The goal of the paper is to present the results regarding the influence of the irradiation dose and amount of multifunctional monomer trimethylol-propane trimethacrylate (TMPT) on ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer rubber (EPDM) mixtures irradiated in electron beam. Blends, molded on an electrically heated laboratory roller mill and compressed in an electrically heated hydraulic press, were irradiated using the ALID 7 of 5.5 MeV linear accelerator in the dose range of 22.6 kGy to 56.5 kGy in atmospheric conditions and at room temperature of 25 °C. The share of cross-linking and degradation reactions was evaluated by means of sol-gel analysis, cross-linking density measurements, FTIR studies and Charlesby-Pinner parameter (p0/q0) calculations. The blends containing different concentrations of TMPT (3 phr and 9 phr) and irradiated with doses in the mentioned range have present the increasing of gel content and cross-linking density. Modified and new bands in FTIR spectra have appeared, because of both cross-linking and chain scission reactions.
The use of nanostructured semiconducting material to catalyze degradation of environmental pollutants still receives much attention to date. One of the desired characteristics for pollutant degradation under ultra-violet visible light is the materials with extended carrier charge separation that allows for electronic transfer between the catalyst and the pollutants. In this work, zinc oxide n-type semiconductor vertically aligned structures were fabricated on silicon (100) substrates using the chemical bath deposition method. The as-synthesized structures were treated with nickel and sulphur. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize the phase purity, structural dimensions and elemental composition of the obtained structures respectively. Photoluminescence emission measurements showed a decrease in both the near band edge emission as well as the defect band emission upon addition of nickel and sulphur with different concentrations. This was attributed to increased charger-carrier-separation due to the presence of Ni-S material on ZnO surface, which is linked to improved charge transfer during photocatalytic reactions.
In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.
Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.
Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.
In this paper we present a quick technique to measure the similarity between binary images. The technique is based on a probabilistic mapping approach and is fast because only a minute percentage of the image pixels need to be compared to measure the similarity, and not the whole image. We exploit the power of the Probabilistic Matching Model for Binary Images (PMMBI) to arrive at an estimate of the similarity. We show that the estimate is a good approximation of the actual value, and the quality of the estimate can be improved further with increased image mappings. Furthermore, the technique is image size invariant; the similarity between big images can be measured as fast as that for small images. Examples of trials conducted on real images are presented.
This paper presents design and analysis of an electrothermally symmetrical actuated microgripper applicable for performing micro assembly or biological cell manipulation. Integration of micro-optics with microdevice leads to achieve extremely precise control over the operation of the device. Geometry, material, actuation, control, accuracy in measurement and temperature distribution are important factors which have to be taken into account for designing the efficient microgripper device. In this work, analyses of four different geometries are performed by means of COMSOL Multiphysics 5.2 with implementing Finite Element Methods. Then, temperature distribution along the fingertip, displacement of gripper site as well as optical efficiency vs. displacement and electrical potential are illustrated. Results show in addition to the industrial application of this device, the usage of that as a cell manipulator is possible.
The paper is aimed at developing a model to measure the impact of Lean manufacturing deployment on organizational performance. The model will help industry practitioners to assess the impact of implementing Lean constructs on organizational performance. It will also harmonize the measurement models of Lean performance with the house of Lean that seems to have become the industry standard. The sheer number of measurement models for impact assessment of Lean implementation makes it difficult for new adopters to select an appropriate assessment model or deployment methodology. A literature review is conducted to classify the Lean performance model. Pareto analysis is used to select the Lean constructs for the development of the model. The model is further formalized through the use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) in defining the underlying latent structure of a Lean system. An impact assessment measurement model developed can be used to measure Lean performance and can be adopted by different industries.
The article presents the development trends of farms, estimates on the optimal scope of farming, as well as the experience of local and foreign countries in this area. As well, the advantages of small and large farms are discussed; herewith, the scales of farms are compared to the local reality. The study analyzes the results of farm operations and the possibilities of diversification of farms. The indicators of an effective use of land resources and land fragmentation are measured; also, a comparative analysis with other countries is presented, in particular, the measurements of agricultural lands for farming, as well as the indicators of population ensuring. The conducted research shows that most of the farms in Georgia are small and their development is at the initial stage, which outlines that the country has a high resource potential to increase the scale of the farming industry and its full integration into market relations. On the basis of the obtained results, according to the research on the scale of farming in Georgia and the identification of hampering factors of farming development, the conclusions are presented and the relevant recommendations are suggested.
Coatings based on polyaniline (PANI) can improve the resistance of steel against corrosion. In this work, the preparation of stable suspensions of colloidal PANI-SiO2 particles, suitable for obtaining of composite anticorrosive coating on steel, is described. Electrokinetic data as a function of pH are presented, showing that the zeta potentials of the PANI-SiO2 particles are governed primarily by the charged groups at the silica oxide surface. Electrosteric stabilization of the PANI-SiO2 particles’ suspension against aggregation is realized at pH>5.5 (EB form of PANI) by adsorption of positively charged polyelectrolyte molecules onto negatively charged PANI-SiO2 particles. The PANI-SiO2 particles are incorporated by electrodeposition into the metal matrix of zinc in order to obtain composite (hybrid) coatings. The latter are aimed to ensure sacrificial protection of steel mainly in aggressive media leading to local corrosion damages. The surface morphology of the composite zinc coatings is investigated with SEM. The influence of PANI-SiO2 particles on the cathodic and anodic processes occurring in the starting electrolyte for obtaining of the coatings is followed with cyclic voltammetry. The electrochemical and corrosion behavior is evaluated with potentiodynamic polarization curves and polarization resistance measurements. The beneficial effect of the stabilized PANI-SiO2 particles for the increased protective ability of the composites is commented and discussed.
Cellulose acetate (CA) is a natural biodegradable polymer. It forms transparent films by the casting technique. CA suffers from high degree of water permeability as well as the low thermal stability at high temperatures. To adjust the CA polymeric films to the manufacture of food packaging, its thermal and mechanical properties should be improved. The modification of CA by grafting it with N-Amino phenyl maleimide (N-APhM) led to the construction of hydrophobic branches throughout the polymeric matrix which reduced its wettability as compared to the parent CA. The branches built onto the polymeric chains had been characterized by UV/Vis, 13C-NMR and ESEM. The improvement of the thermal properties was investigated and compared to the parent CA using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), differential thermal analysis (DTA), contact angle and mechanical testing measurements. The results revealed that the water-uptake was reduced by increasing the graft percentage. The thermal and mechanical properties were also improved.
Health information technologies promise higher quality, safer care and much more for both patients and professionals. Despite their promise, they are costly to develop and difficult to implement. On the other hand, user acceptance and usage determine the success of implemented information technology in healthcare. This study provides a model to understand health professionals’ perception and expectation of health information technology. Extensive literature review has been conducted to determine the main factors to be measured. A questionnaire has been designed as a measurement model and submitted to the personnel of an in vitro fertilization clinic. The respondents’ degree of agreement according to five-point Likert scale was 72% for convenient access to data and 69.4% for the importance of data security. There was a significant difference in acceptance of electronic data storage for female respondents. Also, other significant differences between professions were obtained.
The purpose of this paper is to establish the influence of shading on a Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) system´s performance in an urban context. The PV systems of the Science Center of Complexity (Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad) Building based in the Main Campus of the National and Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City was taken as case study. The PV systems are placed on the rooftop and on the south façade of the building. The south-façade PV system, operating as sunshades, consists of two strings: one at the ground floor and the other one at the first floor. According to the building’s facility manager, the south-façade PV system generates 42% less electricity per kilowatt peak (kWp) installed than the one on the roof. The methods applied in this study were Solar Radiation Analysis (SRA) simulations performed with the Insight 360 Plug-in from Revit 2018® and an on-site measurement using specialized tools. The results of the SRA simulations showed that the shading casted by the PV system placed on the first floor on top of the PV system of the ground floor decreases its solar incident radiation over 50%. The simulation outcome was compared and validated to the measured data obtained from the on-site measurement. In conclusion, the loss factor achieved from the shading of the PVs is due to the surroundings and the PV system´s own design. The south-façade BIPV system’s deficient design generates critical losses on its performance and decreases its profitability.
This paper focuses on using six sigma methodologies to reach the desired shrinkage of a manufactured high-density polyurethane (HDPE) part produced by the injection molding machine. It presents a case study where the correct shrinkage is required to reduce or eliminate defects and to improve the process capability index Cp and Cpk for an injection molding process. To improve this process and keep the product within specifications, the six sigma methodology, design, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) approach, was implemented in this study. The six sigma approach was paired with the Taguchi methodology to identify the optimized processing parameters that keep the shrinkage rate within the specifications by our customer. An L9 orthogonal array was applied in the Taguchi experimental design, with four controllable factors and one non-controllable/noise factor. The four controllable factors identified consist of the cooling time, melt temperature, holding time, and metering stroke. The noise factor is the difference between material brand 1 and material brand 2. After the confirmation run was completed, measurements verify that the new parameter settings are optimal. With the new settings, the process capability index has improved dramatically. The purpose of this study is to show that the six sigma and Taguchi methodology can be efficiently used to determine important factors that will improve the process capability index of the injection molding process.
Due to the difficult placement and vibration between reinforcements of reinforced concrete and the defects that it may cause, the use of self-compacting concrete (SCC) is becoming more widespread. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is the most widely used binder in the construction industry. However, the manufacture of this cement results in a significant amount of CO2 being released, which is detrimental to the environment. Thus, an alternative to reduce the cost of SCC is the use of more economical and environmental mineral additives in partial or total substitution of Portland cement. Our study is in this context and aims to develop SCCs both economic and ecological. Two natural pozzolans such as pumice and zeolite are chosen in this research. This research tries to answer questions including the microstructure of the two types of natural pozzolan and their influence on the mechanical properties as well as on the transport property of SCC. Based on the findings of this study, the studied zeolite is a clinoptilolite that presents higher pozzolan activity compared to pumice. However, the use of zeolite decreases the compressive strength of SCC composites. On the contrary, the compressive strength in SCC containing of pumice increases at both early and long term ages with a remarkable increase at long term. A correlation is obtained between the compressive strength with permeable pore and capillary absorption. Also, the results concerning compressive strength and transport property are well justified by evaporable and non-evaporable water content measurement. This paper shows that the substitution of Portland cement by 15% of pumice or 10% of zeolite in HSSCC is suitable in all aspects.
This paper addresses the application of physiological status monitoring (PSM) for assessing the impact of harsh weather conditions on sports activities in universities in Saudi Arabia. Real sports measurement was conducted during sports activities such that the physiological status (HR and BR) of five students were continuously monitored by using Zephyr BioHarnessTM 3.0 sensors in order to identify the physiological bonds and zones. These bonds and zones were employed as indicators of the associated physiological risks of the performed sports activities. Furthermore, a short yes/no questionnaire was applied to collect information on participants’ health conditions and opinions of the applied PSM sensors. The results show the absence of a warning system as a protective aid for the hazardous levels of extremely hot and humid weather conditions that may cause dangerous and fatal circumstances. The applied formulas for estimating maximum HR provides accurate estimations for Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax). The physiological results reveal that the performed activities by the participants are considered the highest category (90–100%) in terms of activity intensity. This category is associated with higher HR, BR and physiological risks including losing the ability to control human body behaviors. Therefore, there is a need for immediate intervention actions to reduce the intensity of the performed activities to safer zones. The outcomes of this study assist the safety improvement of sports activities inside universities and athletes performing their sports activities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to represent a special case of the application of PSM technology for assessing sports activities in universities considering the impacts of harsh weather conditions on students’ health and safety.
The objective of our study is to investigate UV exposure in Finland through sample measurements as a typical case study in summer and winter. We measured UV-BC weighted radiation and calculated a daily dose, which is about 100–150 times the Finnish exposure limit value in summer and 1–6 times in winter. The measured ultraviolet indices varied from 0 to 7 (scale 0–18), which is less than the values obtained in countries that are located farther south from Tampere latitude of 61 degrees. In wintertime, the UV exposure was modest compared to summertime, 50–150 mW/m2 and about 1–5 mW/m2 in summer and winter, respectively. However, technical means to manage UV exposure in Scandinavia are also needed in summer- and springtime.
Substituting natural aggregate with recycled aggregate coming from concrete demolition represents a promising alternative to face the issues of both the depletion of natural resources and the congestion of waste storage facilities. However, the crushing process of concrete demolition waste, currently in use to produce recycled concrete aggregate, does not allow the complete separation of natural aggregate from a variable amount of adhered mortar. Given the physicochemical characteristics of the latter, the introduction of recycled concrete aggregate into a concrete mix modifies, to a certain extent, both fresh and hardened concrete properties. As a consequence, the behavior of recycled reinforced concrete members could likely be influenced by the specificities of recycled concrete aggregates. Beyond the mechanical properties of concrete, and as a result of the composite character of reinforced concrete, the bond characteristics at the rebar/concrete interface have to be taken into account in an attempt to describe accurately the mechanical response of recycled reinforced concrete members. Hence, a comparative experimental campaign, including 16 pull-out tests, was carried out. Four concrete mixes with different recycled concrete aggregate content were tested. The main mechanical properties (compressive strength, tensile strength, Young’s modulus) of each concrete mix were measured through standard procedures. A single 14-mm-diameter ribbed rebar, representative of the diameters commonly used in the domain of civil engineering, was embedded into a 200-mm-side concrete cube. The resulting concrete cover is intended to ensure a pull-out type failure (i.e. exceedance of the rebar/concrete interface shear strength). A pull-out test carried out on the 100% recycled concrete specimen was enriched with exploratory acoustic emission measurements. Acoustic event location was performed by means of eight piezoelectric transducers distributed over the whole surface of the specimen. The resulting map was compared to existing data related to natural aggregate concrete. Damage distribution around the reinforcement and main features of the characteristic bond stress/free-end slip curve appeared to be similar to previous results obtained through comparable studies carried out on natural aggregate concrete. This seems to show that the usual bond mechanism sequence (‘chemical adhesion’, mechanical interlocking and friction) remains unchanged despite the addition of recycled concrete aggregate. However, the results also suggest that bond efficiency seems somewhat improved through the use of recycled concrete aggregate. This observation appears to be counter-intuitive with regard to the diminution of the main concrete mechanical properties with the recycled concrete aggregate content. As a consequence, the impact of recycled concrete aggregate content on bond characteristics seemingly represents an important factor which should be taken into account and likely to be further explored in order to determine flexural parameters such as deflection or crack distribution.
Bioassay is the measurement of the potency of a chemical substance by its effect on a living animal or plant tissue. Bioassay data and chemical structures from pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism screening are mined from and housed in multiple databases. Bioassay prediction is calculated accordingly to determine further advancement. This paper proposes a four-step preprocessing of datasets for improving the bioassay predictions. The first step is instance selection in which dataset is categorized into training, testing, and validation sets. The second step is discretization that partitions the data in consideration of accuracy vs. precision. The third step is normalization where data are normalized between 0 and 1 for subsequent machine learning processing. The fourth step is feature selection where key chemical properties and attributes are generated. The streamlined results are then analyzed for the prediction of effectiveness by various machine learning algorithms including Pipeline Pilot, R, Weka, and Excel. Experiments and evaluations reveal the effectiveness of various combination of preprocessing steps and machine learning algorithms in more consistent and accurate prediction.
The crystal orientation is a factor that affects the microscopic material properties. Crystal orientation determines the anisotropy of the polycrystalline material. And it is closely related to the mechanical properties of the material. In this paper, for pure copper polycrystalline material, two different methods; X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD); and the crystal orientation were analyzed. In the latter method, it is possible that the X-ray beam diameter is thicker as compared to the former, to measure the crystal orientation macroscopically relatively. By measurement of the above, we investigated the change in crystal orientation and internal tissues of pure copper.
Data mining has, over recent years, seen big advances because of the spread of internet, which generates everyday a tremendous volume of data, and also the immense advances in technologies which facilitate the analysis of these data. In particular, classification techniques are a subdomain of Data Mining which determines in which group each data instance is related within a given dataset. It is used to classify data into different classes according to desired criteria. Generally, a classification technique is either statistical or machine learning. Each type of these techniques has its own limits. Nowadays, current data are becoming increasingly heterogeneous; consequently, current classification techniques are encountering many difficulties. This paper defines new measure functions to quantify the resemblance between instances and then combines them in a new approach which is different from actual algorithms by its reliability computations. Results of the proposed approach exceeded most common classification techniques with an f-measure exceeding 97% on the IRIS Dataset.
The Quality of Life (QoL) paradigm is multidimensional, dynamic and modular and its definition differs across the cancer continuum. The challenge in the interpretation of QoL data in clinical research is that QoL is influenced by psychological phenomena such as adaptation to illness. This research aims to obtain a valid and sensitive assessment of QoL change over the continuum disease, and to evaluate a rehabilitation programme aimed at inverting the observed decrease in QoL when patients return to daily living activities. The sample comprised 66 men. Patients were first assessed to establish a baseline (P1-diagnosis). This was followed by a post-test (P2-discharge) and a then-test measurement (P3-retrospective evaluation) and after returning home patients were randomized in experimental and control groups. The experimental group attended a rehabilitation programme over 24 weeks (P4). Results show that from baseline to post-test, QoL decreased significantly. The recalibration then-test confirmed a low QoL in all periods evaluated. Significant differences between the experimental and control groups prove the positive effect of the Exercise Rehabilitation Programme (ERP) on QoL. Understanding the real dynamic of QoL over time would help to adapt rehabilitation programmes by improving sensitivity and efficacy and provide professionals with a more accurate perception of the impact of treatment and side effects on patients’ QoL. Our results underline the importance of changing the approach adopted by health professionals towards one of watchful waiting on patients’ QoL until their complete recovery in daily life.
Prestressed concrete is used a lot in infrastructures such as roads or bridges. However, poor grout filling and PC steel corrosion are currently major issues of prestressed concrete structures. One of the problems with nondestructive corrosion detection of PC steel is a plastic pipe which covers PC steel. The insulative property of pipe makes a nondestructive diagnosis difficult; therefore a practical technology to detect these defects is necessary for the maintenance of infrastructures. The goal of the research is a development of an electrochemical technique which enables to detect internal defects from the surface of prestressed concrete nondestructively. Ideally, the measurements should be conducted from the surface of structural members to diagnose non-destructively. In the present experiment, a prestressed concrete member is simplified as a layered specimen to simulate a current path between an input and an output electrode on a member surface. The specimens which are layered by mortar and the prestressed concrete constitution materials (steel, polyethylene, stainless steel, or galvanized steel plates) were provided to the alternating current impedance measurement. The magnitude of an applied electric field was 0.01-volt or 1-volt, and the frequency range was from 106 Hz to 10-2 Hz. The frequency spectrums of impedance, which relate to charge reactions activated by an electric field, were measured to clarify the effects of the material configurations or the properties. In the civil engineering field, the Nyquist diagram is popular to analyze impedance and it is a good way to grasp electric relaxation using a shape of the plot. However, it is slightly not suitable to figure out an influence of a measurement frequency which is reciprocal of reaction time. Hence, Bode diagram is also applied to describe charge reactions in the present paper. From the experiment results, the alternating current impedance method looks to be applicable to the insulative material measurement and eventually prestressed concrete diagnosis. At the same time, the frequency spectrums of impedance show the difference of the material configuration. This is because the charge mobility reflects the variety of substances and also the measuring frequency of the electric field determines migration length of charges which are under the influence of the electric field. However, it could not distinguish the differences of the material thickness and is inferred the difficulties of prestressed concrete diagnosis to identify the amount of an air void or a layer of corrosion product by the technique.
This study presents a precise relative navigational method for satellites flying in formation using laser-based intermittent measurement data. The measurement data for the relative navigation between two satellites consist of a relative distance measured by a laser instrument and relative attitude angles measured by attitude determination. The relative navigation solutions are estimated by both the Extended Kalman filter (EKF) and unscented Kalman filter (UKF). The solutions estimated by the EKF may become inaccurate or even diverge as measurement outage time gets longer because the EKF utilizes a linearization approach. However, this study shows that the UKF with the appropriate scaling parameters provides a stable and accurate relative navigation solutions despite the long measurement outage time and large initial error as compared to the relative navigation solutions of the EKF. Various navigation results have been analyzed by adjusting the scaling parameters of the UKF.