Soil Organic Carbon Pool Assessment and Chemical Evaluation of Soils in Akure North and South Local Government Area of Ondo State

Aggregate soil carbon distribution and stock in the soil in the form of a carbon pool is important for soil fertility and sequestration. The amount of carbon pool and other nutrients statues of the soil are to benefit plants, animal and the environment in the long run. This study was carried out at Akure North and South Local Government; the study area is one of the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo State in the Southwest geo-political zone of Nigeria. The sites were divided into Map Grids and geo-referenced with Global Positioning System (GPS). Horizons were designated and morphological description carried out on the field. Pedons were characterized and classified according to USDA soil taxonomy. The local government area shares boundaries with; Ikere Local Government (LG) in the North, Ise Orun LG in the northwest, Ifedore LG in the northeast Akure South LG in the East, Ose LG in the South East, and Owo LG in the South. SOC-pool at Federal College of Agriculture topsoil horizon A2 is significantly higher than all horizons, 67.83 th⁻¹. The chemical properties of the pedons have shown that the soil is very strongly acidic to neutral reaction (4.68 – 6.73). The nutrients status of the soil topsoil A1 and A2 generally indicates that the soils have a low potential for retaining plant nutrients, and therefore call for adequate soil management.

Providing a Secure, Reliable and Decentralized Document Management Solution Using Blockchain by a Virtual Identity Card

In today's world, we need documents everywhere for a smooth workflow in the identification process or any other security aspects. The current system and techniques which are used for identification need one thing, that is ‘proof of existence’, which involves valid documents, for example, educational, financial, etc. The main issue with the current identity access management system and digital identification process is that the system is centralized in their network, which makes it inefficient. The paper presents the system which resolves all these cited issues. It is based on ‘blockchain’ technology, which is a 'decentralized system'. It allows transactions in a decentralized and immutable manner. The primary notion of the model is to ‘have everything with nothing’. It involves inter-linking required documents of a person with a single identity card so that a person can go anywhere without having the required documents with him/her. The person just needs to be physically present at a place wherein documents are necessary, and using a fingerprint impression and an iris scan print, the rest of the verification will progress. Furthermore, some technical overheads and advancements are listed. This paper also aims to layout its far-vision scenario of blockchain and its impact on future trends.

Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Air Distribution System of Larder Type Refrigerator

Almost all of the domestic refrigerators operate on the principle of the vapor compression refrigeration cycle and removal of heat from the refrigerator cabinets is done via one of the two methods: natural convection or forced convection. In this study, airflow and temperature distributions inside a 375L no-frost type larder cabinet, in which cooling is provided by forced convection, are evaluated both experimentally and numerically. Airflow rate, compressor capacity and temperature distribution in the cooling chamber are known to be some of the most important factors that affect the cooling performance and energy consumption of a refrigerator. The objective of this study is to evaluate the original temperature distribution in the larder cabinet, and investigate for better temperature distribution solutions throughout the refrigerator domain via system optimizations that could provide uniform temperature distribution. The flow visualization and airflow velocity measurements inside the original refrigerator are performed via Stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry (SPIV). In addition, airflow and temperature distributions are investigated numerically with Ansys Fluent. In order to study the heat transfer inside the aforementioned refrigerator, forced convection theories covering the following cases are applied: closed rectangular cavity representing heat transfer inside the refrigerating compartment. The cavity volume has been represented with finite volume elements and is solved computationally with appropriate momentum and energy equations (Navier-Stokes equations). The 3D model is analyzed as transient, with k-ε turbulence model and SIMPLE pressure-velocity coupling for turbulent flow situation. The results obtained with the 3D numerical simulations are in quite good agreement with the experimental airflow measurements using the SPIV technique. After Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the baseline case, the effects of three parameters: compressor capacity, fan rotational speed and type of shelf (glass or wire) are studied on the energy consumption; pull down time, temperature distributions in the cabinet. For each case, energy consumption based on experimental results is calculated. After the analysis, the main effective parameters for temperature distribution inside a cabin and energy consumption based on CFD simulation are determined and simulation results are supplied for Design of Experiments (DOE) as input data for optimization. The best configuration with minimum energy consumption that provides minimum temperature difference between the shelves inside the cabinet is determined.

Assessment of Analytical Equations for the Derivation of Young’s Modulus of Bonded Rubber Materials

The prediction of the vibration response of rubber products by analytical or numerical method depends mainly on the predefined intrinsic material properties such as Young’s modulus, damping factor and Poisson’s ratio. Such intrinsic properties are determined experimentally by subjecting a bonded rubber sample to compression tests. The compression tests on such a sample yield an apparent Young’s modulus which is greater in magnitude than the intrinsic Young’s modulus of the rubber. As a result, many analytical equations have been developed to determine Young’s modulus from an apparent Young’s modulus of bonded rubber materials. In this work, the applicability of some of these analytical equations is assessed via experimental testing. The assessment is based on testing of vulcanized nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR70) samples using tensile test and compression test methods. The analytical equations are used to determine the intrinsic Young’s modulus from the apparent modulus that is derived from the compression test data of the bonded rubber samples. Then, these Young’s moduli are compared with the actual Young’s modulus that is derived from the tensile test data. The results show significant discrepancy between the Young’s modulus derived using the analytical equations and the actual Young’s modulus.

Monitoring of Spectrum Usage and Signal Identification Using Cognitive Radio

The monitoring of spectrum usage and signal identification, using cognitive radio, is done to identify frequencies that are vacant for reuse. It has been established that ‘internet of things’ device uses secondary frequency which is free, thereby facing the challenge of interference from other users, where some primary frequencies are not being utilised. The design was done by analysing a specific frequency spectrum, checking if all the frequency stations that range from 87.5-108 MHz are presently being used in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. From the results, it was noticed that by using Software Defined Radio/Simulink, we were able to identify vacant frequencies in the range of frequency under consideration. Also, we were able to use the significance of energy detection threshold to reuse this vacant frequency spectrum, when the cognitive radio displays a zero output (that is decision H0), meaning that the channel is unoccupied. Hence, the analysis was able to find the spectrum hole and identify how it can be reused.

Study of Dual Fuel Engine as Environmentally Friendly Engine

The diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses compressed air to combust. The diesel engines are widely used in the world because it has the most excellent combustion efficiency than other types of internal combustion engine.  However, the exhaust emissions of it produce pollutants that are harmful to human health and the environment. Therefore, natural gas used as an alternative fuel using on compression ignition engine to respond those environment issues. This paper aims to discuss the comparison of the technical characteristics and exhaust gases emission from conventional diesel engine and dual fuel diesel engine. According to the study, the dual fuel engine applications have a lower compression pressure and has longer ignition delay compared with normal diesel mode. The engine power is decreased at dual fuel mode. However, the exhaust gases emission on dual fuel engine significantly reduce the nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and particular metter (PM) emissions.

Effects of Intercropping Maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack Beans (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at Different Spacing and Weeding Regimes on Crops Productivity

A field experiment was conducted at Ido town in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo state, Nigeria to determine the effects of intercropping maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at different spacing and weeding regimes on crops productivity. The treatments were 2 x 2 x 3 factorial arrangement involving two spatial crop arrangements. Spacing of 75 cm x 50 cm and 90 cm x 42 cm (41.667 cm) with two plants per stand resulted in plant population of approximately 53,000 plants/hectare. Also, Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with two cropping patterns (sole and intercrop), three weeding regimes (weedy check, weeds once, and weed twice) with three replicates was used. Data were analyzed with SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and statistical means separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) (P ≤ 0.05). Intercropping and crop spacing did not have significant influence on the growth parameters and yield parameters. The maize grain yield of 1.11 t/ha obtained under sole maize was comparable to 1.05 t/ha from maize/jack beans. Weeding regime significantly influenced growth and yields of maize in intercropping with Jack beans. Weeding twice resulted in significantly higher growth than that of the other weeding regimes. Plant height at 6 Weeks After Sowing (WAS) under weeding twice regime (3 and 6 WAS) was 83.9 cm which was significantly different from 67.75 cm and 53.47 cm for weeding once (3 WAS) and no weeding regimes respectively. Moreover, maize grain yield of 1.3 t/ha obtained from plots weeded twice was comparable to that of 1.23 t/ha from single weeding and both were significantly higher than 0.71 t/ha maize grain yield obtained from the no weeding control. The dry matter production of Jack beans reduced at some growth stages due to intercropping of maize with Jack beans though with no significance effect on the other growth parameters of the crop. There was no effect on the growth parameters of Jack beans in maize/jack beans intercrop based on cropping spacing while comparable growth and dry matter production in Jack beans were produced in maize/Jack beans mixture with single weeding.

Comparative Advantage of Mobile Agent Application in Procuring Software Products on the Internet

This paper brings to fore the inherent advantages in application of mobile agents to procure software products rather than downloading software content on the Internet. It proposes a system whereby the products come on compact disk with mobile agent as deliverable. The client/user purchases a software product, but must connect to the remote server of the software developer before installation. The user provides an activation code that activates mobile agent which is part of the software product on compact disk. The validity of the activation code is checked on connection at the developer’s end to ascertain authenticity and prevent piracy. The system is implemented by downloading two different software products as compare with installing same products on compact disk with mobile agent’s application. Downloading software contents from developer’s database as in the traditional method requires a continuously open connection between the client and the developer’s end, a fixed network is not economically or technically feasible. Mobile agent after being dispatched into the network becomes independent of the creating process and can operate asynchronously and autonomously. It can reconnect later after completing its task and return for result delivery. Response Time and Network Load are very minimal with application of Mobile agent.

Commercialization of Technologies, Productivity and Problems of Technological Audit in the Russian Economy

The problems of technological development for the Russian Federation take on special significance in the context of modernization of the production base. The complexity of the position of the Russian economy is that it cannot be attributed fully to developing ones. Russia is a strong industrial power that has gone through the processes of destructive de-industrialization in the conditions of changing its economic and political structure. The need to find ways for re-industrialization is not a unique task for the economies of industrially developed countries. Under the influence of production outsourcing for 20 years, the industrial potential of leading economies of the world was regressed against the backdrop of the ascent of China, a new industrial giant. Therefore, methods, tools, and techniques utilized for industrial renaissance in EU may be used to achieve a technological leap in the Russian Federation, especially since the temporary gap of 5-7 years makes it possible to analyze best practices and use those technological transfer tools that have shown the greatest efficiency. In this article, methods of technological transfer are analyzed, the role of technological audit is justified, and factors are analyzed that influence the successful process of commercialization of technologies.

QoS Improvement Using Intelligent Algorithm under Dynamic Tropical Weather for Earth-Space Satellite Applications

In this paper, the intelligent algorithm (IA) that is capable of adapting to dynamical tropical weather conditions is proposed based on fuzzy logic techniques. The IA effectively interacts with the quality of service (QoS) criteria irrespective of the dynamic tropical weather to achieve improvement in the satellite links. To achieve this, an adaptive network-based fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) has been adopted. The algorithm is capable of interacting with the weather fluctuation to generate appropriate improvement to the satellite QoS for efficient services to the customers. 5-year (2012-2016) rainfall rate of one-minute integration time series data has been used to derive fading based on ITU-R P. 618-12 propagation models. The data are obtained from the measurement undertaken by the Communication Research Group (CRG), Physics Department, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. The rain attenuation and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were derived for frequency between Ku and V-band and propagation angle with respect to different transmitting power. The simulated results show a substantial reduction in SNR especially for application in the area of digital video broadcast-second generation coding modulation satellite networks.

Assessment of Path Loss Prediction Models for Wireless Propagation Channels at L-Band Frequency over Different Micro-Cellular Environments of Ekiti State, Southwestern Nigeria

The design of accurate and reliable mobile communication systems depends majorly on the suitability of path loss prediction methods and the adaptability of the methods to various environments of interest. In this research, the results of the adaptability of radio channel behavior are presented based on practical measurements carried out in the 1800 MHz frequency band. The measurements are carried out in typical urban, suburban and rural environments in Ekiti State, Southwestern part of Nigeria. A total number of seven base stations of MTN GSM service located in the studied environments were monitored. Path loss and break point distances were deduced from the measured received signal strength (RSS) and a practical path loss model is proposed based on the deduced break point distances. The proposed two slope model, regression line and four existing path loss models were compared with the measured path loss values. The standard deviations of each model with respect to the measured path loss were estimated for each base station. The proposed model and regression line exhibited lowest standard deviations followed by the Cost231-Hata model when compared with the Erceg Ericsson and SUI models. Generally, the proposed two-slope model shows closest agreement with the measured values with a mean error values of 2 to 6 dB. These results show that, either the proposed two slope model or Cost 231-Hata model may be used to predict path loss values in mobile micro cell coverage in the well-considered environments. Information from this work will be useful for link design of microwave band wireless access systems in the region.

Nurses’ Views on ‘Effective Nurse Leader’ Characteristics in Iraq

This research explored ward nurses’ views about the characteristics of effective nurse leaders in the context of Iraq as a developing country, where the delivery of health care continues to face disruption and change. It is well established that the provision of modern health care requires effective nurse leaders, but in countries such as Iraq the lack of effective nurse leaders is noted as a major challenge. In a descriptive quantitative study, a survey questionnaire was administered to 210 ward nurses working in two public hospitals in a major city in the north of Iraq. The participating nurses were of the opinion that the effectiveness of their nurse leaders was evident in their ability to demonstrate: good clinical knowledge, effective communication and managerial skills. They also viewed their leaders as needing to hold high-level nursing qualifications, though this was not necessarily the case in practice. Additionally, they viewed nurse leaders’ personal qualities as important, which included politeness, ethical behaviour, and trustworthiness. When considered against the issues raised in interviews with a smaller group (20) of senior nurse leaders, representative of the various occupational levels, implications identify the need for professional development that focuses on how the underpinning competencies relate to leadership and how transformational leadership is evidenced in practice.

Investigation of Possible Behavioural and Molecular Effects of Mobile Phone Exposure on Rats

The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.

Characteristics of Ozone Generated from Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuators

Dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators (DBD-PAs) have been developed for active flow control devices. However, it is necessary to reduce ozone produced by DBD toward practical applications using DBD-PAs. In this study, variations of ozone concentration, flow velocity, power consumption were investigated by changing exposed electrodes of DBD-PAs. Two exposed electrode prototypes were prepared: span-type with exposed electrode width of 0.1 mm, and normal-type with width of 5 mm. It was found that span-type shows lower power consumption and higher flow velocity than that of normal-type at Vp-p = 4.0-6.0 kV. Ozone concentration of span-type higher than normal-type at Vp-p = 4.0-8.0 kV. In addition, it was confirmed that catalyst located in downstream from the exposed electrode can reduce ozone concentration between 18 and 42% without affecting the induced flow.

A Neuro-Automata Decision Support System for the Control of Late Blight in Tomato Crops

The use of decision support systems in agriculture may help monitoring large fields of crops by automatically detecting the symptoms of foliage diseases. In our work, we designed and implemented a decision support system for small tomatoes producers. This work investigates ways to recognize the late blight disease from the analysis of digital images of tomatoes, using a pair of multilayer perceptron neural networks. The networks outputs are used to generate repainted tomato images in which the injuries on the plant are highlighted, and to calculate the damage level of each plant. Those levels are then used to construct a situation map of a farm where a cellular automata simulates the outbreak evolution over the fields. The simulator can test different pesticides actions, helping in the decision on when to start the spraying and in the analysis of losses and gains of each choice of action.

Study on Robot Trajectory Planning by Robot End-Effector Using Dual Curvature Theory of the Ruled Surface

This paper presents the method of trajectory planning by the robot end-effector which accounts for more accurate and smooth differential geometry of the ruled surface generated by tool line fixed with end-effector based on the methods of curvature theory of ruled surface and the dual curvature theory, and focuses on the underlying relation to unite them for enhancing the efficiency for trajectory planning. Robot motion can be represented as motion properties of the ruled surface generated by trajectory of the Tool Center Point (TCP). The linear and angular properties of the six degree-of-freedom motion of end-effector are computed using the explicit formulas and functions from curvature theory and dual curvature theory. This paper explains the complete dualization of ruled surface and shows that the linear and angular motion applied using the method of dual curvature theory is more accurate and less complex.

Multipurpose Agricultural Robot Platform: Conceptual Design of Control System Software for Autonomous Driving and Agricultural Operations Using Programmable Logic Controller

This paper discusses about the conceptual design and development of the control system software using Programmable logic controller (PLC) for autonomous driving and agricultural operations of Multipurpose Agricultural Robot Platform (MARP). Based on given initial conditions by field analysis and desired agricultural operations, the structural design development of MARP is done using modelling and analysis tool. PLC, being robust and easy to use, has been used to design the autonomous control system of robot platform for desired parameters. The robot is capable of performing autonomous driving and three automatic agricultural operations, viz. hilling, mulching, and sowing of seeds in the respective order. The input received from various sensors on the field is later transmitted to the controller via ZigBee network to make the changes in the control program to get desired field output. The research is conducted to provide assistance to farmers by reducing labor hours for agricultural activities by implementing automation. This study will provide an alternative to the existing systems with machineries attached behind tractors and rigorous manual operations on agricultural field at effective cost.

A Neural Network Classifier for Estimation of the Degree of Infestation by Late Blight on Tomato Leaves

Foliage diseases in plants can cause a reduction in both quality and quantity of agricultural production. Intelligent detection of plant diseases is an essential research topic as it may help monitoring large fields of crops by automatically detecting the symptoms of foliage diseases. This work investigates ways to recognize the late blight disease from the analysis of tomato digital images, collected directly from the field. A pair of multilayer perceptron neural network analyzes the digital images, using data from both RGB and HSL color models, and classifies each image pixel. One neural network is responsible for the identification of healthy regions of the tomato leaf, while the other identifies the injured regions. The outputs of both networks are combined to generate the final classification of each pixel from the image and the pixel classes are used to repaint the original tomato images by using a color representation that highlights the injuries on the plant. The new images will have only green, red or black pixels, if they came from healthy or injured portions of the leaf, or from the background of the image, respectively. The system presented an accuracy of 97% in detection and estimation of the level of damage on the tomato leaves caused by late blight.

Surface and Drinking Water Quality Monitoring of Thomas Reservoir, Kano State, Nigeria

Drinking water is supplied to Danbatta, Makoda and some parts of Minjibir local government areas of Kano State from the surface water of Thomas Reservoir. The present land use in the catchment area of the reservoir indicates high agricultural activities, fishing, as well as domestic and small scale industrial activities. To study and monitor the quality of surface and drinking water of the area, water samples were collected from the reservoir, treated water at the treatment plant and potable water at the consumer end in three seasons November - February (cold season), March - June (dry season) and July - September (rainy season). The samples were analyzed for physical and chemical parameters, pH, temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS), conductivity, turbidity, total hardness, suspended solids, total solids, colour, dissolved oxygen (DO), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chloride ion (Cl-) nitrite (NO2-), nitrate (NO3-), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and phosphate (PO43-). The higher values obtained in some parameters with respect to the acceptable standard set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) indicate the pollution of both the surface and drinking water. These pollutants were observed to have a negative impact on water quality in terms of eutrophication, largely due to anthropogenic activities in the watershed.

Thermal Analysis of Extrusion Process in Plastic Making

Plastic extrusion has been an important process of plastic production since 19th century. Meanwhile, in plastic extrusion process, wide variation in temperature along the extrudate usually leads to scraps formation on the side of finished products. To avoid this situation, there is a need to deeply understand temperature distribution along the extrudate in plastic extrusion process. This work developed an analytical model that predicts the temperature distribution over the billet (the polymers melt) along the extrudate during extrusion process with the limitation that the polymer in question does not cover biopolymer such as DNA. The model was solved and simulated. Results for two different plastic materials (polyvinylchloride and polycarbonate) using self-developed MATLAB code and a commercially developed software (ANSYS) were generated and ultimately compared. It was observed that there is a thermodynamic heat transfer from the entry level of the billet into the die down to the end of it. The graph plots indicate a natural exponential decay of temperature with time and along the die length, with the temperature being 413 K and 474 K for polyvinylchloride and polycarbonate respectively at the entry level and 299.3 K and 328.8 K at the exit when the temperature of the surrounding was 298 K. The extrusion model was validated by comparison of MATLAB code simulation with a commercially available ANSYS simulation and the results favourably agree. This work concludes that the developed mathematical model and the self-generated MATLAB code are reliable tools in predicting temperature distribution along the extrudate in plastic extrusion process.