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Sensors, Volume 14, Issue 3 (March 2014), Pages 3825-5741

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Open AccessArticle Improvement in pH Sensitivity of Low-Temperature Polycrystalline-Silicon Thin-Film Transistor Sensors Using H2 Sintering
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3825-3832; doi:10.3390/s140303825
Received: 11 December 2013 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (598 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, we report an improvement in the pH sensitivity of low-temperature polycrystalline-silicon (poly-Si) thin-film transistor (TFT) sensors using an H2 sintering process. The low-temperature polycrystalline-silicon (LTPS) TFT sensor with H2 sintering exhibited a high sensitivity than that without H
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In this article, we report an improvement in the pH sensitivity of low-temperature polycrystalline-silicon (poly-Si) thin-film transistor (TFT) sensors using an H2 sintering process. The low-temperature polycrystalline-silicon (LTPS) TFT sensor with H2 sintering exhibited a high sensitivity than that without H2 sintering. This result may be due to the resulting increase in the number of Si–OH2+ and Si–O bonds due to the incorporation of H in the gate oxide to reduce the dangling silicon bonds and hence create the surface active sites and the resulting increase in the number of chemical reactions at these surface active sites. Moreover, the LTPS TFT sensor device not only offers low cost and a simple fabrication processes, but the technique also can be extended to integrate the sensor into other systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Sensor Network Infrastructure for a Home Care Monitoring System
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3833-3860; doi:10.3390/s140303833
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 8 February 2014 / Accepted: 21 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (5087 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the sensor network infrastructure for a home care system that allows long-term monitoring of physiological data and everyday activities. The aim of the proposed system is to allow the elderly to live longer in their home without compromising safety and
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This paper presents the sensor network infrastructure for a home care system that allows long-term monitoring of physiological data and everyday activities. The aim of the proposed system is to allow the elderly to live longer in their home without compromising safety and ensuring the detection of health problems. The system offers the possibility of a virtual visit via a teleoperated robot. During the visit, physiological data and activities occurring during a period of time can be discussed. These data are collected from physiological sensors (e.g., temperature, blood pressure, glucose) and environmental sensors (e.g., motion, bed/chair occupancy, electrical usage). The system can also give alarms if sudden problems occur, like a fall, and warnings based on more long-term trends, such as the deterioration of health being detected. It has been implemented and tested in a test environment and has been deployed in six real homes for a year-long evaluation. The key contribution of the paper is the presentation of an implemented system for ambient assisted living (AAL) tested in a real environment, combining the acquisition of sensor data, a flexible and adaptable middleware compliant with the OSGistandard and a context recognition application. The system has been developed in a European project called GiraffPlus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Intrinsic Embedded Sensors for Polymeric Mechatronics: Flexure and Force Sensing
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3861-3870; doi:10.3390/s140303861
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While polymeric fabrication processes, including recent advances in additive manufacturing, have revolutionized manufacturing, little work has been done on effective sensing elements compatible with and embedded within polymeric structures. In this paper, we describe the development and evaluation of two important sensing modalities
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While polymeric fabrication processes, including recent advances in additive manufacturing, have revolutionized manufacturing, little work has been done on effective sensing elements compatible with and embedded within polymeric structures. In this paper, we describe the development and evaluation of two important sensing modalities for embedding in polymeric mechatronic and robotic mechanisms: multi-axis flexure joint angle sensing utilizing IR phototransistors, and a small (12 mm), three-axis force sensing via embedded silicon strain gages with similar performance characteristics as an equally sized metal element based sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors and Sensing Systems)
Open AccessArticle A Tensor-Based Subspace Approach for Bistatic MIMO Radar in Spatial Colored Noise
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3897-3907; doi:10.3390/s140303897
Received: 1 December 2013 / Revised: 16 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a new tensor-based subspace approach is proposed to estimate the direction of departure (DOD) and the direction of arrival (DOA) for bistatic multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar in the presence of spatial colored noise. Firstly, the received signals can be packed
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In this paper, a new tensor-based subspace approach is proposed to estimate the direction of departure (DOD) and the direction of arrival (DOA) for bistatic multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar in the presence of spatial colored noise. Firstly, the received signals can be packed into a third-order measurement tensor by exploiting the inherent structure of the matched filter. Then, the measurement tensor can be divided into two sub-tensors, and a cross-covariance tensor is formulated to eliminate the spatial colored noise. Finally, the signal subspace is constructed by utilizing the higher-order singular value decomposition (HOSVD) of the cross-covariance tensor, and the DOD and DOA can be obtained through the estimation of signal parameters via rotational invariance technique (ESPRIT) algorithm, which are paired automatically. Since the multidimensional inherent structure and the cross-covariance tensor technique are used, the proposed method provides better angle estimation performance than Chen’s method, the ESPRIT algorithm and the multi-SVD method. Simulation results confirm the effectiveness and the advantage of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Enhanced Sensitivity of Surface Acoustic Wave-Based Rate Sensors Incorporating Metallic Dot Arrays
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3908-3920; doi:10.3390/s140303908
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (879 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new surface acoustic wave (SAW)-based rate sensor pattern incorporating metallic dot arrays was developed in this paper. Two parallel SAW delay lines with a reverse direction and an operation frequency of 80 MHz on a same X-112°Y LiTaO3 wafer are fabricated
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A new surface acoustic wave (SAW)-based rate sensor pattern incorporating metallic dot arrays was developed in this paper. Two parallel SAW delay lines with a reverse direction and an operation frequency of 80 MHz on a same X-112°Y LiTaO3 wafer are fabricated as the feedback of two SAW oscillators, and mixed oscillation frequency was used to characterize the external rotation. To enhance the Coriolis force effect acting on the SAW propagation, a copper (Cu) dot array was deposited along the SAW propagation path of the SAW devices. The approach of partial-wave analysis in layered media was referred to analyze the response mechanisms of the SAW based rate sensor, resulting in determination of the optimal design parameters. To improve the frequency stability of the oscillator, the single phase unidirectional transducers (SPUDTs) and combed transducer were used to form the SAW device to minimize the insertion loss and accomplish the single mode selection, respectively. Excellent long-term (measured in hours) frequency stability of 0.1 ppm/h was obtained. Using the rate table with high precision, the performance of the developed SAW rate sensor was evaluated experimentally; satisfactory detection sensitivity (16.7 Hz∙deg∙s−1) and good linearity were observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle On the Use of Low-Cost Radar Networks for Collision Warning Systems Aboard Dumpers
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3921-3938; doi:10.3390/s140303921
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 3 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of dumpers is one of the main causes of accidents in construction sites, many of them with fatal consequences. These kinds of work machines have many blind angles that complicate the driving task due to their large size and volume. To
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The use of dumpers is one of the main causes of accidents in construction sites, many of them with fatal consequences. These kinds of work machines have many blind angles that complicate the driving task due to their large size and volume. To guarantee safety conditions is necessary to use automatic aid systems that can detect and locate the different objects and people in a work area. One promising solution is a radar network based on low-cost radar transceivers aboard the dumper. The complete system is specified to operate with a very low false alarm rate to avoid unnecessary stops of the dumper that reduce its productivity. The main sources of false alarm are the heavy ground clutter, and the interferences between the radars of the network. This article analyses the clutter for LFM signaling and proposes the use of Offset Linear Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (OLFM-CW) as radar signal. This kind of waveform can be optimized to reject clutter and self-interferences. Jointly, a data fusion chain could be used to reduce the false alarm rate of the complete radar network. A real experiment is shown to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed system. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ground Testing Strategies for Verifying the Slew Rate Tolerance of Star Trackers
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3939-3964; doi:10.3390/s140303939
Received: 10 January 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The performance of a star tracker is largely based on the availability of its attitude solution. Several methods exist to assess star tracker availability under both static and dynamic imaging conditions. However, these methods typically make various idealizations that can limit the accuracy
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The performance of a star tracker is largely based on the availability of its attitude solution. Several methods exist to assess star tracker availability under both static and dynamic imaging conditions. However, these methods typically make various idealizations that can limit the accuracy of these results. This study aims to increase the fidelity of star tracker availability modeling by accounting for the effects of detection logic and pixel saturation on star detection. We achieve this by developing an analytical model for the focal plane intensity distribution of a star in the presence of sensor slew. Using the developed model, we examine the effects of slew rate on star detection using simulations and lab tests. The developed approach allows us to determine the maximum slew rate for which a star of a given stellar magnitude can still be detected. This information can then be used to describe the availability of a star tracker attitude solution as a function of slew rate, both spatially, across the entire celestial sphere, or locally, along a specified orientation track. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Spectral Sharpening of Color Sensors: Diagonal Color Constancy and Beyond
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3965-3985; doi:10.3390/s140303965
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 23 January 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has now been 20 years since the seminal work by Finlayson et al. on the use of spectral sharpening of sensors to achieve diagonal color constancy. Spectral sharpening is still used today by numerous researchers for different goals unrelated to the original
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It has now been 20 years since the seminal work by Finlayson et al. on the use of spectral sharpening of sensors to achieve diagonal color constancy. Spectral sharpening is still used today by numerous researchers for different goals unrelated to the original goal of diagonal color constancy e.g., multispectral processing, shadow removal, location of unique hues. This paper reviews the idea of spectral sharpening through the lens of what is known today in color constancy, describes the different methods used for obtaining a set of sharpening sensors and presents an overview of the many different uses that have been found for spectral sharpening over the years. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrating Sensory/Actuation Systems in Agricultural Vehicles
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4014-4049; doi:10.3390/s140304014
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (3645 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, there have been major advances in the development of new and more powerful perception systems for agriculture, such as computer-vision and global positioning systems. Due to these advances, the automation of agricultural tasks has received an important stimulus, especially in
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In recent years, there have been major advances in the development of new and more powerful perception systems for agriculture, such as computer-vision and global positioning systems. Due to these advances, the automation of agricultural tasks has received an important stimulus, especially in the area of selective weed control where high precision is essential for the proper use of resources and the implementation of more efficient treatments. Such autonomous agricultural systems incorporate and integrate perception systems for acquiring information from the environment, decision-making systems for interpreting and analyzing such information, and actuation systems that are responsible for performing the agricultural operations. These systems consist of different sensors, actuators, and computers that work synchronously in a specific architecture for the intended purpose. The main contribution of this paper is the selection, arrangement, integration, and synchronization of these systems to form a whole autonomous vehicle for agricultural applications. This type of vehicle has attracted growing interest, not only for researchers but also for manufacturers and farmers. The experimental results demonstrate the success and performance of the integrated system in guidance and weed control tasks in a maize field, indicating its utility and efficiency. The whole system is sufficiently flexible for use in other agricultural tasks with little effort and is another important contribution in the field of autonomous agricultural vehicles. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Textile-Based Wearable Sensing Device Designed for Monitoring the Flexion Angle of Elbow and Knee Movements
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4050-4059; doi:10.3390/s140304050
Received: 25 December 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work a wearable gesture sensing device consisting of a textile strain sensor, using elastic conductive webbing, was designed for monitoring the flexion angle of elbow and knee movements. The elastic conductive webbing shows a linear response of resistance to the flexion
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In this work a wearable gesture sensing device consisting of a textile strain sensor, using elastic conductive webbing, was designed for monitoring the flexion angle of elbow and knee movements. The elastic conductive webbing shows a linear response of resistance to the flexion angle. The wearable gesture sensing device was calibrated and then the flexion angle-resistance equation was established using an assembled gesture sensing apparatus with a variable resistor and a protractor. The proposed device successfully monitored the flexion angle during elbow and knee movements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Gait Sensors)
Open AccessArticle A Fiber Optic Ammonia Sensor Using a Universal pH Indicator
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4060-4073; doi:10.3390/s140304060
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A universal pH indicator is used to fabricate a fiber optic ammonia sensor. The advantage of this pH indicator is that it exhibits sensitivity to ammonia over a broad wavelength range. This provides a differential response, with a valley around 500 nm and
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A universal pH indicator is used to fabricate a fiber optic ammonia sensor. The advantage of this pH indicator is that it exhibits sensitivity to ammonia over a broad wavelength range. This provides a differential response, with a valley around 500 nm and a peak around 650 nm, which allows us to perform ratiometric measurements. The ratiometric measurements provide not only an enhanced signal, but can also eliminate any external disturbance due to humidity or temperature fluctuations. In addition, the indicator is embedded in a hydrophobic and gas permeable polyurethane film named Tecoflex®. The film provides additional advantages to the sensor, such as operation in dry environments, efficient transport of the element to be measured to the sensitive area of the sensor, and prevent leakage or detachment of the indicator. The combination of the universal pH indicator and Tecoflex® film provides a reliable and robust fiber optic ammonia sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
Open AccessArticle Detection of Explosives in a Dynamic Marine Environment Using a Moored TNT Immunosensor
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4074-4085; doi:10.3390/s140304074
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A field demonstration and longevity assessment for long-term monitoring of the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in a marine environment using an anti-TNT microfluidic immunosensor is described. The TNT immunosensor is comprised of a microfluidic device with 39 parallel microchannels (2.5 cm × 250 µm
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A field demonstration and longevity assessment for long-term monitoring of the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in a marine environment using an anti-TNT microfluidic immunosensor is described. The TNT immunosensor is comprised of a microfluidic device with 39 parallel microchannels (2.5 cm × 250 µm × 500 µm, L × W × D) fabricated in poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA), then chemically functionalized with antibodies possessing a high affinity for TNT. Synthesized fluorescence reporter complexes used in a displacement-based assay format were used for TNT identification. For field deployment the TNT immunosensor was configured onto a submersible moored steel frame along with frame controller, pumps and TNT plume generator and deployed pier side for intermittent plume sampling of TNT (1h increments). Under varying current and tidal conditions trace levels of TNT in natural seawater were detected over an extended period (>18 h). Overnight operation and data recording was monitored via a web interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)
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Open AccessArticle A Multirate Control Strategy to the Slow Sensors Problem: An Interactive Simulation Tool for Controller Assisted Design
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4086-4110; doi:10.3390/s140304086
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (872 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In many control applications, the sensor technology used for the measurement of the variable to be controlled is not able to maintain a restricted sampling period. In this context, the assumption of regular and uniform sampling pattern is questionable. Moreover, if the control
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In many control applications, the sensor technology used for the measurement of the variable to be controlled is not able to maintain a restricted sampling period. In this context, the assumption of regular and uniform sampling pattern is questionable. Moreover, if the control action updating can be faster than the output measurement frequency in order to fulfill the proposed closed loop behavior, the solution is usually a multirate controller. There are some known aspects to be careful of when a multirate system (MR) is going to be designed. The proper multiplicity between input-output sampling periods, the proper controller structure, the existence of ripples and others issues need to be considered. A useful way to save time and achieve good results is to have an assisted computer design tool. An interactive simulation tool to deal with MR seems to be the right solution. In this paper this kind of simulation application is presented. It allows an easy understanding of the performance degrading or improvement when changing the multirate sampling pattern parameters. The tool was developed using Sysquake, a Matlab-like language with fast execution and powerful graphic facilities. It can be delivered as an executable. In the paper a detailed explanation of MR treatment is also included and the design of four different MR controllers with flexible structure to be adapted to different schemes will also be presented. The Smith’s predictor in these MR schemes is also explained, justified and used when time delays appear. Finally some interesting observations achieved using this interactive tool are included. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nonlinearity Analysis and Parameters Optimization for an Inductive Angle Sensor
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4111-4125; doi:10.3390/s140304111
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using the finite element method (FEM) and particle swarm optimization (PSO), a nonlinearity analysis based on parameter optimization is proposed to design an inductive angle sensor. Due to the structure complexity of the sensor, understanding the influences of structure parameters on the nonlinearity
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Using the finite element method (FEM) and particle swarm optimization (PSO), a nonlinearity analysis based on parameter optimization is proposed to design an inductive angle sensor. Due to the structure complexity of the sensor, understanding the influences of structure parameters on the nonlinearity errors is a critical step in designing an effective sensor. Key parameters are selected for the design based on the parameters’ effects on the nonlinearity errors. The finite element method and particle swarm optimization are combined for the sensor design to get the minimal nonlinearity error. In the simulation, the nonlinearity error of the optimized sensor is 0.053% in the angle range from −60° to 60°. A prototype sensor is manufactured and measured experimentally, and the experimental nonlinearity error is 0.081% in the angle range from −60° to 60°. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Contour-Based Corner Detection and Classification by Using Mean Projection Transform
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4126-4143; doi:10.3390/s140304126
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 3 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Image corner detection is a fundamental task in computer vision. Many applications require reliable detectors to accurately detect corner points, commonly achieved by using image contour information. The curvature definition is sensitive to local variation and edge aliasing, and available smoothing methods are
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Image corner detection is a fundamental task in computer vision. Many applications require reliable detectors to accurately detect corner points, commonly achieved by using image contour information. The curvature definition is sensitive to local variation and edge aliasing, and available smoothing methods are not sufficient to address these problems properly. Hence, we propose Mean Projection Transform (MPT) as a corner classifier and parabolic fit approximation to form a robust detector. The first step is to extract corner candidates using MPT based on the integral properties of the local contours in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Then, an approximation of the parabolic fit is calculated to localize the candidate corner points. The proposed method presents fewer false-positive (FP) and false-negative (FN) points compared with recent standard corner detection techniques, especially in comparison with curvature scale space (CSS) methods. Moreover, a new evaluation metric, called accuracy of repeatability (AR), is introduced. AR combines repeatability and the localization error (Le) for finding the probability of correct detection in the target image. The output results exhibit better repeatability, localization, and AR for the detected points compared with the criteria in original and transformed images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Post-Impact Fatigue Damage Monitoring Using Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4144-4153; doi:10.3390/s140304144
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (857 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has been shown that impact damage to composite materials can be revealed by embedded Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG) as a broadening and splitting of the latter’s characteristic narrow peak reflected spectrum. The current work further subjected the impact damaged composite to cyclic
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It has been shown that impact damage to composite materials can be revealed by embedded Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG) as a broadening and splitting of the latter’s characteristic narrow peak reflected spectrum. The current work further subjected the impact damaged composite to cyclic loading and found that the FBG spectrum gradually submerged into a rise of background intensity as internal damages progressed. By skipping the impact, directing the impact to positions away from the FBG and examining the extracted fibers, we concluded that the above change is not a result of deterioration/damage of the sensor. It is caused solely by the damages initiated in the composite by the impact and aggravated by fatigue loading. Evolution of the grating spectrum may therefore be used to monitor qualitatively the development of the incurred damages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
Open AccessArticle A Harsh Environment-Oriented Wireless Passive Temperature Sensor Realized by LTCC Technology
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4154-4166; doi:10.3390/s140304154
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (781 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To meet measurement needs in harsh environments, such as high temperature and rotating applications, a wireless passive Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics (LTCC) temperature sensor based on ferroelectric dielectric material is presented in this paper. As a LC circuit which consists of electrically connected
[...] Read more.
To meet measurement needs in harsh environments, such as high temperature and rotating applications, a wireless passive Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics (LTCC) temperature sensor based on ferroelectric dielectric material is presented in this paper. As a LC circuit which consists of electrically connected temperature sensitive capacitor and invariable planar spiral inductor, the sensor has its resonant frequency shift with the variation in temperature. Within near-filed coupling distance, the variation in resonant frequency of the sensor can be detected contactlessly by extracting the impedance parameters of an external antenna. Ferroelectric ceramic, which has temperature sensitive permittivity, is used as the dielectric. The fabrication process of the sensor, which differs from conventional LTCC technology, is described in detail. The sensor is tested three times from room temperature to 700 °C, and considerable repeatability and sensitivity are shown, thus the feasibility of high performance wireless passive temperature sensor realized by LTCC technology is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Towards Using NMR to Screen for Spoiled Tomatoes Stored in 1,000 L, Aseptically Sealed, Metal-Lined Totes
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4167-4176; doi:10.3390/s140304167
Received: 28 November 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is used to track factory relevant tomato paste spoilage. It was found that spoilage in tomato paste test samples leads to longer spin lattice relaxation times T1 using a conventional low magnetic field NMR system. The increase
[...] Read more.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is used to track factory relevant tomato paste spoilage. It was found that spoilage in tomato paste test samples leads to longer spin lattice relaxation times T1 using a conventional low magnetic field NMR system. The increase in T1 value for contaminated samples over a five day room temperature exposure period prompted the work to be extended to the study of industry standard, 1,000 L, non-ferrous, metal-lined totes. NMR signals and T1 values were recovered from a large format container with a single-sided NMR sensor. The results of this work suggest that a handheld NMR device can be used to study tomato paste spoilage in factory process environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Resonance Sensors) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle Humidity Microsensors Integrated with Circuitry on-a-Chip
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4177-4188; doi:10.3390/s140304177
Received: 28 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A humidity microsensor integrated with a readout circuit on-a-chip fabricated using the commercial 0.18 μm CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) process was presented. The integrated sensor chip consists of a humidity sensor and a readout circuit. The humidity sensor is composed of a
[...] Read more.
A humidity microsensor integrated with a readout circuit on-a-chip fabricated using the commercial 0.18 μm CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) process was presented. The integrated sensor chip consists of a humidity sensor and a readout circuit. The humidity sensor is composed of a sensitive film and interdigitated electrodes. The sensitive film is titanium dioxide prepared by the sol-gel method. The titanium dioxide is coated on the interdigitated electrodes. The humidity sensor requires a post-process to remove the sacrificial layer and to coat the titanium dioxide. The resistance of the sensor changes as the sensitive film absorbs or desorbs vapor. The readout circuit is employed to convert the resistance variation of the sensor into the output voltage. The experimental results show that the integrated humidity sensor has a sensitivity of 4.5 mV/RH% (relative humidity) at room temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering 2013)
Open AccessArticle Anchor Node Localization for Wireless Sensor Networks Using Video and Compass Information Fusion
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4211-4224; doi:10.3390/s140304211
Received: 11 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (860 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Distributed sensing, computing and communication capabilities of wireless sensor networks require, in most situations, an efficient node localization procedure. In the case of random deployments in harsh or hostile environments, a general localization process within global coordinates is based on a set of
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Distributed sensing, computing and communication capabilities of wireless sensor networks require, in most situations, an efficient node localization procedure. In the case of random deployments in harsh or hostile environments, a general localization process within global coordinates is based on a set of anchor nodes able to determine their own position using GPS receivers. In this paper we propose another anchor node localization technique that can be used when GPS devices cannot accomplish their mission or are considered to be too expensive. This novel technique is based on the fusion of video and compass data acquired by the anchor nodes and is especially suitable for video- or multimedia-based wireless sensor networks. For these types of wireless networks the presence of video cameras is intrinsic, while the presence of digital compasses is also required for identifying the cameras’ orientations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle RFID-Based Vehicle Positioning and Its Applications in Connected Vehicles
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4225-4238; doi:10.3390/s140304225
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 21 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposed an RFID-based vehicle positioning approach to facilitate connected vehicles applications. When a vehicle passes over an RFID tag, the vehicle position is given by the accurate position stored in the tag. At locations without RFID coverage, the vehicle position is
[...] Read more.
This paper proposed an RFID-based vehicle positioning approach to facilitate connected vehicles applications. When a vehicle passes over an RFID tag, the vehicle position is given by the accurate position stored in the tag. At locations without RFID coverage, the vehicle position is estimated from the most recent tag location using a kinematics integration algorithm till updates from the next tag. The accuracy of RFID positioning is verified empirically in two independent ways with one using radar and the other a photoelectric switch. The former is designed to verify whether the dynamic position obtained from RFID tags matches the position measured by radar that is regarded as accurate. The latter aims to verify whether the position estimated from the kinematics integration matches the position obtained from RFID tags. Both means supports the accuracy of RFID-based positioning. As a supplement to GPS which suffers from issues such as inaccuracy and loss of signal, RFID positioning is promising in facilitating connected vehicles applications. Two conceptual applications are provided here with one in vehicle operational control and the other in Level IV intersection control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Sensor Data Acquisition and Processing Parameters for Human Activity Classification
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4239-4270; doi:10.3390/s140304239
Received: 21 November 2013 / Revised: 14 January 2014 / Accepted: 21 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is known that parameter selection for data sampling frequency and segmentation techniques (including different methods and window sizes) has an impact on the classification accuracy. For Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), no clear information to select these parameters exists, hence a wide variety
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It is known that parameter selection for data sampling frequency and segmentation techniques (including different methods and window sizes) has an impact on the classification accuracy. For Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), no clear information to select these parameters exists, hence a wide variety and inconsistency across today’s literature is observed. This paper presents the empirical investigation of different data sampling rates, segmentation techniques and segmentation window sizes and their effect on the accuracy of Activity of Daily Living (ADL) event classification and computational load for two different accelerometer sensor datasets. The study is conducted using an ANalysis Of VAriance (ANOVA) based on 32 different window sizes, three different segmentation algorithm (with and without overlap, totaling in six different parameters) and six sampling frequencies for nine common classification algorithms. The classification accuracy is based on a feature vector consisting of Root Mean Square (RMS), Mean, Signal Magnitude Area (SMA), Signal Vector Magnitude (here SMV), Energy, Entropy, FFTPeak, Standard Deviation (STD). The results are presented alongside recommendations for the parameter selection on the basis of the best performing parameter combinations that are identified by means of the corresponding Pareto curve. Full article
Open AccessArticle PypeTree: A Tool for Reconstructing Tree Perennial Tissues from Point Clouds
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4271-4289; doi:10.3390/s140304271
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (879 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reconstruction of trees from point clouds that were acquired with terrestrial LiDAR scanning (TLS) may become a significant breakthrough in the study and modelling of tree development. Here, we develop an efficient method and a tool based on extensive modifications to the
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The reconstruction of trees from point clouds that were acquired with terrestrial LiDAR scanning (TLS) may become a significant breakthrough in the study and modelling of tree development. Here, we develop an efficient method and a tool based on extensive modifications to the skeletal extraction method that was first introduced by Verroust and Lazarus in 2000. PypeTree, a user-friendly and open-source visual modelling environment, incorporates a number of improvements into the original skeletal extraction technique, making it better adapted to tackle the challenge of tree perennial tissue reconstruction. Within PypeTree, we also introduce the idea of using semi-supervised adjustment tools to address methodological challenges that are associated with imperfect point cloud datasets and which further improve reconstruction accuracy. The performance of these automatic and semi-supervised approaches was tested with the help of synthetic models and subsequently validated on real trees. Accuracy of automatic reconstruction greatly varied in terms of axis detection because small (length < 3.5 cm) branches were difficult to detect. However, as small branches account for little in terms of total skeleton length, mean reconstruction error for cumulated skeleton length only reached 5.1% and 1.8% with automatic or semi-supervised reconstruction, respectively. In some cases, using the supervised tools, a perfect reconstruction of the perennial tissue could be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle An Integrated Thermal Compensation System for MEMS Inertial Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4290-4311; doi:10.3390/s140304290
Received: 9 January 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1068 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An active thermal compensation system for a low temperature-bias-drift (TBD) MEMS-based gyroscope is proposed in this study. First, a micro-gyroscope is fabricated by a high-aspect-ratio silicon-on-glass (SOG) process and vacuum packaged by glass frit bonding. Moreover, a drive/readout ASIC, implemented by the 0.25
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An active thermal compensation system for a low temperature-bias-drift (TBD) MEMS-based gyroscope is proposed in this study. First, a micro-gyroscope is fabricated by a high-aspect-ratio silicon-on-glass (SOG) process and vacuum packaged by glass frit bonding. Moreover, a drive/readout ASIC, implemented by the 0.25 µm 1P5M standard CMOS process, is designed and integrated with the gyroscope by directly wire bonding. Then, since the temperature effect is one of the critical issues in the high performance gyroscope applications, the temperature-dependent characteristics of the micro-gyroscope are discussed. Furthermore, to compensate the TBD of the micro-gyroscope, a thermal compensation system is proposed and integrated in the aforementioned ASIC to actively tune the parameters in the digital trimming mechanism, which is designed in the readout ASIC. Finally, some experimental results demonstrate that the TBD of the micro-gyroscope can be compensated effectively by the proposed compensation system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle A Fuzzy Controller for Lower Limb Exoskeletons during Sit-to-Stand and Stand-to-Sit Movement Using Wearable Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4342-4363; doi:10.3390/s140304342
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 29 January 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1472 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human motion is a daily and rhythmic activity. The exoskeleton concept is a very positive scientific approach for human rehabilitation in case of lower limb impairment. Although the exoskeleton shows potential, it is not yet applied extensively in clinical rehabilitation. In this research,
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Human motion is a daily and rhythmic activity. The exoskeleton concept is a very positive scientific approach for human rehabilitation in case of lower limb impairment. Although the exoskeleton shows potential, it is not yet applied extensively in clinical rehabilitation. In this research, a fuzzy based control algorithm is proposed for lower limb exoskeletons during sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit movements. Surface electromyograms (EMGs) are acquired from the vastus lateralis muscle using a wearable EMG sensor. The resultant acceleration angle along the z-axis is determined from a kinematics sensor. Twenty volunteers were chosen to perform the experiments. The whole experiment was accomplished in two phases. In the first phase, acceleration angles and EMG data were acquired from the volunteers during both sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit motions. During sit-to-stand movements, the average acceleration angle at activation was 11°–48° and the EMG varied from −0.19 mV to +0.19 mV. On the other hand, during stand-to-sit movements, the average acceleration angle was found to be 57.5°–108° at the activation point and the EMG varied from −0.32 mV to +0.32 mV. In the second phase, a fuzzy controller was designed from the experimental data. The controller was tested and validated with both offline and real time data using LabVIEW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Gait Sensors)
Open AccessArticle A Wireless Fatigue Monitoring System Utilizing a Bio-Inspired Tree Ring Data Tracking Technique
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4364-4383; doi:10.3390/s140304364
Received: 22 November 2013 / Revised: 20 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fatigue, a hot scientific research topic for centuries, can trigger sudden failure of critical structures such as aircraft and railway systems, resulting in enormous casualties as well as economic losses. The fatigue life of certain structures is intrinsically random and few monitoring techniques
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Fatigue, a hot scientific research topic for centuries, can trigger sudden failure of critical structures such as aircraft and railway systems, resulting in enormous casualties as well as economic losses. The fatigue life of certain structures is intrinsically random and few monitoring techniques are capable of tracking the full life-cycle fatigue damage. In this paper, a novel in-situ wireless real-time fatigue monitoring system using a bio-inspired tree ring data tracking technique is proposed. The general framework, methodology, and verification of this intelligent system are discussed in details. The rain-flow counting (RFC) method is adopted as the core algorithm which quantifies fatigue damages, and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is introduced as the core module for data collection and analysis. Laboratory test results based on strain gauges and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) sensors have shown that the developed intelligent system can provide a reliable quick feedback and early warning of fatigue failure. With the merits of low cost, high accuracy and great reliability, the developed wireless fatigue sensing system can be further applied to mechanical engineering, civil infrastructures, transportation systems, aerospace engineering, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Design of Small MEMS Microphone Array Systems for Direction Finding of Outdoors Moving Vehicles
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4384-4398; doi:10.3390/s140304384
Received: 22 January 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1097 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a MEMS microphone array system scheme is proposed which implements real-time direction of arrival (DOA) estimation for moving vehicles. Wind noise is the primary source of unwanted noise on microphones outdoors. A multiple signal classification (MUSIC) algorithm is used in
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In this paper, a MEMS microphone array system scheme is proposed which implements real-time direction of arrival (DOA) estimation for moving vehicles. Wind noise is the primary source of unwanted noise on microphones outdoors. A multiple signal classification (MUSIC) algorithm is used in this paper for direction finding associated with spatial coherence to discriminate between the wind noise and the acoustic signals of a vehicle. The method is implemented in a SHARC DSP processor and the real-time estimated DOA is uploaded through Bluetooth or a UART module. Experimental results in different places show the validity of the system and the deviation is no bigger than 6° in the presence of wind noise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Electrophoresis-Enhanced Detection of Deoxyribonucleic Acids on a Membrane-Based Lateral Flow Strip Using Avian Influenza H5 Genetic Sequence as the Model
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4399-4415; doi:10.3390/s140304399
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
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Abstract
This study reports a simple strategy to detect a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) on a membrane-based lateral flow (MBLF) strip without tedious gel preparation, gel electrophoresis, and EtBr-staining processes. The method also enhances the detection signal of the genetic sample. A direct electric field
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This study reports a simple strategy to detect a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) on a membrane-based lateral flow (MBLF) strip without tedious gel preparation, gel electrophoresis, and EtBr-staining processes. The method also enhances the detection signal of the genetic sample. A direct electric field was applied over two ends of the MBLF strips to induce an electrophoresis of DNAs through the strips. The signal enhancement was demonstrated by the detection of the H5 subtype of avian influenza virus (H5 AIV). This approach showed an excellent selectivity of H5 AIV from other two control species, Arabidopsis thaliana and human PSMA5. It also showed an effective signal repeatability and sensitivity over a series of analyte concentrations. Its detection limit could be enhanced, from 40 ng to 0.1 ng by applying 12 V. The nano-gold particles for the color development were labeled on the capture antibody, and UV-VIS and TEM were used to check if the labeling was successful. This detection strategy could be further developed to apply on the detection of drug-allergic genes at clinics or detection of infectious substances at incident sites by a simple manipulation with an aid of a mini-PCR machine and auxiliary kits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Sensing and Molecular Electronics)
Open AccessArticle Experiments and Identification of the Unbalance of Aerostatic Guideways on the Micro-Scale
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4416-4427; doi:10.3390/s140304416
Received: 11 November 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 25 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
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Abstract
In order to diagnose the unbalance of aerostatic guideways, displacement and acceleration sensors were used to measure the vibration signals of the unbalance of the aerostatic guideways caused by the gas fluctuation. The frequency characteristics for the unbalance of aerostatic guideways caused by
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In order to diagnose the unbalance of aerostatic guideways, displacement and acceleration sensors were used to measure the vibration signals of the unbalance of the aerostatic guideways caused by the gas fluctuation. The frequency characteristics for the unbalance of aerostatic guideways caused by gas fluctuation has been extracted from the measured signals by power spectral density, and the basic frequencies of the guideway system have been diagnosed according to spectral characteristics, in agreement with the results calculated by the corresponding motion equations and the finite element method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle An Interactive Tool for Outdoor Computer Controlled Cultivation of Microalgae in a Tubular Photobioreactor System
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4466-4483; doi:10.3390/s140304466
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 21 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes an interactive virtual laboratory for experimenting with an outdoor tubular photobioreactor (henceforth PBR for short). This virtual laboratory it makes possible to: (a) accurately reproduce the structure of a real plant (the PBR designed and built by the Department of
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This paper describes an interactive virtual laboratory for experimenting with an outdoor tubular photobioreactor (henceforth PBR for short). This virtual laboratory it makes possible to: (a) accurately reproduce the structure of a real plant (the PBR designed and built by the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Almería, Spain); (b) simulate a generic tubular PBR by changing the PBR geometry; (c) simulate the effects of changing different operating parameters such as the conditions of the culture (pH, biomass concentration, dissolved O2, inyected CO2, etc.); (d) simulate the PBR in its environmental context; it is possible to change the geographic location of the system or the solar irradiation profile; (e) apply different control strategies to adjust different variables such as the CO2 injection, culture circulation rate or culture temperature in order to maximize the biomass production; (f) simulate the harvesting. In this way, users can learn in an intuitive way how productivity is affected by any change in the design. It facilitates the learning of how to manipulate essential variables for microalgae growth to design an optimal PBR. The simulator has been developed with Easy Java Simulations, a freeware open-source tool developed in Java, specifically designed for the creation of interactive dynamic simulations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Electrical Characterization of Photodetectors Based on Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) Layers
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4484-4494; doi:10.3390/s140304484
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the electrical characteristics of solution-processed organic photodetectors based on poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) semiconducting polymer layers deposited by spin-coating on interdigitated metal electrodes. Four different electrode shapes have been used for this study in order to appraise the optimum electrode geometry. The measurement
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This paper presents the electrical characteristics of solution-processed organic photodetectors based on poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) semiconducting polymer layers deposited by spin-coating on interdigitated metal electrodes. Four different electrode shapes have been used for this study in order to appraise the optimum electrode geometry. The measurement of the resistance as a function of the temperature reveals a transition from negative to positive temperature coefficient material around 80 °C for the polymer layers. Besides, slow reversible changes in the photodetectors conductivity were observed when moved from vacuum to the air and under illumination with a xenon lamp, which can be explained by the formation of charge transfer complexes with molecular oxygen and the polymer. The photogenerated current-light power ratio was found to be approximately linear in the 200 to 550 mW/cm2 range. Full article
Open AccessArticle Influence of Surface Position along the Working Range of Conoscopic Holography Sensors on Dimensional Verification of AISI 316 Wire EDM Machined Surfaces
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4495-4512; doi:10.3390/s140304495
Received: 25 December 2013 / Revised: 8 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (836 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Conoscopic holography (CH) is a non-contact interferometric technique used for surface digitization which presents several advantages over other optical techniques such as laser triangulation. Among others, the ability for the reconstruction of high-sloped surfaces stands out, and so does its lower dependence on
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Conoscopic holography (CH) is a non-contact interferometric technique used for surface digitization which presents several advantages over other optical techniques such as laser triangulation. Among others, the ability for the reconstruction of high-sloped surfaces stands out, and so does its lower dependence on surface optical properties. Nevertheless, similarly to other optical systems, adjustment of CH sensors requires an adequate selection of configuration parameters for ensuring a high quality surface digitizing. This should be done on a surface located as close as possible to the stand-off distance by tuning frequency (F) and power (P) until the quality indicators Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and signal envelope (Total) meet proper values. However, not all the points of an actual surface are located at the stand-off distance, but they could be located throughout the whole working range (WR). Thus, the quality of a digitized surface may not be uniform. The present work analyses how the quality of a reconstructed surface is affected by its relative position within the WR under different combinations of the parameters F and P. Experiments have been conducted on AISI 316 wire EDM machined flat surfaces. The number of high-quality points digitized as well as distance measurements between different surfaces throughout the WR allowed for comparing the metrological behaviour of the CH sensor with respect to a touch probe (TP) on a CMM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Towards a Holistic Framework for the Evaluation of Emergency Plans in Indoor Environments
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4513-4535; doi:10.3390/s140304513
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the most promising fields for ambient intelligence is the implementation of intelligent emergency plans. Because the use of drills and living labs cannot reproduce social behaviors, such as panic attacks, that strongly affect these plans, the use of agent-based social simulation
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One of the most promising fields for ambient intelligence is the implementation of intelligent emergency plans. Because the use of drills and living labs cannot reproduce social behaviors, such as panic attacks, that strongly affect these plans, the use of agent-based social simulation provides an approach to evaluate these plans more thoroughly. (1) The hypothesis presented in this paper is that there has been little interest in describing the key modules that these simulators must include, such as formally represented knowledge and a realistic simulated sensor model, and especially in providing researchers with tools to reuse, extend and interconnect modules from different works. This lack of interest hinders researchers from achieving a holistic framework for evaluating emergency plans and forces them to reconsider and to implement the same components from scratch over and over. In addition to supporting this hypothesis by considering over 150 simulators, this paper: (2) defines the main modules identified and proposes the use of semantic web technologies as a cornerstone for the aforementioned holistic framework; (3) provides a basic methodology to achieve the framework; (4) identifies the main challenges; and (5) presents an open and free software tool to hint at the potential of such a holistic view of emergency plan evaluation in indoor environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle DIMETER: A Haptic Master Device for Tremor Diagnosis in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4536-4559; doi:10.3390/s140304536
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 28 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (582 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, a device based on patient motion capture is developed for the reliable and non-invasive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. The primary objective of this study is the classification of differential diagnosis between Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET). The DIMETER
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In this study, a device based on patient motion capture is developed for the reliable and non-invasive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. The primary objective of this study is the classification of differential diagnosis between Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET). The DIMETER system has been used in the diagnoses of a significant number of patients at two medical centers in Spain. Research studies on classification have primarily focused on the use of well-known and reliable diagnosis criteria developed by qualified personnel. Here, we first present a literature review of the methods used to detect and evaluate tremor; then, we describe the DIMETER device in terms of the software and hardware used and the battery of tests developed to obtain the best diagnoses. All of the tests are classified and described in terms of the characteristics of the data obtained. A list of parameters obtained from the tests is provided, and the results obtained using multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural networks are presented and analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sensors for Globalized Healthy Living and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle Ontological Knowledge Engine and Health Screening Data Enabled Ubiquitous Personalized Physical Fitness (UFIT)
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4560-4584; doi:10.3390/s140304560
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 18 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Good physical fitness generally makes the body less prone to common diseases. A personalized exercise plan that promotes a balanced approach to fitness helps promotes fitness, while inappropriate forms of exercise can have adverse consequences for health. This paper aims to develop an
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Good physical fitness generally makes the body less prone to common diseases. A personalized exercise plan that promotes a balanced approach to fitness helps promotes fitness, while inappropriate forms of exercise can have adverse consequences for health. This paper aims to develop an ontology-driven knowledge-based system for generating custom-designed exercise plans based on a user’s profile and health status, incorporating international standard Health Level Seven International (HL7) data on physical fitness and health screening. The generated plan exposing Representational State Transfer (REST) style web services which can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device and deployed in cloud computing environments. To ensure the practicality of the generated exercise plans, encapsulated knowledge used as a basis for inference in the system is acquired from domain experts. The proposed Ubiquitous Exercise Plan Generation for Personalized Physical Fitness (UFIT) will not only improve health-related fitness through generating personalized exercise plans, but also aid users in avoiding inappropriate work outs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors Data Fusion for Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle Biotin-Streptavidin Binding Interactions of Dielectric Filled Silicon Bulk Acoustic Resonators for Smart Label-Free Biochemical Sensor Applications
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4585-4598; doi:10.3390/s140304585
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 22 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (791 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sensor performance of a dielectric filled silicon bulk acoustic resonator type label-free biosensor is verified with biotin-streptavidin binding interactions as a model system. The mass sensor is a micromachined silicon square plate with a dielectric filled capacitive excitation mechanism. The resonance frequency of
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Sensor performance of a dielectric filled silicon bulk acoustic resonator type label-free biosensor is verified with biotin-streptavidin binding interactions as a model system. The mass sensor is a micromachined silicon square plate with a dielectric filled capacitive excitation mechanism. The resonance frequency of the biotin modified resonator decreased 315 ppm when exposed to streptavidin solution for 15 min with a concentration of 10−7 M, corresponding to an added mass of 3.43 ng on the resonator surface. An additional control is added by exposing a bovine serum albumin (BSA)-covered device to streptavidin in the absence of the attached biotin. No resonance frequency shift was observed in the control experiment, which confirms the specificity of the detection. The sensor-to-sensor variability is also measured to be 4.3%. Consequently, the developed sensor can be used to observe in biotin-streptavidin interaction without the use of labelling or molecular tags. In addition, biosensor can be used in a variety of different immunoassay tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle Membrane-Based Characterization of a Gas Component — A Transient Sensor Theory
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4599-4617; doi:10.3390/s140304599
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 22 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on a multi-gas solution-diffusion problem for a dense symmetrical membrane this paper presents a transient theory of a planar, membrane-based sensor cell for measuring gas from both initial conditions: dynamic and thermodynamic equilibrium. Using this theory, the ranges for which previously developed,
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Based on a multi-gas solution-diffusion problem for a dense symmetrical membrane this paper presents a transient theory of a planar, membrane-based sensor cell for measuring gas from both initial conditions: dynamic and thermodynamic equilibrium. Using this theory, the ranges for which previously developed, simpler approaches are valid will be discussed; these approaches are of vital interest for membrane-based gas sensor applications. Finally, a new theoretical approach is introduced to identify varying gas components by arranging sensor cell pairs resulting in a concentration independent gas-specific critical time. Literature data for the N2, O2, Ar, CH4, CO2, H2 and C4H10 diffusion coefficients and solubilities for a polydimethylsiloxane membrane were used to simulate gas specific sensor responses. The results demonstrate the influence of (i) the operational mode; (ii) sensor geometry and (iii) gas matrices (air, Ar) on that critical time. Based on the developed theory the case-specific suitable membrane materials can be determined and both operation and design options for these sensors can be optimized for individual applications. The results of mixing experiments for different gases (O2, CO2) in a gas matrix of air confirmed the theoretical predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors - 2013)
Open AccessArticle Feasibility Study of a Wearable System Based on a Wireless Body Area Network for Gait Assessment in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4618-4633; doi:10.3390/s140304618
Received: 15 November 2013 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) alters the motor performance of affected individuals. The dopaminergic denervation of the striatum, due to substantia nigra neuronal loss, compromises the speed, the automatism and smoothness of movements of PD patients. The development of a reliable tool for long-term monitoring
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) alters the motor performance of affected individuals. The dopaminergic denervation of the striatum, due to substantia nigra neuronal loss, compromises the speed, the automatism and smoothness of movements of PD patients. The development of a reliable tool for long-term monitoring of PD symptoms would allow the accurate assessment of the clinical status during the different PD stages and the evaluation of motor complications. Furthermore, it would be very useful both for routine clinical care as well as for testing novel therapies. Within this context we have validated the feasibility of using a Body Network Area (BAN) of wireless accelerometers to perform continuous at home gait monitoring of PD patients. The analysis addresses the assessment of the system performance working in real environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Gait Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Diffusion Limitations on Multianalyte Determination from Biased Biosensor Response
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4634-4656; doi:10.3390/s140304634
Received: 17 December 2013 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
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Abstract
The optimization-based quantitative determination of multianalyte concentrations from biased biosensor responses is investigated under internal and external diffusion-limited conditions. A computational model of a biocatalytic amperometric biosensor utilizing a mono-enzyme-catalyzed (nonspecific) competitive conversion of two substrates was used to generate pseudo-experimental responses to
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The optimization-based quantitative determination of multianalyte concentrations from biased biosensor responses is investigated under internal and external diffusion-limited conditions. A computational model of a biocatalytic amperometric biosensor utilizing a mono-enzyme-catalyzed (nonspecific) competitive conversion of two substrates was used to generate pseudo-experimental responses to mixtures of compounds. The influence of possible perturbations of the biosensor signal, due to a white noise- and temperature-induced trend, on the precision of the concentration determination has been investigated for different configurations of the biosensor operation. The optimization method was found to be suitable and accurate enough for the quantitative determination of the concentrations of the compounds from a given biosensor transient response. The computational experiments showed a complex dependence of the precision of the concentration estimation on the relative thickness of the outer diffusion layer, as well as on whether the biosensor operates under diffusion- or kinetics-limited conditions. When the biosensor response is affected by the induced exponential trend, the duration of the biosensor action can be optimized for increasing the accuracy of the quantitative analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amperometric Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle A Simple Small Size and Low Cost Sensor Based on Surface Plasmon Resonance for Selective Detection of Fe(III)
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4657-4671; doi:10.3390/s140304657
Received: 16 January 2014 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (443 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A simple, small size, and low cost sensor based on a Deferoxamine Self Assembled Monolayer (DFO-SAM) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) transduction, in connection with a Plastic Optical Fiber (POF), has been developed for the selective detection of Fe(III). DFO-SAM sensors based on
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A simple, small size, and low cost sensor based on a Deferoxamine Self Assembled Monolayer (DFO-SAM) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) transduction, in connection with a Plastic Optical Fiber (POF), has been developed for the selective detection of Fe(III). DFO-SAM sensors based on appropriate electrochemical techniques can be frequently found in the scientific literature. In this work, we present the first example of a DFO-SAM sensor based on SPR in an optical fiber. The SPR sensing platform was realized by removing the cladding of a plastic optical fiber along half the circumference, spin coating a buffer of Microposit S1813 photoresist on the exposed core, and finally sputtering a thin gold film. The hydroxamate siderophore deferoxamine (DFO), having high binding affinity for Fe(III), is then used in its immobilized form, as self-assembled monolayer on the gold layer surface of the POF sensor. The results showed that the DFO-SAM-POF-sensor was able to sense the formation of the Fe(III)/DFO complex in the range of concentrations between 1 μm and 50 μm with a linearity range from 0 to 30 μm of Fe(III). The selectivity of the sensor was also proved by interference tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonics and Nanoplasmonics Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle A Novel Topology Control Approach to Maintain the Node Degree in Dynamic Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4672-4688; doi:10.3390/s140304672
Received: 25 December 2013 / Revised: 20 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Topology control is an important technique to improve the connectivity and the reliability of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) by means of adjusting the communication range of wireless sensor nodes. In this paper, a novel Fuzzy-logic Topology Control (FTC) is proposed to achieve any
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Topology control is an important technique to improve the connectivity and the reliability of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) by means of adjusting the communication range of wireless sensor nodes. In this paper, a novel Fuzzy-logic Topology Control (FTC) is proposed to achieve any desired average node degree by adaptively changing communication range, thus improving the network connectivity, which is the main target of FTC. FTC is a fully localized control algorithm, and does not rely on location information of neighbors. Instead of designing membership functions and if-then rules for fuzzy-logic controller, FTC is constructed from the training data set to facilitate the design process. FTC is proved to be accurate, stable and has short settling time. In order to compare it with other representative localized algorithms (NONE, FLSS, k-Neighbor and LTRT), FTC is evaluated through extensive simulations. The simulation results show that: firstly, similar to k-Neighbor algorithm, FTC is the best to achieve the desired average node degree as node density varies; secondly, FTC is comparable to FLSS and k-Neighbor in terms of energy-efficiency, but is better than LTRT and NONE; thirdly, FTC has the lowest average maximum communication range than other algorithms, which indicates that the most energy-consuming node in the network consumes the lowest power. Full article
Open AccessArticle Maximization of the Supportable Number of Sensors in QoS-Aware Cluster-Based Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4689-4711; doi:10.3390/s140304689
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes a practical low-complexity MAC (medium access control) scheme for quality of service (QoS)-aware and cluster-based underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASN), in which the provision of differentiated QoS is required. In such a network, underwater sensors (U-sensor) in a cluster are
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This paper proposes a practical low-complexity MAC (medium access control) scheme for quality of service (QoS)-aware and cluster-based underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASN), in which the provision of differentiated QoS is required. In such a network, underwater sensors (U-sensor) in a cluster are divided into several classes, each of which has a different QoS requirement. The major problem considered in this paper is the maximization of the number of nodes that a cluster can accommodate while still providing the required QoS for each class in terms of the PDR (packet delivery ratio). In order to address the problem, we first estimate the packet delivery probability (PDP) and use it to formulate an optimization problem to determine the optimal value of the maximum packet retransmissions for each QoS class. The custom greedy and interior-point algorithms are used to find the optimal solutions, which are verified by extensive simulations. The simulation results show that, by solving the proposed optimization problem, the supportable number of underwater sensor nodes can be maximized while satisfying the QoS requirements for each class. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Knitted Strain Sensors: Impact of Design Parameters on Sensing Properties
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4712-4730; doi:10.3390/s140304712
Received: 31 January 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (810 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a study of the sensing properties exhibited by textile-based knitted strain sensors. Knitted sensors were manufactured using flat-bed knitting technology, and electro-mechanical tests were subsequently performed on the specimens using a tensile testing machine to apply strain whilst the sensor
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This paper presents a study of the sensing properties exhibited by textile-based knitted strain sensors. Knitted sensors were manufactured using flat-bed knitting technology, and electro-mechanical tests were subsequently performed on the specimens using a tensile testing machine to apply strain whilst the sensor was incorporated into a Wheatstone bridge arrangement to allow electrical monitoring. The sensing fabrics were manufactured from silver-plated nylon and elastomeric yarns. The component yarns offered similar diameters, bending characteristics and surface friction, but their production parameters differed in respect of the required yarn input tension, the number of conductive courses in the sensing structure and the elastomeric yarn extension characteristics. Experimental results showed that these manufacturing controls significantly affected the sensing properties of the knitted structures such that the gauge factor values, the working range and the linearity of the sensors varied according to the knitted structure. These results confirm that production parameters play a fundamental role in determining the physical behavior and the sensing properties of knitted sensors. It is thus possible to manipulate the sensing properties of knitted sensors and the sensor response may be engineered by varying the production parameters applied to specific designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Synthetic Spectrum Approach for Brillouin Optical Time-Domain Reflectometry
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4731-4754; doi:10.3390/s140304731
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1880 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We propose a novel method to improve the spatial resolution of Brillouin optical time-domain reflectometry (BOTDR), referred to as synthetic BOTDR (S-BOTDR), and experimentally verify the resolution improvements. Due to the uncertainty relation between position and frequency, the spatial resolution of a conventional
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We propose a novel method to improve the spatial resolution of Brillouin optical time-domain reflectometry (BOTDR), referred to as synthetic BOTDR (S-BOTDR), and experimentally verify the resolution improvements. Due to the uncertainty relation between position and frequency, the spatial resolution of a conventional BOTDR system has been limited to about one meter. In S-BOTDR, a synthetic spectrum is obtained by combining four Brillouin spectrums measured with different composite pump lights and different composite low-pass filters. We mathematically show that the resolution limit, in principle, for conventional BOTDR can be surpassed by S-BOTDR and experimentally prove that S-BOTDR attained a 10-cm spatial resolution. To the best of our knowledge, this has never been achieved or reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
Open AccessArticle A Cloud-Assisted Random Linear Network Coding Medium Access Control Protocol for Healthcare Applications
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4806-4830; doi:10.3390/s140304806
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 26 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (897 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Relay sensor networks are often employed in end-to-end healthcare applications to facilitate the information flow between patient worn sensors and the medical data center. Medium access control (MAC) protocols, based on random linear network coding (RLNC), are a novel and suitable approach to
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Relay sensor networks are often employed in end-to-end healthcare applications to facilitate the information flow between patient worn sensors and the medical data center. Medium access control (MAC) protocols, based on random linear network coding (RLNC), are a novel and suitable approach to efficiently handle data dissemination. However, several challenges arise, such as additional delays introduced by the intermediate relay nodes and decoding failures, due to channel errors. In this paper, we tackle these issues by adopting a cloud architecture where the set of relays is connected to a coordinating entity, called cloud manager. We propose a cloud-assisted RLNC-based MAC protocol (CLNC-MAC) and develop a mathematical model for the calculation of the key performance metrics, namely the system throughput, the mean completion time for data delivery and the energy efficiency. We show the importance of central coordination in fully exploiting the gain of RLNC under error-prone channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors Data Fusion for Healthcare)
Open AccessArticle Postbuckling Investigations of Piezoelectric Microdevices Considering Damage Effects
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4876-4898; doi:10.3390/s140304876
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
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Abstract
Piezoelectric material has been emerging as a popular building block in MEMS devices owing to its unique mechanical and electrical material properties. However, the reliability of MEMS devices under buckling deformation environments remains elusive and needs to be further explored. Based on the
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Piezoelectric material has been emerging as a popular building block in MEMS devices owing to its unique mechanical and electrical material properties. However, the reliability of MEMS devices under buckling deformation environments remains elusive and needs to be further explored. Based on the Talreja’s tensor valued internal state damage variables as well as the Helmhotlz free energy of piezoelectric material, a constitutive model of piezoelectric materials with damage is presented. The Kachanvo damage evolution law under in-plane compressive loads is employed. The model is applied to the specific case of the postbuckling analysis of the piezoelectric plate with damage. Then, adopting von Karman’s plate theory, the nonlinear governing equations of the piezoelectric plates with initial geometric deflection including damage effects under in-plane compressive loads are established. By using the finite difference method and the Newmark scheme, the damage evolution for damage accumulation is developed and the finite difference procedure for postbuckling equilibrium path is simultaneously employed. Numerical results show the postbuckling behaviors of initial flat and deflected piezoelectric plates with damage or no damage under different sets of electrical loading conditions. The effects of applied voltage, aspect ratio of plate, thick-span ratio of plate, damage as well as initial geometric deflections on the postbuckling behaviors of the piezoelectric plate are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle A Finger-Shaped Tactile Sensor for Fabric Surfaces Evaluation by 2-Dimensional Active Sliding Touch
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4899-4913; doi:10.3390/s140304899
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sliding tactile perception is a basic function for human beings to determine the mechanical properties of object surfaces and recognize materials. Imitating this process, this paper proposes a novel finger-shaped tactile sensor based on a thin piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film for surface
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Sliding tactile perception is a basic function for human beings to determine the mechanical properties of object surfaces and recognize materials. Imitating this process, this paper proposes a novel finger-shaped tactile sensor based on a thin piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film for surface texture measurement. A parallelogram mechanism is designed to ensure that the sensor applies a constant contact force perpendicular to the object surface, and a 2-dimensional movable mechanical structure is utilized to generate the relative motion at a certain speed between the sensor and the object surface. By controlling the 2-dimensional motion of the finger-shaped sensor along the object surface, small height/depth variation of surface texture changes the output charge of PVDF film then surface texture can be measured. In this paper, the finger-shaped tactile sensor is used to evaluate and classify five different kinds of linen. Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) is utilized to get original attribute data of surface in the frequency domain, and principal component analysis (PCA) is used to compress the attribute data and extract feature information. Finally, low dimensional features are classified by Support Vector Machine (SVM). The experimental results show that this finger-shaped tactile sensor is effective and high accurate for discriminating the five textures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors and Sensing Systems)
Open AccessArticle Exposure Time Optimization for Highly Dynamic Star Trackers
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4914-4931; doi:10.3390/s140304914
Received: 26 January 2014 / Revised: 1 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under highly dynamic conditions, the star-spots on the image sensor of a star tracker move across many pixels during the exposure time, which will reduce star detection sensitivity and increase star location errors. However, this kind of effect can be compensated well by
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Under highly dynamic conditions, the star-spots on the image sensor of a star tracker move across many pixels during the exposure time, which will reduce star detection sensitivity and increase star location errors. However, this kind of effect can be compensated well by setting an appropriate exposure time. This paper focuses on how exposure time affects the star tracker under highly dynamic conditions and how to determine the most appropriate exposure time for this case. Firstly, the effect of exposure time on star detection sensitivity is analyzed by establishing the dynamic star-spot imaging model. Then the star location error is deduced based on the error analysis of the sub-pixel centroiding algorithm. Combining these analyses, the effect of exposure time on attitude accuracy is finally determined. Some simulations are carried out to validate these effects, and the results show that there are different optimal exposure times for different angular velocities of a star tracker with a given configuration. In addition, the results of night sky experiments using a real star tracker agree with the simulation results. The summarized regularities in this paper should prove helpful in the system design and dynamic performance evaluation of the highly dynamic star trackers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Use of Local Intelligence to Reduce Energy Consumption of Wireless Sensor Nodes in Elderly Health Monitoring Systems
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4932-4947; doi:10.3390/s140304932
Received: 17 January 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The percentage of elderly people in European countries is increasing. Such conjuncture affects socio-economic structures and creates demands for resourceful solutions, such as Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), which is a possible methodology to foster health care for elderly people. In this context, sensor-based
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The percentage of elderly people in European countries is increasing. Such conjuncture affects socio-economic structures and creates demands for resourceful solutions, such as Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), which is a possible methodology to foster health care for elderly people. In this context, sensor-based devices play a leading role in surveying, e.g., health conditions of elderly people, to alert care personnel in case of an incident. However, the adoption of such devices strongly depends on the comfort of wearing the devices. In most cases, the bottleneck is the battery lifetime, which impacts the effectiveness of the system. In this paper we propose an approach to reduce the energy consumption of sensors’ by use of local sensors’ intelligence. By increasing the intelligence of the sensor node, a substantial decrease in the necessary communication payload can be achieved. The results show a significant potential to preserve energy and decrease the actual size of the sensor device units. Full article
Open AccessArticle Application of an Instrumental and Computational Approach for Improving the Vibration Behavior of Structural Panels Using a Lightweight Multilayer Composite
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4960-4980; doi:10.3390/s140304960
Received: 16 November 2013 / Revised: 18 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
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Abstract
This work presents a hybrid (experimental-computational) application for improving the vibration behavior of structural components using a lightweight multilayer composite. The vibration behavior of a flat steel plate has been improved by the gluing of a lightweight composite formed by a core of
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This work presents a hybrid (experimental-computational) application for improving the vibration behavior of structural components using a lightweight multilayer composite. The vibration behavior of a flat steel plate has been improved by the gluing of a lightweight composite formed by a core of polyurethane foam and two paper mats placed on its faces. This composite enables the natural frequencies to be increased and the modal density of the plate to be reduced, moving about the natural frequencies of the plate out of excitation range, thereby improving the vibration behavior of the plate. A specific experimental model for measuring the Operating Deflection Shape (ODS) has been developed, which enables an evaluation of the goodness of the natural frequencies obtained with the computational model simulated by the finite element method (FEM). The model of composite + flat steel plate determined by FEM was used to conduct parametric study, and the most influential factors for 1st, 2nd and 3rd mode were identified using a multifactor analysis of variance (Multifactor-ANOVA). The presented results can be easily particularized for other cases, as it may be used in cycles of continuous improvement as well as in the product development at the material, piece, and complete-system levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Enhanced Monocular Visual Odometry Integrated with Laser Distance Meter for Astronaut Navigation
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4981-5003; doi:10.3390/s140304981
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Visual odometry provides astronauts with accurate knowledge of their position and orientation. Wearable astronaut navigation systems should be simple and compact. Therefore, monocular vision methods are preferred over stereo vision systems, commonly used in mobile robots. However, the projective nature of monocular visual
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Visual odometry provides astronauts with accurate knowledge of their position and orientation. Wearable astronaut navigation systems should be simple and compact. Therefore, monocular vision methods are preferred over stereo vision systems, commonly used in mobile robots. However, the projective nature of monocular visual odometry causes a scale ambiguity problem. In this paper, we focus on the integration of a monocular camera with a laser distance meter to solve this problem. The most remarkable advantage of the system is its ability to recover a global trajectory for monocular image sequences by incorporating direct distance measurements. First, we propose a robust and easy-to-use extrinsic calibration method between camera and laser distance meter. Second, we present a navigation scheme that fuses distance measurements with monocular sequences to correct the scale drift. In particular, we explain in detail how to match the projection of the invisible laser pointer on other frames. Our proposed integration architecture is examined using a live dataset collected in a simulated lunar surface environment. The experimental results demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Seluge++: A Secure Over-the-Air Programming Scheme in Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5004-5040; doi:10.3390/s140305004
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 26 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over-the-air dissemination of code updates in wireless sensor networks have been researchers’ point of interest in the last few years, and, more importantly, security challenges toward the remote propagation of code updating have occupied the majority of efforts in this context. Many security
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Over-the-air dissemination of code updates in wireless sensor networks have been researchers’ point of interest in the last few years, and, more importantly, security challenges toward the remote propagation of code updating have occupied the majority of efforts in this context. Many security models have been proposed to establish a balance between the energy consumption and security strength, having their concentration on the constrained nature of wireless sensor network (WSN) nodes. For authentication purposes, most of them have used a Merkle hash tree to avoid using multiple public cryptography operations. These models mostly have assumed an environment in which security has to be at a standard level. Therefore, they have not investigated the tree structure for mission-critical situations in which security has to be at the maximum possible level (e.g., military applications, healthcare). Considering this, we investigate existing security models used in over-the-air dissemination of code updates for possible vulnerabilities, and then, we provide a set of countermeasures, correspondingly named Security Model Requirements. Based on the investigation, we concentrate on Seluge, one of the existing over-the-air programming schemes, and we propose an improved version of it, named Seluge++, which complies with the Security Model Requirements and replaces the use of the inefficient Merkle tree with a novel method. Analytical and simulation results show the improvements in Seluge++ compared to Seluge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Lower Limb Prosthesis through Wearable Sensors and Thermography
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5041-5055; doi:10.3390/s140305041
Received: 15 November 2013 / Revised: 31 January 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (616 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the application of infrared thermography in combination with ambulatory wearable monitoring of temperature and relative humidity, to assess the residual limb-to-liner interface in lower-limb prosthesis users. Five male traumatic transtibial amputees were involved, who reported no problems or
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This study aimed to explore the application of infrared thermography in combination with ambulatory wearable monitoring of temperature and relative humidity, to assess the residual limb-to-liner interface in lower-limb prosthesis users. Five male traumatic transtibial amputees were involved, who reported no problems or discomfort while wearing the prosthesis. A thermal imaging camera was used to measure superficial thermal distribution maps of the stump. A wearable system for recording the temperature and relative humidity in up to four anatomical points was developed, tested in vitro and integrated with the measurement set. The parallel application of an infrared camera and wearable sensors provided complementary information. Four main Regions of Interest were identified on the stump (inferior patella, lateral/medial epicondyles, tibial tuberosity), with good inter-subject repeatability. An average increase of 20% in hot areas (P < 0.05) is shown after walking compared to resting conditions. The sensors inside the cuff did not provoke any discomfort during recordings and provide an inside of the thermal exchanges while walking and recording the temperature increase (a regime value is ~+1.1 ± 0.7 °C) and a more significant one (~+4.1 ± 2.3%) in humidity because of the sweat produced. This study has also begun the development of a reference data set for optimal socket/liner-stump construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Gait Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Subpixelic Measurement of Large 1D Displacements: Principle, Processing Algorithms, Performances and Software
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5056-5073; doi:10.3390/s140305056
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (7912 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a visual measurement method able to sense 1D rigid body displacements with very high resolutions, large ranges and high processing rates. Sub-pixelic resolution is obtained thanks to a structured pattern placed on the target. The pattern is made of twin
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This paper presents a visual measurement method able to sense 1D rigid body displacements with very high resolutions, large ranges and high processing rates. Sub-pixelic resolution is obtained thanks to a structured pattern placed on the target. The pattern is made of twin periodic grids with slightly different periods. The periodic frames are suited for Fourier-like phase calculations—leading to high resolution—while the period difference allows the removal of phase ambiguity and thus a high range-to-resolution ratio. The paper presents the measurement principle as well as the processing algorithms (source files are provided as supplementary materials). The theoretical and experimental performances are also discussed. The processing time is around 3 µs for a line of 780 pixels, which means that the measurement rate is mostly limited by the image acquisition frame rate. A 3-σ repeatability of 5 nm is experimentally demonstrated which has to be compared with the 168 µm measurement range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Energy-Efficient Boarder Node Medium Access Control Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5074-5117; doi:10.3390/s140305074
Received: 5 September 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper introduces the design, implementation, and performance analysis of the scalable and mobility-aware hybrid protocol named boarder node medium access control (BN-MAC) for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), which leverages the characteristics of scheduled and contention-based MAC protocols. Like contention-based MAC protocols, BN-MAC
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This paper introduces the design, implementation, and performance analysis of the scalable and mobility-aware hybrid protocol named boarder node medium access control (BN-MAC) for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), which leverages the characteristics of scheduled and contention-based MAC protocols. Like contention-based MAC protocols, BN-MAC achieves high channel utilization, network adaptability under heavy traffic and mobility, and low latency and overhead. Like schedule-based MAC protocols, BN-MAC reduces idle listening time, emissions, and collision handling at low cost at one-hop neighbor nodes and achieves high channel utilization under heavy network loads. BN-MAC is particularly designed for region-wise WSNs. Each region is controlled by a boarder node (BN), which is of paramount importance. The BN coordinates with the remaining nodes within and beyond the region. Unlike other hybrid MAC protocols, BN-MAC incorporates three promising models that further reduce the energy consumption, idle listening time, overhearing, and congestion to improve the throughput and reduce the latency. One of the models used with BN-MAC is automatic active and sleep (AAS), which reduces the ideal listening time. When nodes finish their monitoring process, AAS lets them automatically go into the sleep state to avoid the idle listening state. Another model used in BN-MAC is the intelligent decision-making (IDM) model, which helps the nodes sense the nature of the environment. Based on the nature of the environment, the nodes decide whether to use the active or passive mode. This decision power of the nodes further reduces energy consumption because the nodes turn off the radio of the transceiver in the passive mode. The third model is the least-distance smart neighboring search (LDSNS), which determines the shortest efficient path to the one-hop neighbor and also provides cross-layering support to handle the mobility of the nodes. The BN-MAC also incorporates a semi-synchronous feature with a low duty cycle, which is advantageous for reducing the latency and energy consumption for several WSN application areas to improve the throughput. BN-MAC uses a unique window slot size to enhance the contention resolution issue for improved throughput. BN-MAC also prefers to communicate within a one-hop destination using Anycast, which maintains load balancing to maintain network reliability. BN-MAC is introduced with the goal of supporting four major application areas: monitoring and behavioral areas, controlling natural disasters, human-centric applications, and tracking mobility and static home automation devices from remote places. These application areas require a congestion-free mobility-supported MAC protocol to guarantee reliable data delivery. BN-MAC was evaluated using network simulator-2 (ns2) and compared with other hybrid MAC protocols, such as Zebra medium access control (Z-MAC), advertisement-based MAC (A-MAC), Speck-MAC, adaptive duty cycle SMAC (ADC-SMAC), and low-power real-time medium access control (LPR-MAC). The simulation results indicate that BN-MAC is a robust and energy-efficient protocol that outperforms other hybrid MAC protocols in the context of quality of service (QoS) parameters, such as energy consumption, latency, throughput, channel access time, successful delivery rate, coverage efficiency, and average duty cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle A Computational Model for Path Loss in Wireless Sensor Networks in Orchard Environments
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5118-5135; doi:10.3390/s140305118
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2076 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A computational model for radio wave propagation through tree orchards is presented. Trees are modeled as collections of branches, geometrically approximated by cylinders, whose dimensions are determined on the basis of measurements in a cherry orchard. Tree canopies are modeled as dielectric spheres
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A computational model for radio wave propagation through tree orchards is presented. Trees are modeled as collections of branches, geometrically approximated by cylinders, whose dimensions are determined on the basis of measurements in a cherry orchard. Tree canopies are modeled as dielectric spheres of appropriate size. A single row of trees was modeled by creating copies of a representative tree model positioned on top of a rectangular, lossy dielectric slab that simulated the ground. The complete scattering model, including soil and trees, enhanced by periodicity conditions corresponding to the array, was characterized via a commercial computational software tool for simulating the wave propagation by means of the Finite Element Method. The attenuation of the simulated signal was compared to measurements taken in the cherry orchard, using two ZigBee receiver-transmitter modules. Near the top of the tree canopies (at 3 m), the predicted attenuation was close to the measured one—just slightly underestimated. However, at 1.5 m the solver underestimated the measured attenuation significantly, especially when leaves were present and, as distances grew longer. This suggests that the effects of scattering from neighboring tree rows need to be incorporated into the model. However, complex geometries result in ill conditioned linear systems that affect the solver’s convergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Quorum Sensing Activity of Serratia fonticola Strain RB-25 Isolated from an Ex-landfill Site
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5136-5146; doi:10.3390/s140305136
Received: 16 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (333 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quorum sensing is a unique bacterial communication system which permits bacteria to synchronize their behaviour in accordance with the population density. The operation of this communication network involves the use of diffusible autoinducer molecules, termed N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). Serratia spp. are well
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Quorum sensing is a unique bacterial communication system which permits bacteria to synchronize their behaviour in accordance with the population density. The operation of this communication network involves the use of diffusible autoinducer molecules, termed N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). Serratia spp. are well known for their use of quorum sensing to regulate the expression of various genes. In this study, we aimed to characterized the AHL production of a bacterium designated as strain RB-25 isolated from a former domestic waste landfill site. It was identified as Serratia fonticola using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry analysis and this was confirmed by 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing. High resolution triple quadrupole liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of S. fonticola strain RB-25 spent culture supernatant indicated the existence of three AHLs namely: N-butyryl-L-homoserine lactone (C4-HSL), N-hexanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C6-HSL) and N-(3-oxohexanoyl) homoserine-lactone (3-oxo-C6 HSL). This is the first report of the production of these AHLs in S. fonticola. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle Time-Frequency Methods for Structural Health Monitoring
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5147-5173; doi:10.3390/s140305147
Received: 14 November 2013 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1976 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Detection of early warning signals for the imminent failure of large and complex engineered structures is a daunting challenge with many open research questions. In this paper we report on novel ways to perform Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of flood protection systems (levees,
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Detection of early warning signals for the imminent failure of large and complex engineered structures is a daunting challenge with many open research questions. In this paper we report on novel ways to perform Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of flood protection systems (levees, earthen dikes and concrete dams) using sensor data. We present a robust data-driven anomaly detection method that combines time-frequency feature extraction, using wavelet analysis and phase shift, with one-sided classification techniques to identify the onset of failure anomalies in real-time sensor measurements. The methodology has been successfully tested at three operational levees. We detected a dam leakage in the retaining dam (Germany) and “strange” behaviour of sensors installed in a Boston levee (UK) and a Rhine levee (Germany). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle A New Direct Single-Molecule Observation Method for DNA Synthesis Reaction Using Fluorescent Replication Protein A
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5174-5182; doi:10.3390/s140305174
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using a single-stranded region tracing system, single-molecule DNA synthesis reactions were directly observed in microflow channels. The direct single-molecule observations of DNA synthesis were labeled with a fusion protein consisting of the ssDNA-binding domain of a 70-kDa subunit of replication protein A and
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Using a single-stranded region tracing system, single-molecule DNA synthesis reactions were directly observed in microflow channels. The direct single-molecule observations of DNA synthesis were labeled with a fusion protein consisting of the ssDNA-binding domain of a 70-kDa subunit of replication protein A and enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (RPA-YFP). Our method was suitable for measurement of DNA synthesis reaction rates with control of the ssλDNA form as stretched ssλDNA (+flow) and random coiled ssλDNA (−flow) via buffer flow. Sequentially captured photographs demonstrated that the synthesized region of an ssλDNA molecule monotonously increased with the reaction time. The DNA synthesis reaction rate of random coiled ssλDNA (−flow) was nearly the same as that measured in a previous ensemble molecule experiment (52 vs. 50 bases/s). This suggested that the random coiled form of DNA (−flow) reflected the DNA form in the bulk experiment in the case of DNA synthesis reactions. In addition, the DNA synthesis reaction rate of stretched ssλDNA (+flow) was approximately 75% higher than that of random coiled ssλDNA (−flow) (91 vs. 52 bases/s). The DNA synthesis reaction rate of the Klenow fragment (3’-5’exo–) was promoted by DNA stretching with buffer flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Single Biomolecule Detection)
Open AccessArticle Design and Experimentation with Sandwich Microstructure for Catalytic Combustion-Type Gas Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5183-5197; doi:10.3390/s140305183
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 16 February 2014 / Accepted: 25 February 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (517 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The traditional handmade catalytic combustion gas sensor has some problems such as a pairing difficulty, poor consistency, high power consumption, and not being interchangeable. To address these issues, integrated double catalytic combustion of alcohol gas sensor was designed and manufactured using silicon micro-electro-mechanical
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The traditional handmade catalytic combustion gas sensor has some problems such as a pairing difficulty, poor consistency, high power consumption, and not being interchangeable. To address these issues, integrated double catalytic combustion of alcohol gas sensor was designed and manufactured using silicon micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. The temperature field of the sensor is analyzed using the ANSYS finite element analysis method. In this work, the silicon oxide-PECVD-oxidation technique is used to manufacture a SiO2-Si3N2-SiO2 microstructure carrier with a sandwich structure, while wet etching silicon is used to form a beam structure to reduce the heat consumption. Thin-film technology is adopted to manufacture the platinum-film sensitive resistance. Nano Al2O3-ZrO-ThO is coated to format the sensor carrier, and the sensitive unit is dipped in a Pt-Pd catalyst solution to form the catalytic sensitive bridge arm. Meanwhile the uncoated catalyst carrier is considered as the reference unit, realizing an integrated chip based on a micro double bridge and forming sensors. The lines of the Pt thin-film resistance have been observed with an electronic microscope. The compensation of the sensitive material carriers and compensation materials have been analyzed using an energy spectrum. The results show that the alcohol sensor can detect a volume fraction between 0 and 4,500 × 10−6 and has good linear output characteristic. The temperature ranges from −20 to +40 °C. The humidity ranges from 30% to 85% RH. The zero output of the sensor is less than ±2.0% FS. The power consumption is ≤0.2 W, and both the response and recovery time are approximately 20 s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors - 2013)
Open AccessCommunication A Polarization Control System for Intensity-Resolved Guided Mode Resonance Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5198-5206; doi:10.3390/s140305198
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, a polarization-control setup for intensity-resolved guided mode resonance sensors is proposed and demonstrated experimentally. The experimental results are in good agreement with the simulation data based on rigorous coupled wave approach calculations. The proposed intensity-resolved measurement setup transfers polarization ellipses,
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In this study, a polarization-control setup for intensity-resolved guided mode resonance sensors is proposed and demonstrated experimentally. The experimental results are in good agreement with the simulation data based on rigorous coupled wave approach calculations. The proposed intensity-resolved measurement setup transfers polarization ellipses, which are produced from guided mode resonance to a linear polarization state under a buffer solution condition, and then suppresses the signals to dark using a polarization-control set. Hence, any changes in the refractive index results in an increase in the intensity signals. Furthermore, no wavelength-resolved or angular-resolved measurement is needed in this scheme. According to the experimental results, a wide linear detection range of 0.014 refractive index units is achieved and the limit of detection is 1.62E-4 RIU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Force Sensor Attachable to Thin Fiberscopes/Endoscopes Utilizing High Elasticity Fabric
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5207-5220; doi:10.3390/s140305207
Received: 6 December 2013 / Revised: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An endoscope/fiberscope is a minimally invasive tool used for directly observing tissues in areas deep inside the human body where access is limited. However, this tool only yields visual information. If force feedback information were also available, endoscope/fiberscope operators would be able to
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An endoscope/fiberscope is a minimally invasive tool used for directly observing tissues in areas deep inside the human body where access is limited. However, this tool only yields visual information. If force feedback information were also available, endoscope/fiberscope operators would be able to detect indurated areas that are visually hard to recognize. Furthermore, obtaining such feedback information from tissues in areas where collecting visual information is a challenge would be highly useful. The major obstacle is that such force information is difficult to acquire. This paper presents a novel force sensing system that can be attached to a very thin fiberscope/endoscope. To ensure a small size, high resolution, easy sterilization, and low cost, the proposed force visualization–based system uses a highly elastic material—panty stocking fabric. The paper also presents the methodology for deriving the force value from the captured image. The system has a resolution of less than 0.01 N and sensitivity of greater than 600 pixels/N within the force range of 0–0.2 N. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Olfaction-Inspired Sensing Using a Sensor System with Molecular Recognition and Optimal Classification Ability for Comprehensive Detection of Gases
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5221-5238; doi:10.3390/s140305221
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 20 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
PDF Full-text (1223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we examined the comprehensive detection of numerous volatile molecules based on the olfactory information constructed by using olfaction-inspired sensor technology. The sensor system can simultaneously detect multiple odors by the separation and condensation ability of molecularly imprinted filtering adsorbents (MIFAs),
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In this study, we examined the comprehensive detection of numerous volatile molecules based on the olfactory information constructed by using olfaction-inspired sensor technology. The sensor system can simultaneously detect multiple odors by the separation and condensation ability of molecularly imprinted filtering adsorbents (MIFAs), where a MIP filter with a molecular sieve was deposited on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate. The adsorption properties of MIFAs were evaluated using the solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results demonstrated that the system embedded with MIFAs possesses high sensitivity and specific selectivity. The digitization and comprehensive classification of odors were accomplished by using artificial odor maps constructed through this system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle A Constant Speed Changing Rate and Constant Turn Rate Model for Maneuvering Target Tracking
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5239-5253; doi:10.3390/s140305239
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 1 March 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 13 March 2014
PDF Full-text (338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper addresses the problem of modeling maneuvering target motion in tracking applications. A target trajectory can typically be divided into segments with different dynamic motion modes, such as a constant velocity motion, a constant acceleration motion or a constant turn rate motion.
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This paper addresses the problem of modeling maneuvering target motion in tracking applications. A target trajectory can typically be divided into segments with different dynamic motion modes, such as a constant velocity motion, a constant acceleration motion or a constant turn rate motion. To integrate the different motion modes into a uniform model, a Constant Speed Changing Rate and Constant Turn Rate (CSCRCTR) model is proposed. A new state vector is defined, and the state transition function is derived. Based on the CSCRCTR model, we present a tracking algorithm using a particle filter. The performances of the CSCRCTR model, the uniform model (UM) and the interacting multiple model (IMM) for tracking a simulated maneuvering target are compared and show that the CSCRCTR model maintains a good consistency for different types of motions and achieves better accuracy than UM and IMM when maneuvers occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Research on the Signal Process of a Bell-Shaped Vibratory Angular Rate Gyro
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5254-5277; doi:10.3390/s140305254
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 13 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (14098 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro, which is inspired by the Chinese traditional bell, is a kind of axisymmetric shell resonator gyroscope. Its sensitive element is a vibratory-like Chinese traditional bell, using a piezoelectric element on the wall of the vibrator to detect
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A bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro, which is inspired by the Chinese traditional bell, is a kind of axisymmetric shell resonator gyroscope. Its sensitive element is a vibratory-like Chinese traditional bell, using a piezoelectric element on the wall of the vibrator to detect the standing wave’s precession to solve the input angular rate. This work mainly studies the circuit system of a bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro. It discusses the process of circuit system design, analysis and experiment, in detail, providing the foundation to develop a bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro. Since the bell-shaped resonator’s curved structure has the characteristics of large noise in the piezoelectric signal and large harmonics, this paper analyzes its working and signal detection method, then gives the whole plan of the circuit system, including the drive module, the detection module and the control loop. It also studies every part of the whole system, gives a detailed design and analysis process and proves part of the circuit system using digital simulation. At the end of the article, the test result of the circuit system shows that it can remove the disadvantages of the curved structure having large noise in the piezoelectric signal and large harmonics and is more effective at solving the input angular rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Infrared Sensor-Based Temperature Control for Domestic Induction Cooktops
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5278-5295; doi:10.3390/s140305278
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a precise real-time temperature control system based on infrared (IR) thermometry for domestic induction cooking is presented. The temperature in the vessel constitutes the control variable of the closed-loop power control system implemented in a commercial induction cooker. A proportional-integral
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In this paper, a precise real-time temperature control system based on infrared (IR) thermometry for domestic induction cooking is presented. The temperature in the vessel constitutes the control variable of the closed-loop power control system implemented in a commercial induction cooker. A proportional-integral controller is applied to establish the output power level in order to reach the target temperature. An optical system and a signal conditioning circuit have been implemented. For the signal processing a microprocessor with 12-bit ADC and a sampling rate of 1 Ksps has been used. The analysis of the contributions to the infrared radiation permits the definition of a procedure to estimate the temperature of the vessel with a maximum temperature error of 5 °C in the range between 60 and 250 °C for a known cookware emissivity. A simple and necessary calibration procedure with a black-body sample is presented. Full article
Open AccessArticle Calibration between Color Camera and 3D LIDAR Instruments with a Polygonal Planar Board
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5333-5353; doi:10.3390/s140305333
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 17 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1538 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Calibration between color camera and 3D Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) equipment is an essential process for data fusion. The goal of this paper is to improve the calibration accuracy between a camera and a 3D LIDAR. In particular, we are interested in
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Calibration between color camera and 3D Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) equipment is an essential process for data fusion. The goal of this paper is to improve the calibration accuracy between a camera and a 3D LIDAR. In particular, we are interested in calibrating a low resolution 3D LIDAR with a relatively small number of vertical sensors. Our goal is achieved by employing a new methodology for the calibration board, which exploits 2D-3D correspondences. The 3D corresponding points are estimated from the scanned laser points on the polygonal planar board with adjacent sides. Since the lengths of adjacent sides are known, we can estimate the vertices of the board as a meeting point of two projected sides of the polygonal board. The estimated vertices from the range data and those detected from the color image serve as the corresponding points for the calibration. Experiments using a low-resolution LIDAR with 32 sensors show robust results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Maestro: An Orchestration Framework for Large-Scale WSN Simulations
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5392-5414; doi:10.3390/s140305392
Received: 25 December 2013 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
PDF Full-text (1595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Contemporary wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have evolved into large and complex systems and are one of the main technologies used in cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things. Extensive research on WSNs has led to the development of diverse solutions at all levels
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Contemporary wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have evolved into large and complex systems and are one of the main technologies used in cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things. Extensive research on WSNs has led to the development of diverse solutions at all levels of software architecture, including protocol stacks for communications. This multitude of solutions is due to the limited computational power and restrictions on energy consumption that must be accounted for when designing typical WSN systems. It is therefore challenging to develop, test and validate even small WSN applications, and this process can easily consume significant resources. Simulations are inexpensive tools for testing, verifying and generally experimenting with new technologies in a repeatable fashion. Consequently, as the size of the systems to be tested increases, so does the need for large-scale simulations. This article describes a tool called Maestro for the automation of large-scale simulation and investigates the feasibility of using cloud computing facilities for such task. Using tools that are built into Maestro, we demonstrate a feasible approach for benchmarking cloud infrastructure in order to identify cloud Virtual Machine (VM)instances that provide an optimal balance of performance and cost for a given simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Three Dimensional Nickel Cobalt Oxide Nanoneedles on Nickel Foam, Their Characterization and Glucose Sensing Application
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5415-5425; doi:10.3390/s140305415
Received: 25 December 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (539 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present work, NiCo2O4 nanostructures are fabricated in three dimensions (3D) on nickel foam by the hydrothermal method. The nanomaterial was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The nanostructures exhibit nanoneedle-like
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In the present work, NiCo2O4 nanostructures are fabricated in three dimensions (3D) on nickel foam by the hydrothermal method. The nanomaterial was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The nanostructures exhibit nanoneedle-like morphology grown in 3D with good crystalline quality. The nanomaterial is composed of nickel, cobalt and oxygen atoms. By using the favorable porosity of the nanomaterial and the substrate itself, a sensitive glucose sensor is proposed by immobilizing glucose oxidase. The presented glucose sensor has shown linear response over a wide range of glucose concentrations from 0.005 mM to 15 mM with a sensitivity of 91.34 mV/decade and a fast response time of less than 10 s. The NiCo2O4 nanostructures-based glucose sensor has shown excellent reproducibility, repeatability and stability. The sensor showed negligible response to the normal concentrations of common interferents with glucose sensing, including uric acid, dopamine and ascorbic acid. All these favorable advantages of the fabricated glucose sensor suggest that it may have high potential for the determination of glucose in biological samples, food and other related areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Experimental Investigations on Airborne Gravimetry Based on Compressed Sensing
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5426-5440; doi:10.3390/s140305426
Received: 2 January 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
PDF Full-text (356 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gravity surveys are an important research topic in geophysics and geodynamics. This paper investigates a method for high accuracy large scale gravity anomaly data reconstruction. Based on the airborne gravimetry technology, a flight test was carried out in China with the strap-down airborne
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Gravity surveys are an important research topic in geophysics and geodynamics. This paper investigates a method for high accuracy large scale gravity anomaly data reconstruction. Based on the airborne gravimetry technology, a flight test was carried out in China with the strap-down airborne gravimeter (SGA-WZ) developed by the Laboratory of Inertial Technology of the National University of Defense Technology. Taking into account the sparsity of airborne gravimetry by the discrete Fourier transform (DFT), this paper proposes a method for gravity anomaly data reconstruction using the theory of compressed sensing (CS). The gravity anomaly data reconstruction is an ill-posed inverse problem, which can be transformed into a sparse optimization problem. This paper uses the zero-norm as the objective function and presents a greedy algorithm called Orthogonal Matching Pursuit (OMP) to solve the corresponding minimization problem. The test results have revealed that the compressed sampling rate is approximately 14%, the standard deviation of the reconstruction error by OMP is 0.03 mGal and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is 56.48 dB. In contrast, the standard deviation of the reconstruction error by the existing nearest-interpolation method (NIPM) is 0.15 mGal and the SNR is 42.29 dB. These results have shown that the OMP algorithm can reconstruct the gravity anomaly data with higher accuracy and fewer measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Small Private Key MQPKS on an Embedded Microprocessor
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5441-5458; doi:10.3390/s140305441
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
PDF Full-text (976 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multivariate quadratic (MQ) cryptography requires the use of long public and private keys to ensure a sufficient security level, but this is not favorable to embedded systems, which have limited system resources. Recently, various approaches to MQ cryptography using reduced public
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Multivariate quadratic (MQ) cryptography requires the use of long public and private keys to ensure a sufficient security level, but this is not favorable to embedded systems, which have limited system resources. Recently, various approaches to MQ cryptography using reduced public keys have been studied. As a result of this, at CHES2011 (Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, 2011), a small public key MQ scheme, was proposed, and its feasible implementation on an embedded microprocessor was reported at CHES2012. However, the implementation of a small private key MQ scheme was not reported. For efficient implementation, random number generators can contribute to reduce the key size, but the cost of using a random number generator is much more complex than computing MQ on modern microprocessors. Therefore, no feasible results have been reported on embedded microprocessors. In this paper, we propose a feasible implementation on embedded microprocessors for a small private key MQ scheme using a pseudo-random number generator and hash function based on a block-cipher exploiting a hardware Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) accelerator. To speed up the performance, we apply various implementation methods, including parallel computation, on-the-fly computation, optimized logarithm representation, vinegar monomials and assembly programming. The proposed method reduces the private key size by about 99.9% and boosts signature generation and verification by 5.78% and 12.19% than previous results in CHES2012. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Fibre Optic System for Monitoring Rotational Seismic Phenomena
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5459-5469; doi:10.3390/s140305459
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We outline the development and the application in a field test of the Autonomous Fibre-Optic Rotational Seismograph (AFORS), which utilizes the Sagnac effect for a direct measurement of the seismic-origin rotations of the ground. The main advantage of AFORS is its complete insensitivity
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We outline the development and the application in a field test of the Autonomous Fibre-Optic Rotational Seismograph (AFORS), which utilizes the Sagnac effect for a direct measurement of the seismic-origin rotations of the ground. The main advantage of AFORS is its complete insensitivity to linear motions, as well as a direct measurement of rotational components emitted during seismic events. The presented system contains a special autonomous signal processing unit which optimizes its operation for the measurement of rotation motions, whereas the applied telemetric system based on the Internet allows for an AFORS remote control. The laboratory investigation of such two devices indicated that they keep an accuracy of no less than 5.1 × 10−9 to 5.5 × 10−8 rad/s in the detection frequency band from 0.83~106.15 Hz and protect linear changes of sensitivity in the above bandpass. Some experimental results of an AFORS-1 application for a continuous monitoring of the rotational events in the Książ (Poland) seismological observatory are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
Open AccessArticle Gait Event Detection during Stair Walking Using a Rate Gyroscope
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5470-5485; doi:10.3390/s140305470
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 18 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gyroscopes have been proposed as sensors for ambulatory gait analysis and functional electrical stimulation systems. These applications often require detection of the initial contact (IC) of the foot with the floor and/or final contact or foot off (FO) from the floor during outdoor
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Gyroscopes have been proposed as sensors for ambulatory gait analysis and functional electrical stimulation systems. These applications often require detection of the initial contact (IC) of the foot with the floor and/or final contact or foot off (FO) from the floor during outdoor walking. Previous investigations have reported the use of a single gyroscope placed on the shank for detection of IC and FO on level ground and incline walking. This paper describes the evaluation of a gyroscope placed on the shank for determination of IC and FO in subjects ascending and descending a set of stairs. Performance was compared with a reference pressure measurement system. The absolute mean difference between the gyroscope and the reference was less than 45 ms for IC and better than 135 ms for FO for both activities. Detection success was over 93%. These results provide preliminary evidence supporting the use of a gyroscope for gait event detection when walking up and down stairs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Gait Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Improved Algorithms for the Classification of Rough Rice Using a Bionic Electronic Nose Based on PCA and the Wilks Distribution
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5486-5501; doi:10.3390/s140305486
Received: 11 January 2014 / Revised: 22 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (880 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is one of the main methods used for electronic nose pattern recognition. However, poor classification performance is common in classification and recognition when using regular PCA. This paper aims to improve the classification performance of regular PCA based on
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Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is one of the main methods used for electronic nose pattern recognition. However, poor classification performance is common in classification and recognition when using regular PCA. This paper aims to improve the classification performance of regular PCA based on the existing Wilks ?-statistic (i.e., combined PCA with the Wilks distribution). The improved algorithms, which combine regular PCA with the Wilks ?-statistic, were developed after analysing the functionality and defects of PCA. Verification tests were conducted using a PEN3 electronic nose. The collected samples consisted of the volatiles of six varieties of rough rice (Zhongxiang1, Xiangwan13, Yaopingxiang, WufengyouT025, Pin 36, and Youyou122), grown in same area and season. The first two principal components used as analysis vectors cannot perform the rough rice varieties classification task based on a regular PCA. Using the improved algorithms, which combine the regular PCA with the Wilks ?-statistic, many different principal components were selected as analysis vectors. The set of data points of the Mahalanobis distance between each of the varieties of rough rice was selected to estimate the performance of the classification. The result illustrates that the rough rice varieties classification task is achieved well using the improved algorithm. A Probabilistic Neural Networks (PNN) was also established to test the effectiveness of the improved algorithms. The first two principal components (namely PC1 and PC2) and the first and fifth principal component (namely PC1 and PC5) were selected as the inputs of PNN for the classification of the six rough rice varieties. The results indicate that the classification accuracy based on the improved algorithm was improved by 6.67% compared to the results of the regular method. These results prove the effectiveness of using the Wilks ?-statistic to improve the classification accuracy of the regular PCA approach. The results also indicate that the electronic nose provides a non-destructive and rapid classification method for rough rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors - 2013)
Open AccessArticle Analytical Calculation of Sensing Parameters on Carbon Nanotube Based Gas Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5502-5515; doi:10.3390/s140305502
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (775 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) are generally nano-scale tubes comprising a network of carbon atoms in a cylindrical setting that compared with silicon counterparts present outstanding characteristics such as high mechanical strength, high sensing capability and large surface-to-volume ratio. These characteristics, in addition to the
[...] Read more.
Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) are generally nano-scale tubes comprising a network of carbon atoms in a cylindrical setting that compared with silicon counterparts present outstanding characteristics such as high mechanical strength, high sensing capability and large surface-to-volume ratio. These characteristics, in addition to the fact that CNTs experience changes in their electrical conductance when exposed to different gases, make them appropriate candidates for use in sensing/measuring applications such as gas detection devices. In this research, a model for a Field Effect Transistor (FET)-based structure has been developed as a platform for a gas detection sensor in which the CNT conductance change resulting from the chemical reaction between NH3 and CNT has been employed to model the sensing mechanism with proposed sensing parameters. The research implements the same FET-based structure as in the work of Peng et al. on nanotube-based NH3 gas detection. With respect to this conductance change, the I–V characteristic of the CNT is investigated. Finally, a comparative study shows satisfactory agreement between the proposed model and the experimental data from the mentioned research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Samba: A Real-Time Motion Capture System Using Wireless Camera Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5516-5535; doi:10.3390/s140305516
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing interest in 3D content following the recent developments in 3D movies, 3D TVs and 3D smartphones. However, 3D content creation is still dominated by professionals, due to the high cost of 3D motion capture instruments. The availability of a
[...] Read more.
There is a growing interest in 3D content following the recent developments in 3D movies, 3D TVs and 3D smartphones. However, 3D content creation is still dominated by professionals, due to the high cost of 3D motion capture instruments. The availability of a low-cost motion capture system will promote 3D content generation by general users and accelerate the growth of the 3D market. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a real-time motion capture system based on a portable low-cost wireless camera sensor network. The proposed system performs motion capture based on the data-driven 3D human pose reconstruction method to reduce the computation time and to improve the 3D reconstruction accuracy. The system can reconstruct accurate 3D full-body poses at 16 frames per second using only eight markers on the subject’s body. The performance of the motion capture system is evaluated extensively in experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Adaptive Preheating Duration Control for Low-Power Ambient Air Quality Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5536-5551; doi:10.3390/s140305536
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 8 March 2014 / Accepted: 9 March 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
PDF Full-text (639 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ceramic gas sensors used for measuring ambient air quality have features suitable for practical applications such as healthcare and air quality management, but have a major drawback—large power consumption to preheat the sensor for accurate measurements. In this paper; the adaptive preheating duration
[...] Read more.
Ceramic gas sensors used for measuring ambient air quality have features suitable for practical applications such as healthcare and air quality management, but have a major drawback—large power consumption to preheat the sensor for accurate measurements. In this paper; the adaptive preheating duration control (APC) method is proposed to reduce the power consumption of ambient air quality sensor networks. APC reduces the duration of unnecessary preheating, thereby alleviating power consumption. Furthermore, the APC can allow systems to meet user requirements such as accuracy and periodicity factor when detecting the concentration of a target gas. A performance evaluation of the power consumption of gas sensors is conducted with various user requirements and factors that affect the preheating duration of the gas sensor. This shows that the power consumption of the APC is lower than that of continuous power supply methods and constant power supply/cutoff methods. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimates of Minor Ocean Tide Loading Displacement and Its Impact on Continuous GPS Coordinate Time Series
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5552-5572; doi:10.3390/s140305552
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4456 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The site displacement due to ocean tidal loading is regarded as one of the largest uncertainties in precise geodetic positioning measurements, among which the effect of minor ocean tides (MOT), except for the 11 main tidal constituents, are sometimes neglected in routine precise
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The site displacement due to ocean tidal loading is regarded as one of the largest uncertainties in precise geodetic positioning measurements, among which the effect of minor ocean tides (MOT), except for the 11 main tidal constituents, are sometimes neglected in routine precise global positioning system (GPS) data processing. We find that MOT can cause large vertical loading displacements with peak-to-peak variations reaching more than 8 mm at coastal/island stations. The impact of MOT on the 24-hour GPS solution is slightly larger than the magnitude of MOT loading itself, with peak-to-peak displacement variation at about 10 mm for the horizontal and 30 mm for the vertical components. We also find that the vertical velocity of all the selected stations in the Southwest Pacific was reduced by more than 10% after considering the MOT effect, while stations with weighted root mean square reduced data account for 62%, 59%, and 36% for the up, east, and north components respectively, in particular for most coastal/island stations. Furthermore, MOT correction could significantly reduce the annual signal of the global stacked east component, the near fortnightly and the long-term periodic signals in the up component. The power of some anomalous harmonics of 1.04 cycle per year is also decreased to some extent. These results further proved the benefits of MOT correction in precise GPS data processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Improving Data Quality with an Accumulated Reputation Model in Participatory Sensing Systems
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5573-5594; doi:10.3390/s140305573
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ubiquity of mobile devices brings forth a sensing paradigm, participatory sensing, to collect and interpret sensory information from the environment. Participants join in multifarious sensing tasks and share their data. The sensing result can be obtained in light of shared data. It
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The ubiquity of mobile devices brings forth a sensing paradigm, participatory sensing, to collect and interpret sensory information from the environment. Participants join in multifarious sensing tasks and share their data. The sensing result can be obtained in light of shared data. It is not uncommon that some corrupted data is provided by participants, which makes sensing result unreliable accordingly. To address this nontrivial issue, we proposed the accumulated reputation model (ARM) to improve the accuracy of the sensing result. In ARM, participants’ reputation will be computed and accumulated based on their sensing data. The sensing data from reputable participants make higher contributions to the sensing result. ARM performs well on calculating accurate sensing results, even in extreme scenarios, where there are many inexperienced or malicious participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle On the Acoustic Filtering of the Pipe and Sensor in a Buried Plastic Water Pipe and its Effect on Leak Detection: An Experimental Investigation
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5595-5610; doi:10.3390/s140305595
Received: 25 November 2013 / Revised: 23 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Acoustic techniques have been used for many years to find and locate leaks in buried water distribution systems. Hydrophones and accelerometers are typically used as sensors. Although geophones could be used as well, they are not generally used for leak detection. A simple
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Acoustic techniques have been used for many years to find and locate leaks in buried water distribution systems. Hydrophones and accelerometers are typically used as sensors. Although geophones could be used as well, they are not generally used for leak detection. A simple acoustic model of the pipe and the sensors has been proposed previously by some of the authors of this paper, and their model was used to explain some of the features observed in measurements. However, simultaneous measurements of a leak using all three sensor-types in controlled conditions for plastic pipes has not been reported to-date and hence they have not yet been compared directly. This paper fills that gap in knowledge. A set of measurements was made on a bespoke buried plastic water distribution pipe test rig to validate the previously reported analytical model. There is qualitative agreement between the experimental results and the model predictions in terms of the differing filtering properties of the pipe-sensor systems. A quality measure for the data is also presented, which is the ratio of the bandwidth over which the analysis is carried out divided by the centre frequency of this bandwidth. Based on this metric, the accelerometer was found to be the best sensor to use for the test rig described in this paper. However, for a system in which the distance between the sensors is large or the attenuation factor of the system is high, then it would be advantageous to use hydrophones, even though they are invasive sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Development of an Electrochemical Sensing Technique for Rapid Genotyping of Hepatitis B Virus
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5611-5621; doi:10.3390/s140305611
Received: 8 July 2013 / Revised: 22 July 2013 / Accepted: 29 August 2013 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (847 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To develop a convenient; sensitive; accurate; and economical technique for genotyping of hepatitis B viruses (HBVs). Methods: The mercapto-modified B1; B2; C1; and C2-specific genotyping probes consisted of two probes for each HBV genotype that served as a double verification
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Objective: To develop a convenient; sensitive; accurate; and economical technique for genotyping of hepatitis B viruses (HBVs). Methods: The mercapto-modified B1; B2; C1; and C2-specific genotyping probes consisted of two probes for each HBV genotype that served as a double verification system. These probes were fixed on the surface of No. 1; 2; 3; and 4 gold electrodes; respectively; via Au-S bonds. Different charge generated by the binding of RuHex to phosphate groups of the DNA backbone before and after hybridization was used for distinguishing the different genotypes. Results: During hybridization with genotype B; the charges detected at the No. 1 and 2 electrodes were significantly increased; while the charge at the No. 3 and 4 electrodes did not change significantly. During hybridization with genotype C; the charges detected at No. 3 and 4 electrodes were significantly increased; while the signals remained unchanged at the No. 1 and 2 electrodes. During hybridization with mixed genotypes (B and C); the charges detected at all four electrodes were significantly increased. The linear range of detection was 10–7 to 10–10 mol/L and the sensitivity for detecting mixed B (10%) or C (10%). Conclusions: Rapid genotyping of HBVs based on electrochemical sensing is simple, has good specificity; and can greatly reduce the cost. This method can be used for sensitive detection of mixed B and C HBV genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle An Analytical Model for the Performance Analysis of Concurrent Transmission in IEEE 802.15.4
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5622-5643; doi:10.3390/s140305622
Received: 4 November 2013 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (734 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Interference is a serious cause of performance degradation for IEEE802.15.4 devices. The effect of concurrent transmissions in IEEE 802.15.4 has been generally investigated by means of simulation or experimental activities. In this paper, a mathematical framework for the derivation of chip, symbol and
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Interference is a serious cause of performance degradation for IEEE802.15.4 devices. The effect of concurrent transmissions in IEEE 802.15.4 has been generally investigated by means of simulation or experimental activities. In this paper, a mathematical framework for the derivation of chip, symbol and packet error probability of a typical IEEE 802.15.4 receiver in the presence of interference is proposed. Both non-coherent and coherent demodulation schemes are considered by our model under the assumption of the absence of thermal noise. Simulation results are also added to assess the validity of the mathematical framework when the effect of thermal noise cannot be neglected. Numerical results show that the proposed analysis is in agreement with the measurement results on the literature under realistic working conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle The Dual Carrier ABSK System Based on a FIR Bandpass Filter
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5644-5653; doi:10.3390/s140305644
Received: 8 November 2013 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The special impacting filter (SIF) with IIR structure has been used to demodulate ABSK signals. The key points of SIF, including the resonance circuit’s high Q value and the “slope-phase discrimination” character of the filter sideband, are demonstrated in the paper. The FIR
[...] Read more.
The special impacting filter (SIF) with IIR structure has been used to demodulate ABSK signals. The key points of SIF, including the resonance circuit’s high Q value and the “slope-phase discrimination” character of the filter sideband, are demonstrated in the paper. The FIR narrow-band bandpass filtering system, which can also provide the impact-filtering effect, is proposed. A dual carrier system of ABSK signals is designed with the proposed FIR filter as its receiver. The simulation results show that the FIR filter can work well. Moreover, compared to the traditional SIF, the proposed FIR filter can not only achieve higher spectral efficiency, but also give better demodulation performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle A Caregiver Support Platform within the Scope of an Ambient Assisted Living Ecosystem
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5654-5676; doi:10.3390/s140305654
Received: 23 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) area is in constant evolution, providing new technologies to users and enhancing the level of security and comfort that is ensured by house platforms. The Ambient Assisted Living for All (AAL4ALL) project aims to develop a new AAL
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The Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) area is in constant evolution, providing new technologies to users and enhancing the level of security and comfort that is ensured by house platforms. The Ambient Assisted Living for All (AAL4ALL) project aims to develop a new AAL concept, supported on a unified ecosystem and certification process that enables a heterogeneous environment. The concepts of Intelligent Environments, Ambient Intelligence, and the foundations of the Ambient Assisted Living are all presented in the framework of this project. In this work, we consider a specific platform developed in the scope of AAL4ALL, called UserAccess. The architecture of the platform and its role within the overall AAL4ALL concept, the implementation of the platform, and the available interfaces are presented. In addition, its feasibility is validated through a series of tests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Integrated Photoluminescence Sensing Platform Using a Single-Multi-Mode Fiber Coupler-Based Probe
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5677-5686; doi:10.3390/s140305677
Received: 6 November 2013 / Revised: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 6 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
PDF Full-text (499 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We demonstrate an integrated fiber optic photoluminescence sensing platform using a novel single-multi-mode fiber coupler (SMFC)-based probe with high collection efficiency for fluorescence signals. The SMFC, prepared using fused biconical taper technology, not only transmits excitation light, but also collects and transmits fluorescence.
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We demonstrate an integrated fiber optic photoluminescence sensing platform using a novel single-multi-mode fiber coupler (SMFC)-based probe with high collection efficiency for fluorescence signals. The SMFC, prepared using fused biconical taper technology, not only transmits excitation light, but also collects and transmits fluorescence. The entire system does not use complex optical components and rarely requires optical alignment. The simple structure of the SMFC considerably improves the light transmission efficiency, signal-to-noise ratio, and sensitivity of the system. Theoretical and experimental results show that the proposed probe increases the collection efficiency by more than eight-fold compared with a bifurcated fiber probe. The performance of the proposed probe was experimentally evaluated by measuring the fluorescence spectra of well-known targets and a fresh Tall Fescue leaf. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
Open AccessArticle Multi-Sensor Fusion for Enhanced Contextual Awareness of Everyday Activities with Ubiquitous Devices
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5687-5701; doi:10.3390/s140305687
Received: 26 January 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, the authors investigate the role that smart devices, including smartphones and smartwatches, can play in identifying activities of daily living. A feasibility study involving N = 10 participants was carried out to evaluate the devices’ ability to differentiate between nine
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In this paper, the authors investigate the role that smart devices, including smartphones and smartwatches, can play in identifying activities of daily living. A feasibility study involving N = 10 participants was carried out to evaluate the devices’ ability to differentiate between nine everyday activities. The activities examined include walking, running, cycling, standing, sitting, elevator ascents, elevator descents, stair ascents and stair descents. The authors also evaluated the ability of these devices to differentiate indoors from outdoors, with the aim of enhancing contextual awareness. Data from this study was used to train and test five well known machine learning algorithms: C4.5, CART, Naïve Bayes, Multi-Layer Perceptrons and finally Support Vector Machines. Both single and multi-sensor approaches were examined to better understand the role each sensor in the device can play in unobtrusive activity recognition. The authors found overall results to be promising, with some models correctly classifying up to 100% of all instances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Fully Distributed Monitoring Architecture Supporting Multiple Trackees and Trackers in Indoor Mobile Asset Management Application
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5702-5724; doi:10.3390/s140305702
Received: 17 January 2014 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2023 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A tracking service like asset management is essential in a dynamic hospital environment consisting of numerous mobile assets (e.g., wheelchairs or infusion pumps) that are continuously relocated throughout a hospital. The tracking service is accomplished based on the key technologies of an indoor
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A tracking service like asset management is essential in a dynamic hospital environment consisting of numerous mobile assets (e.g., wheelchairs or infusion pumps) that are continuously relocated throughout a hospital. The tracking service is accomplished based on the key technologies of an indoor location-based service (LBS), such as locating and monitoring multiple mobile targets inside a building in real time. An indoor LBS such as a tracking service entails numerous resource lookups being requested concurrently and frequently from several locations, as well as a network infrastructure requiring support for high scalability in indoor environments. A traditional centralized architecture needs to maintain a geographic map of the entire building or complex in its central server, which can cause low scalability and traffic congestion. This paper presents a self-organizing and fully distributed indoor mobile asset management (MAM) platform, and proposes an architecture for multiple trackees (such as mobile assets) and trackers based on the proposed distributed platform in real time. In order to verify the suggested platform, scalability performance according to increases in the number of concurrent lookups was evaluated in a real test bed. Tracking latency and traffic load ratio in the proposed tracking architecture was also evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing Body Movements within the Laban Effort Framework Using a Single Accelerometer
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5725-5741; doi:10.3390/s140305725
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2014 / Accepted: 6 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article presents a study on analyzing body movements by using a single accelerometer sensor. The investigated categories of body movements belong to the Laban Effort Framework: Strong—Light, Free—Bound and Sudden—Sustained. All body movements were represented by a set of activities used for
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This article presents a study on analyzing body movements by using a single accelerometer sensor. The investigated categories of body movements belong to the Laban Effort Framework: Strong—Light, Free—Bound and Sudden—Sustained. All body movements were represented by a set of activities used for data collection. The calculated accuracy of detecting the body movements was based on collecting data from a single wireless tri-axial accelerometer sensor. Ten healthy subjects collected data from three body locations (chest, wrist and thigh) simultaneously in order to analyze the locations comparatively. The data was then processed and analyzed using Machine Learning techniques. The wrist placement was found to be the best single location to record data for detecting Strong—Light body movements using the Random Forest classifier. The wrist placement was also the best location for classifying Bound—Free body movements using the SVM classifier. However, the data collected from the chest placement yielded the best results for detecting Sudden—Sustained body movements using the Random Forest classifier. The study shows that the choice of the accelerometer placement should depend on the targeted type of movement. In addition, the choice of the classifier when processing data should also depend on the chosen location and the target movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)

Review

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Open AccessReview Pathlength Determination for Gas in Scattering Media Absorption Spectroscopy
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3871-3890; doi:10.3390/s140303871
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (982 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gas in scattering media absorption spectroscopy (GASMAS) has been extensively studied and applied during recent years in, e.g., food packaging, human sinus monitoring, gas diffusion studies, and pharmaceutical tablet characterization. The focus has been on the evaluation of the gas absorption pathlength in
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Gas in scattering media absorption spectroscopy (GASMAS) has been extensively studied and applied during recent years in, e.g., food packaging, human sinus monitoring, gas diffusion studies, and pharmaceutical tablet characterization. The focus has been on the evaluation of the gas absorption pathlength in porous media, which a priori is unknown due to heavy light scattering. In this paper, three different approaches are summarized. One possibility is to simultaneously monitor another gas with known concentration (e.g., water vapor), the pathlength of which can then be obtained and used for the target gas (e.g., oxygen) to retrieve its concentration. The second approach is to measure the mean optical pathlength or physical pathlength with other methods, including time-of-flight spectroscopy, frequency-modulated light scattering interferometry and the frequency domain photon migration method. By utilizing these methods, an average concentration can be obtained and the porosities of the material are studied. The last method retrieves the gas concentration without knowing its pathlength by analyzing the gas absorption line shape, which depends upon the concentration of buffer gases due to intermolecular collisions. The pathlength enhancement effect due to multiple scattering enables also the use of porous media as multipass gas cells for trace gas monitoring. All these efforts open up a multitude of different applications for the GASMAS technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors - 2013)
Open AccessReview Toward a New Generation of Photonic Humidity Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3986-4013; doi:10.3390/s140303986
Received: 1 January 2014 / Revised: 29 January 2014 / Accepted: 8 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (919 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review offers new perspectives on the subject and highlights an area in need of further research. It includes an analysis of current scientific literature mainly covering the last decade and examines the trends in the development of electronic, acoustic and optical-fiber humidity
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This review offers new perspectives on the subject and highlights an area in need of further research. It includes an analysis of current scientific literature mainly covering the last decade and examines the trends in the development of electronic, acoustic and optical-fiber humidity sensors over this period. The major findings indicate that a new generation of sensor technology based on optical fibers is emerging. The current trends suggest that electronic humidity sensors could soon be replaced by sensors that are based on photonic structures. Recent scientific advances are expected to allow dedicated systems to avoid the relatively high price of interrogation modules that is currently a major disadvantage of fiber-based sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
Open AccessReview A Survey on Model Based Approaches for 2D and 3D Visual Human Pose Recovery
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4189-4210; doi:10.3390/s140304189
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 9 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (847 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human Pose Recovery has been studied in the field of Computer Vision for the last 40 years. Several approaches have been reported, and significant improvements have been obtained in both data representation and model design. However, the problem of Human Pose Recovery in
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Human Pose Recovery has been studied in the field of Computer Vision for the last 40 years. Several approaches have been reported, and significant improvements have been obtained in both data representation and model design. However, the problem of Human Pose Recovery in uncontrolled environments is far from being solved. In this paper, we define a general taxonomy to group model based approaches for Human Pose Recovery, which is composed of five main modules: appearance, viewpoint, spatial relations, temporal consistence, and behavior. Subsequently, a methodological comparison is performed following the proposed taxonomy, evaluating current SoA approaches in the aforementioned five group categories. As a result of this comparison, we discuss the main advantages and drawbacks of the reviewed literature. Full article
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Open AccessReview Ambient Assisted Living Healthcare Frameworks, Platforms, Standards, and Quality Attributes
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4312-4341; doi:10.3390/s140304312
Received: 16 January 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 38 | PDF Full-text (451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) is an emerging multi-disciplinary field aiming at exploiting information and communication technologies in personal healthcare and telehealth systems for countering the effects of growing elderly population. AAL systems are developed for personalized, adaptive, and anticipatory requirements, necessitating high quality-of-service
[...] Read more.
Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) is an emerging multi-disciplinary field aiming at exploiting information and communication technologies in personal healthcare and telehealth systems for countering the effects of growing elderly population. AAL systems are developed for personalized, adaptive, and anticipatory requirements, necessitating high quality-of-service to achieve interoperability, usability, security, and accuracy. The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the AAL field with a focus on healthcare frameworks, platforms, standards, and quality attributes. To achieve this, we conducted a literature survey of state-of-the-art AAL frameworks, systems and platforms to identify the essential aspects of AAL systems and investigate the critical issues from the design, technology, quality-of-service, and user experience perspectives. In addition, we conducted an email-based survey for collecting usage data and current status of contemporary AAL systems. We found that most AAL systems are confined to a limited set of features ignoring many of the essential AAL system aspects. Standards and technologies are used in a limited and isolated manner, while quality attributes are often addressed insufficiently. In conclusion, we found that more inter-organizational collaboration, user-centered studies, increased standardization efforts, and a focus on open systems is needed to achieve more interoperable and synergetic AAL solutions. Full article
Open AccessReview Analytical Methods for Chemical and Sensory Characterization of Scent-Markings in Large Wild Mammals: A Review
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4428-4465; doi:10.3390/s140304428
Received: 27 August 2013 / Revised: 15 January 2014 / Accepted: 25 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (987 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In conjoining the disciplines of “ethology” and “chemistry” the field of “Ethochemistry” has been instituted. Ethochemistry is an effective tool in conservation efforts of endangered species and the understanding of behavioral patterns across all species. Chemical constituents of scent-markings have an important, yet
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In conjoining the disciplines of “ethology” and “chemistry” the field of “Ethochemistry” has been instituted. Ethochemistry is an effective tool in conservation efforts of endangered species and the understanding of behavioral patterns across all species. Chemical constituents of scent-markings have an important, yet poorly understood function in territoriality, reproduction, dominance, and impact on evolutionary biology, especially in large mammals. Particular attention has recently been focused on scent-marking analysis of great cats (Kalahari leopards (Panthera pardus), puma (Puma concolor) snow leopard (Panthera uncia), African lions (Panthera leo), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), and tigers (Panthera tigris)) for the purpose of conservation. Sensory analyses of scent-markings could address knowledge gaps in ethochemistry. The objective of this review is to summarize the current state-of-the art of both the chemical and sensory analyses of scent-markings in wild mammals. Specific focus is placed on sampling and sample preparation, chemical analysis, sensory analysis, and simultaneous chemical and sensory analyses. Constituents of exocrine and endocrine secretions have been most commonly studied with chromatography-based analytical separations. Odor analysis of scent-markings provides an insight into the animal’s sensory perception. A limited number of articles have been published in the area of sensory characterization of scent marks. Simultaneous chemical and sensory analyses with chromatography-olfactometry hyphenation could potentially aid conservation efforts by linking perceived odor, compounds responsible for odor, and resulting behavior. Full article
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Open AccessReview Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Solutions
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4755-4790; doi:10.3390/s140304755
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 18 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 41 | PDF Full-text (1901 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews the state of the art in piezoelectric energy harvesting. It presents the basics of piezoelectricity and discusses materials choice. The work places emphasis on material operating modes and device configurations, from resonant to non-resonant devices and also to rotational solutions.
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This paper reviews the state of the art in piezoelectric energy harvesting. It presents the basics of piezoelectricity and discusses materials choice. The work places emphasis on material operating modes and device configurations, from resonant to non-resonant devices and also to rotational solutions. The reviewed literature is compared based on power density and bandwidth. Lastly, the question of power conversion is addressed by reviewing various circuit solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering 2013)
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Open AccessReview Plasmonic Sensors Based on Doubly-Deposited Tapered Optical Fibers
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4791-4805; doi:10.3390/s140304791
Received: 17 January 2014 / Revised: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A review of the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) transducers based on tapered fibers that have been developed in the last years is presented. The devices have proved their good performance (specifically, in terms of sensitivity) and their versatility and they are a very
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A review of the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) transducers based on tapered fibers that have been developed in the last years is presented. The devices have proved their good performance (specifically, in terms of sensitivity) and their versatility and they are a very good option to be considered as basis for any kind of chemical and biological sensor. The technology has now reached its maturity and here we summarize some of the characteristics of the devices produced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonics and Nanoplasmonics Biosensors)
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Gas and Chemical Detection by Vernier Effect-Based Photonic Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4831-4855; doi:10.3390/s140304831
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, the Vernier effect has been proved to be very efficient for significantly improving the sensitivity and the limit of detection (LOD) of chemical, biochemical and gas photonic sensors. In this paper a review of compact and efficient photonic sensors based on the
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Recently, the Vernier effect has been proved to be very efficient for significantly improving the sensitivity and the limit of detection (LOD) of chemical, biochemical and gas photonic sensors. In this paper a review of compact and efficient photonic sensors based on the Vernier effect is presented. The most relevant results of several theoretical and experimental works are reported, and the theoretical model of the typical Vernier effect-based sensor is discussed as well. In particular, sensitivity up to 460 μm/RIU has been experimentally reported, while ultra-high sensitivity of 2,500 μm/RIU and ultra-low LOD of 8.79 × 10−8 RIU have been theoretically demonstrated, employing a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer (MZI) as sensing device instead of an add drop ring resonator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
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Open AccessReview Biosensors for the Detection of Circulating Tumour Cells
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4856-4875; doi:10.3390/s140304856
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 28 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Metastasis is the cause of most cancer deaths. Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are cells released from the primary tumour into the bloodstream that are considered the main promoters of metastasis. Therefore, these cells are targets for understanding tumour biology and improving clinical management
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Metastasis is the cause of most cancer deaths. Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are cells released from the primary tumour into the bloodstream that are considered the main promoters of metastasis. Therefore, these cells are targets for understanding tumour biology and improving clinical management of the disease. Several techniques have emerged in recent years to isolate, detect, and characterise CTCs. As CTCs are a rare event, their study requires multidisciplinary considerations of both biological and physical properties. In addition, as isolation of viable cells may give further insights into metastatic development, cell recovery must be done with minimal cell damage. The ideal system for CTCs analysis must include maximum efficiency of detection in real time. In this sense, new approaches used to enrich CTCs from clinical samples have provided an important improvement in cell recovery. However, this progress should be accompanied by more efficient strategies of cell quantification. A range of biosensor platforms are being introduced into the technology for CTCs quantification with promising results. This review provides an update on recent progress in CTCs identification using different approaches based on sensor signaling. Full article
Open AccessReview Surface Plasmon Resonance for Cell-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4948-4959; doi:10.3390/s140304948
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 26 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-invasive real-time observations and the evaluation of living cell conditions and functions are increasingly demanded in life sciences. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors detect the refractive index (RI) changes on the surface of sensor chips in label-free and on a real-time basis. Using
[...] Read more.
Non-invasive real-time observations and the evaluation of living cell conditions and functions are increasingly demanded in life sciences. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors detect the refractive index (RI) changes on the surface of sensor chips in label-free and on a real-time basis. Using SPR sensors, we and other groups have developed techniques to evaluate living cells’ reactions in response to stimuli without any labeling in a real-time manner. The SPR imaging (SPRI) system for living cells may visualize single cell reactions and has the potential to expand application of SPR cell sensing for clinical diagnosis, such as multi-array cell diagnostic systems and detection of malignant cells among normal cells in combination with rapid cell isolation techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonics and Nanoplasmonics Biosensors)
Open AccessReview Flexible Tactile Sensing Based on Piezoresistive Composites: A Review
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5296-5332; doi:10.3390/s140305296
Received: 2 January 2014 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
Cited by 47 | PDF Full-text (2802 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The large expansion of the robotic field in the last decades has created a growing interest in the research and development of tactile sensing solutions for robot hand and body integration. Piezoresistive composites are one of the most widely employed materials for this
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The large expansion of the robotic field in the last decades has created a growing interest in the research and development of tactile sensing solutions for robot hand and body integration. Piezoresistive composites are one of the most widely employed materials for this purpose, combining simple and low cost preparation with high flexibility and conformability to surfaces, low power consumption, and the use of simple read-out electronics. This work provides a review on the different type of composite materials, classified according to the conduction mechanism and analyzing the physics behind it. In particular piezoresistors, strain gauges, percolative and quantum tunnelling devices are reviewed here, with a perspective overview on the most used filler types and polymeric matrices. A description of the state-of-the-art of the tactile sensor solutions from the point of view of the architecture, the design and the performance is also reviewed, with a perspective outlook on the main promising applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors and Sensing Systems)
Open AccessReview Modeling Users, Context and Devices for Ambient Assisted Living Environments
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5354-5391; doi:10.3390/s140305354
Received: 23 January 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 17 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (264 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The participation of users within AAL environments is increasing thanks to the capabilities of the current wearable devices. Furthermore, the significance of considering user’s preferences, context conditions and device’s capabilities help smart environments to personalize services and resources for them. Being aware of
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The participation of users within AAL environments is increasing thanks to the capabilities of the current wearable devices. Furthermore, the significance of considering user’s preferences, context conditions and device’s capabilities help smart environments to personalize services and resources for them. Being aware of different characteristics of the entities participating in these situations is vital for reaching the main goals of the corresponding systems efficiently. To collect different information from these entities, it is necessary to design several formal models which help designers to organize and give some meaning to the gathered data. In this paper, we analyze several literature solutions for modeling users, context and devices considering different approaches in the Ambient Assisted Living domain. Besides, we remark different ongoing standardization works in this area. We also discuss the used techniques, modeled characteristics and the advantages and drawbacks of each approach to finally draw several conclusions about the reviewed works. Full article

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Open AccessLetter Magnetic Sensing with Ferrofluid and Fiber Optic Connectors
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3891-3896; doi:10.3390/s140303891
Received: 19 November 2013 / Revised: 28 January 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A simple, cost effective and sensitive fiber optic magnetic sensor fabricated with ferrofluid and commercially available fiber optic components is described in this paper. The system uses a ferrofluid infiltrated extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI) interrogated with an infrared wavelength spectrometer to measure magnetic
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A simple, cost effective and sensitive fiber optic magnetic sensor fabricated with ferrofluid and commercially available fiber optic components is described in this paper. The system uses a ferrofluid infiltrated extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI) interrogated with an infrared wavelength spectrometer to measure magnetic flux density. The entire sensing system was developed with commercially available components so it can be easily and economically reproduced in large quantities. The device was tested with two different ferrofluid types over a range of magnetic flux densities to verify performance. The sensors readily detected magnetic flux densities in the range of 0.5 mT to 12.0 mT with measurement sensitivities in the range of 0.3 to 2.3 nm/mT depending on ferrofluid type. Assuming a conservative wavelength resolution of 0.1 nm for state of the art EFPI detection abilities, the estimated achievable measurement resolution is on the order 0.04 mT. The inherent small size and basic structure complimented with the fabrication ease make it well-suited for a wide array of research, industrial, educational and military applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
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