was found that Riyadh PGS were lower than the minimum standard of WHO and as well as Dubai. Riyadh has only 1.13 m2 per capita of PGS. The second finding, the availability of PGS, was significantly different among Riyadh neighborhoods based on socioeconomic status. The future development of PGS should be focused on increasing PGS availability and should be given priority to those low-income and unhealthy communities.
To improve the registration accuracy of a source point cloud and template point cloud when the initial relative deflection angle is too large, a PointNetLK algorithm combined with an oriented bounding box (PointNetLK-OBB) is proposed. In this algorithm, the OBB of a 3D point cloud is used to represent the macro feature of source and template point clouds. Under the guidance of the iterative closest point algorithm, the OBB of the source and template point clouds is aligned, and a mirror symmetry effect is produced between them. According to the fitting degree of the source and template point clouds, the mirror symmetry plane is detected, and the optimal rotation and translation of the source point cloud is obtained to complete the 3D point cloud registration task. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, a comparative experiment was performed using the publicly available ModelNet40 dataset. The experimental results demonstrate that, compared with PointNetLK, PointNetLK-OBB improves the registration accuracy of the source and template point clouds when the initial relative deflection angle is too large, and the sensitivity of the initial relative position between the source point cloud and template point cloud is reduced. The primary contribution of this paper is the use of PointNetLK to avoid the non-convex problem of traditional point cloud registration and leveraging the regularity of the OBB to avoid the local optimization problem in the PointNetLK context.
One of the issues that arises with microscale lab-on-a-chip technology is that the laminar flow within the microchannels limits the mixing of fluids. To combat this, micromixers have been introduced as a means to try and incorporate turbulence into the flow to better aid the mixing process. This study presents an electroosmotic micromixer that balances vortex generation and degeneration with the inlet flow velocity to greatly increase the mixing efficiency. A comprehensive parametric study was performed to evaluate the role of the relevant parameters on the mixing efficiency. It was observed that the suggested micromixer is perfectly suited for biological applications due to its low pressure drop (below 10 Pa) and low shear rate. The proposed micromixer with optimized working parameters is able to attain a mixing efficiency of 95% in a span of 0.5 seconds using a frequency of 10 Hz, a voltage of 0.7 V, and an inlet velocity of 0.366 mm/s.
Essential genes play an important role in the survival of an organism. It has been shown that cancer-associated essential genes are genes necessary for cancer cell proliferation, where these genes are potential therapeutic targets. Also, it was demonstrated that mutations of the cancer-associated essential genes give rise to the resistance of immunotherapy for patients with tumors. In the present study, we focus on studying the biological effects of the essential genes from a network perspective. We hypothesize that one can analyze a biological molecular network by decomposing it into both three-node and four-node digraphs (subgraphs). These network subgraphs encode the regulatory interaction information among the network’s genetic elements. In this study, the frequency of occurrence of the subgraph-associated essential genes in a molecular network was quantified by using the statistical parameter, odds ratio. Biological effects of subgraph-associated essential genes are discussed. In summary, the subgraph approach provides a systematic method for analyzing molecular networks and it can capture useful biological information for biomedical research.
In this paper, we study the input impedance characteristics of axial mode helical antennas to find an effective way for matching it to 50 Ω. The study is done on the important matching parameters such as like wire diameter and helix to the ground plane gap. It is intended that these parameters control the matching without detrimentally affecting the radiation pattern. Using transmission line theory, a simple broadband technique is proposed, which is applicable for perfect matching of antennas with similar design parameters. We provide design curves to help to choose the proper dimensions of the matching section based on the antenna’s unmatched input impedance. Finally, using the proposed technique, a 4-turn axial mode helix is designed at 2.5 GHz center frequency and the measurement results of the manufactured antenna will be included. This parametric study gives a good insight into the input impedance characteristics of axial mode helical antennas and the proposed impedance matching approach provides a simple, useful method for matching these types of antennas.
It is necessary to test to see if optical devices such as camera, night vision devices are working properly. Therefore, a precision biaxial rotary system (gimbal) is required for mounting Unit Under Test, UUT. The Gimbal systems can be utilized for precise positioning of the UUT; hence, optical test can be performed with high accuracy. The weight of UUT, which is placed outside the axis of rotation, causes an off-axis moment to the mounting armature. The off-axis moment can act against the direction of movement for some orientation, thus the electrical motor, which rotates the gimbal axis, has to apply higher level of torque to guide and stabilize the system. Moreover, UUT and its mounting fixture to the gimbal can be changed, which causes change in applied resistance moment to the gimbals electrical motor. In this study, a preloaded spring is added to the gimbal system for minimizing applied off axis moment with the help of four bar mechanism. Two different possible methods for preloading spring are introduced and system optimization is performed to eliminate all moment which is created by off axis weight.
There is an increasing interest in introducing computational thinking at an early age. Computational thinking, like mathematical thinking, engineering thinking, and scientific thinking, is a kind of analytical thinking. Learning computational thinking skills is not only to improve technological literacy, but also allows learners to equip with practicable skills such as problem-solving skills. As people realize the importance of computational thinking, the field of educational technology faces a problem: how to choose appropriate tools and activities to help students develop computational thinking skills. Robots are gradually becoming a popular teaching tool, as robots provide a tangible way for young children to access to technology, and controlling a robot through programming offers them opportunities to engage in developing computational thinking. This study explores whether the introduction of flowcharts into the robotics programming courses can help children convert natural language into a programming language more easily, and then to better cultivate their computational thinking skills. An experimental study was adopted with a sample of children ages six to seven (N = 16) participated, and a one-meter-tall humanoid robot was used as the teaching tool. Results show that children can master basic programming concepts through robotic courses. Children's computational thinking has been significantly improved. Besides, results suggest that flowcharts do have an impact on young children’s computational thinking skills development, but it only has a significant effect on the "sequencing" and "correspondence" skills. Overall, the study demonstrates that the humanoid robot and flowcharts have qualities that foster young children to learn programming and develop computational thinking skills.
Non-polar a-plane AlGaN epilayers of high structural quality have been grown on r-sapphire substrate by using metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). A graded non-polar AlGaN buffer layer with variable aluminium concentration was used to improve the structural quality of the non-polar a-plane AlGaN epilayer. The characterisations were carried out by high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Hall effect measurement. The XRD and AFM results demonstrate that the Al-composition-graded non-polar AlGaN buffer layer significantly improved the crystalline quality and the surface morphology of the top layer. A low root mean square roughness 1.52 nm is obtained from AFM, and relatively low background carrier concentration down to 3.9× cm-3 is obtained from Hall effect measurement.
Predicting the actual cost and duration in construction projects concern a continuous and existing problem for the construction sector. This paper addresses this problem with modern methods and data available from past public construction projects. 39 bridge projects, constructed in Greece, with a similar type of available data were examined. Considering each project’s attributes with the actual cost and the actual duration, correlation analysis is performed and the most appropriate predictive project variables are defined. Additionally, the most efficient subgroup of variables is selected with the use of the WEKA application, through its attribute selection function. The selected variables are used as input neurons for neural network models through correlation analysis. For constructing neural network models, the application FANN Tool is used. The optimum neural network model, for predicting the actual cost, produced a mean squared error with a value of 3.84886e-05 and it was based on the budgeted cost and the quantity of deck concrete. The optimum neural network model, for predicting the actual duration, produced a mean squared error with a value of 5.89463e-05 and it also was based on the budgeted cost and the amount of deck concrete.
The rapid development of cities implies significant material inflows and outflows. The construction sector is one of the main consumers of raw materials and producers of waste. The waste from the building sector, for its quantity and potential for recovery, constitutes significant deposits requiring major efforts, by combining different actors, to achieve the circular economy's objectives. It is necessary to understand and know the current construction actors' knowledge of stocks, urban metabolism, deposits, and recovery practices in this context. This article aims to explore the role of local governments in planning strategies by facilitating a circular economy. In particular, the principal opportunities and challenges of communities for applying the principles of the circular economy in the building sector will be identified. The approach used for the study was to conduct semi-structured interviews with those responsible for circular economy projects within local administrations of some communities in France. The results show territories' involvement in the inclusion and application of the principles of the circular economy in the building sector. The main challenges encountered are numerous, hence the importance of having identified and described them so that the different actors can work to meet them.
The global ascendancy of terrorist attacks on building infrastructure with economic and heritage significance has increased awareness of the possibility of terrorism in Canada. Many structures in Canada that are at risk of terrorist attacks include government buildings, built many years ago of historic stone masonry construction. Although many researchers are investigating ways to retrofit masonry stone buildings to mitigate the effect of blast loadings, lack of knowledge on the dynamic behavior of historic stone masonry structures under blast loads makes it difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of the retrofitting techniques. This paper presents a review of open-source literature for the experimental and numerical stone masonry structures under blast loads. This review yielded very little information of the response of the historic stone masonry structures under blast loads. Thus, a comprehensive study is needed to understand the blast load effects on historic stone masonry buildings. The out-of-plane response of historic masonry structures to blast loads is investigated by using single-degree-of-freedom analysis. This approach presents equations that can be used effectively in the analysis of historic masonry walls to out-of-plane blast loading.
The distributions of naturally occurring and anthropogenic radioactive materials were determined in surface sediments taken at 27 different locations along the bank of Negombo Lagoon in Sri Lanka. Hydrographic parameters of lagoon water and the grain size analyses of the sediment samples were also carried out for this study. The conductivity of the adjacent water was varied from 13.6 mS/cm to 55.4 mS/cm near to the southern end and the northern end of the lagoon, respectively, and equally salinity levels varied from 7.2 psu to 32.1 psu. The average pH in the water was 7.6 and average water temperature was 28.7 °C. The grain size analysis emphasized the mass fractions of the samples as sand (60.9%), fine sand (30.6%) and fine silt+clay (1.3%) in the sampling locations. The surface sediment samples of wet weight, 1 kg each from upper 5-10 cm layer, were oven dried at 105 °C for 24 hours to get a constant weight, homogenized and sieved through a 2 mm sieve (IAEA technical series no. 295). The radioactivity concentrations were determined using gamma spectrometry technique. Ultra Low Background Broad Energy High Purity Ge Detector, BEGe (Model BE5030, Canberra) was used for radioactivity measurement with Canberra Industries' Laboratory Source-less Calibration Software (LabSOCS) mathematical efficiency calibration approach and Geometry composer software. The mean activity concentration was found to be 24 ± 4, 67 ± 9, 181 ± 10, 59 ± 8, 3.5 ± 0.4 and 0.47 ± 0.08 Bq/kg for 238U, 232Th, 40K, 210Pb, 235U and 137Cs respectively. The mean absorbed dose rate in air, radium equivalent activity, external hazard index, annual gonadal dose equivalent and annual effective dose equivalent were 60.8 nGy/h, 137.3 Bq/kg, 0.4, 425.3 mSv/year and 74.6 mSv/year, respectively. The results of this study will provide baseline information on the natural and artificial radioactive isotopes and environmental pollution associated with information on radiological risk.
This paper deals with the random access procedure in next-generation networks and presents the solution to reduce total service time (TST) which is one of the most important performance metrics in current and future internet of things (IoT) based networks. The proposed solution focuses on the calculation of optimal transmission probability which maximizes the success probability and reduces TST. It uses the information of several idle preambles in every time slot, and based on it, it estimates the number of backlogged IoT devices using Naïve Bayes estimation which is a type of supervised learning in the machine learning domain. The estimation of backlogged devices is necessary since optimal transmission probability depends on it and the eNodeB does not have information about it. The simulations are carried out in MATLAB which verify that the proposed solution gives excellent performance.
Asset management of urban infrastructures faces a multitude of challenges that need to be overcome to obtain a reliable measurement of performances. Predicting the performance of slowly aging systems is one of those challenges, which helps the asset manager to investigate specific failure modes and to undertake the appropriate maintenance and rehabilitation interventions to avoid catastrophic failures as well as to optimize the maintenance costs. This article presents a methodology for modeling the deterioration of slowly degrading assets based on an operating history. It consists of extracting degradation profiles by grouping together assets that exhibit similar degradation sequences using an unsupervised classification technique derived from artificial intelligence. The obtained clusters are used to build the performance prediction models. This methodology is applied to a sample of a stormwater drainage culvert dataset.
Based on a convenience sample of 2,092 participants from across all 50 states of the United States, a survey was conducted to explore Americans’ mask-wearing behaviors during COVID-19 according to their political convictions, religious beliefs, and ethnic cultures from late July to early September, 2020. The purpose of the study is to provide evidential support for government policymaking so as to drive up more effective public policies by taking into consideration the variance in these social factors. It was found that the respondents’ party affiliation or preference, religious belief, and ethnicity, in addition to their health condition, gender, level of concern of contracting COVID-19, all affected their mask-wearing habits both in March, the initial coronavirus outbreak stage, and in August, when mask-wearing had been made mandatory by state governments. The study concludes that pandemic awareness campaigns must be run among all citizens, especially among African Americans, Muslims, and Republicans, who have the lowest rates of wearing masks, in order to protect themselves and others. It is recommended that complementary cognitive bias awareness programs should be implemented in non-Black and non-Muslim communities to eliminate social concerns that deter them from wearing masks.
Nowadays, the use of drones has been extended to practically any human activity. One of the main applications is focused on the surveying field. In this regard, software programs that process the images captured by the sensor from the drone in an almost automatic way have been developed and commercialized, but they only allow contrasting the results through control points. This work proposes the contrast of a 3D model obtained from a flight developed by a drone and a non-metric camera (due to its low cost), with a second model that is obtained by means of the historically-endorsed classical methods. In addition to this, the contrast is developed over a certain territory with a significant unevenness, so as to test the model generated with photogrammetry, and considering that photogrammetry with drones finds more difficulties in terms of accuracy in this kind of situations. Distances, heights, surfaces and volumes are measured on the basis of the 3D models generated, and the results are contrasted. The differences are about 0.2% for the measurement of distances and heights, 0.3% for surfaces and 0.6% when measuring volumes. Although they are not important, they do not meet the order of magnitude that is presented by salespeople.
The agriculture industry is especially vulnerable to forecasted water shortages. In the fresh and fresh-cut produce sector, conventional flume-based washing with recirculation exhibits high water demand. This leads to a large water footprint and possible cross-contamination of pathogens. These can be alleviated through advanced water reuse processes, such as membrane technologies including reverse osmosis (RO). Water reuse technologies effectively remove dissolved constituents but can easily foul without pre-treatment. Biological treatment is effective for the removal of organic compounds responsible for fouling, but not at the low temperatures encountered at most produce processing facilities. This study showed that the Microvi MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) technology effectively removes organic compounds (> 80%) at low temperatures (6-8 °C) from wash water. The MNE technology uses synthetic microorganism-material composites with negligible solids production, making it advantageously situated as an effective bio-pretreatment for RO. A preliminary technoeconomic analysis showed 60-80% savings in operation and maintenance costs (OPEX) when using the Microvi MNE technology for organics removal. This study and the accompanying economic analysis indicated that the proposed technology process will substantially reduce the cost barrier for adopting water reuse practices, thereby contributing to increased food safety and furthering sustainable water reuse processes across the agricultural industry.
Human mobility exoskeletons have been in development for several years and are becoming increasingly efficient. Unfortunately, user comfort was not always a priority design criterion throughout their development. To further improve this technology, exoskeletons should operate and deliver assistance without causing discomfort to the user. For this, improvements are necessary from an ergonomic point of view. The device’s control method is important when endeavoring to enhance user comfort. Exoskeleton or rehabilitation device controllers use methods of control called interaction controls (admittance and impedance controls). This paper proposes an extended version of an admittance controller to enhance user comfort. The control method used consists of adding an inner loop that is controlled by a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller. This allows the interaction force to be kept as close as possible to the desired force trajectory. The force-tracking admittance controller modifies the actuation force of the system in order to follow both the desired motion trajectory and the desired relative force between the user and the exoskeleton.
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are widely used to facilitate magnetic particle imaging (MPI) which has the potential to become the leading diagnostic instrument for biomedical imaging. This comparative study assesses the effects of changing iron content and excitation frequency on point-spread function (PSF) representing the effect of magnetization reversal. PSF is quantified by features of interest for MPI: i.e., drive field amplitude and full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM). A superparamagnetic quantifier (SPaQ) is used to assess differential magnetic susceptibility of two commercially available MNPs: Synomag®-D50 and Synomag®-D70. For both MNPs, the signal output depends on increase in drive field frequency and amount of iron-oxide, which might be hampering the sensitivity of MPI systems that perform on higher frequencies. Nevertheless, there is a clear potential of Synomag®-D for a stable MPI resolution, especially in case of 70 nm version, that is independent of either drive field frequency or amount of iron-oxide.
Cumbria is a geo-political county in Northwest England within which the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Whilst the area has a formidable reputation for natural beauty and historic assets, the innovation ecosystem is described as ‘patchy’ for a number of reasons. The county is one of the largest in England by area and is sparsely populated. This paper describes the needs, development and delivery of an SME business-support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. The Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) Project has been designed to respond to the nuanced needs of SMEs in this locale, whilst promoting the adoption of research and innovation. CUSP utilizes a funnel method to support rural businesses with access to university innovation intervention. CUSP has been built on a three-tier model: Communicate, Collaborate and Create. The paper describes this project in detail and presents results in terms of output indicators achieved, a beneficiary telephone survey and wider economic forecasts. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the paper provides experiences and reflections of those people who are delivering and evaluating knowledge exchange. The authors discuss some of the benefits, challenges and implications for both policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the paper aims to serve as an invitation to others who may consider adopting a similar method of university-industry collaboration in their own region.