Piezoelectric Bimorph Harvester Based on Different Lead Zirconate Titanate Materials to Enhance Energy Collection

Nowadays, the increasing applicability of internet of things (IoT) systems has changed the way that the world around is perceived. The massive interconnection of systems by means of sensing, processing and communication, allows multitude of data to be at our fingertips. In this way, countless advances have been made in different fields such as personal care, predictive maintenance in industry, quality control in production processes, security, and in everything imaginable. However, all these electronic systems have in common the need to be electrically powered. In this context, batteries and wires are the most commonly used solutions, but they are not a definitive solution in some applications, because of the attainability, the serviceability, or the performance requirements. Therefore, the need arises to look for other types of solutions based on energy harvesting and long-life electronics. Energy Harvesting can be defined as the action of capturing energy from the environment and store it for an instantaneous use or later use. Among the materials capable of harvesting energy from the environment, such as thermoelectrics, electromagnetics, photovoltaics or triboelectrics, the most suitable is the piezoelectric material. The phenomenon of piezoelectricity is one of the most powerful sources for energy harvesting, ranging from a few micro wats to hundreds of wats, depending on certain factors such as material type, geometry, excitation frequency, mechanical and electrical configurations, among others. In this research work, an exhaustive study is carried out on how different types of piezoelectric materials and electrical configurations influence the maximum power that a bimorph harvester is able to extract from mechanical vibrations. A series of experiments has been carried out in which the manufactured bimorph specimens are excited under fixed inertial vibrational conditions. In addition, in order to evaluate the dependence of the maximum transferred power, different load resistors are tested. In this way, the pure active power that achieves the maximum power transfer can be approximated. In this paper, we present the design of low-cost energy harvesting solutions based on piezoelectric smart materials with tunable frequency. The results obtained show the differences in energy extraction between the PZT materials studied and their electrical configurations. The aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of the behavior of piezoelectric materials, and the design process of bimorph PZT harvesters to optimize environmental energy extraction.

The Public Law Studies: Relationship between Accountability, Environmental Education and Smart Cities

Nowadays, the study of public policies regarding management efficiency is essential. Public policies are about what governments do or do not do, being an area that has grown worldwide, contributing through the knowledge of technologies and methodologies that monitor and evaluate the performance of public administrators. The information published on official government websites needs to provide for transparency and responsiveness of managers. Thus, transparency is a primordial factor for the execution of accountability, providing, in this way, services to the citizen with the expansion of transparent, efficient, democratic information and that value administrative eco-efficiency. The ecologically balanced management of a Smart City must optimize environmental education, building a fairer society, which brings about equality in the use of quality environmental resources. Smart Cities add value in the construction of public management, enabling interaction between people, enhancing environmental education and the practical applicability of administrative eco-efficiency, fostering economic development and improving the quality of life.

Indian Women’s Inner -World and Female Protest in Githa Hariharan’s Novel ‘The Thousand Faces of Night’

Gender statuses are inherently unequal; it is difficult to establish equality between men and women in the light of traditional inequalities across the world. This research focuses on the similarities and differences among women from different generations, different kinds of educational backgrounds and highlights the conflict experiences of the characters in Githa Hariharan’s novel “The Thousand Faces of Night”. The purpose is to show how women are suffering and are being humiliated in a male-dominated society. The paper depicts how women in India grapple from male domination aggressiveness as well as the cultural, social and religious controlling in the society they live in. The paper also seeks to explore the importance of knowledge as a powerful component which produces positive effects at the level of desire. The paper is based on the theories of Simone Beauvoir, Pierre Bourdieu, Edward Said, Rene Descartes and Amy Bhatt. Finally, the research emphasizes survival against hegemonic regimes and hope of Indian women for better life.

A Procedure to Assess Streamflow Rating Curves and Streamflow Sequences

This study aims to provide sub-hourly streamflow predictions and associated rating curves for small catchments of intermittent and torrential flow regime characterized by flash floods occurring especially during April and November. The methodology entails two lumped conceptual hydrological models which work in series. The total model is based upon eleven parameters and shows good flexibility in handling different input sets. Runoff Coefficient has contributed to improving the model’s performances and has been treated as an additional parameter; while Sensitivity Analysis has highlighted how slight changes in the model’s input can lead to changes in model’s output. The adopted procedure is steady and useful to give very practical engineering information at the expense of a parsimonious request both in input data and in the number of adopted parameters. According to the obtained results, the authors encourage the test of this combined procedure on different hydrological scenarios in order to provide information for poorly monitored catchments and not updated sites.

Spatial Indeterminacy: Destabilization of Dichotomies in Modern and Contemporary Architecture

Since the advent of modern architecture, notions of free plan and transparency have proliferated well into current trends. The movement’s notion of a spatially homogeneous, open and limitless ‘free plan’ contrasts with the spatially heterogeneous ‘series of rooms’ defined by load bearing walls, which in turn triggered new notions of transparency created by vast expanses of glazed walls. Similarly, transparency was also dichotomized as something that was physical or optical, as well as something conceptual, akin to spatial organization. As opposed to merely accepting the duality and possible incompatibility of these dichotomies, this paper seeks to ask how can space be both literally and phenomenally transparent, as well as exhibit both homogeneous and heterogeneous qualities? This paper explores this potential destabilization or blurring of spatial phenomena by dissecting the transparent layers and volumes of a series of selected case studies to investigate how different architects have devised strategies of spatial ambiguity and interpenetration. Projects by Peter Eisenman, Sou Fujimoto, and SANAA will be discussed and analyzed to show how the superimposition of geometries and spaces achieve different conditions of layering, transparency, and interstitiality. Their particular buildings will be explored to reveal various innovative kinds of spatial interpenetration produced through the articulate relations of the elements of architecture, which challenge conventional perceptions of interior and exterior whereby visual homogeneity blurs with spatial heterogeneity. The results show how spatial conceptions such as interpenetration and transparency have the ability to subvert not only inside-outside dialectics, but could also produce multiple degrees of interiority within complex and indeterminate spatial dimensions in constant flux as well as present alternative forms of social interaction.

Soil-Structure Interaction Models for the Reinforced Foundation System: A State-of-the-Art Review

Challenges of weak soil subgrade are often resolved either by stabilization or reinforcing it. However, it is also practiced to reinforce the granular fill to improve the load-settlement behavior of it over weak soil strata. The inclusion of reinforcement in the engineered granular fill provided a new impetus for the development of enhanced Soil-Structure Interaction (SSI) models, also known as mechanical foundation models or lumped parameter models. Several researchers have been working in this direction to understand the mechanism of granular fill-reinforcement interaction and the response of weak soil under the application of load. These models have been developed by extending available SSI models such as the Winkler Model, Pasternak Model, Hetenyi Model, Kerr Model etc., and are helpful to visualize the load-settlement behavior of a physical system through 1-D and 2-D analysis considering beam and plate resting on the foundation, respectively. Based on the literature survey, these models are categorized as ‘Reinforced Pasternak Model,’ ‘Double Beam Model,’ ‘Reinforced Timoshenko Beam Model,’ and ‘Reinforced Kerr Model’. The present work reviews the past 30+ years of research in the field of SSI models for reinforced foundation systems, presenting the conceptual development of these models systematically and discussing their limitations. A flow-chart showing procedure for compution of deformation and mobilized tension is also incorporated in the paper. Special efforts are taken to tabulate the parameters and their significance in the load-settlement analysis, which may be helpful in future studies for the comparison and enhancement of results and findings of physical models. 

Enhanced Interference Management Technique for Multi-Cell Multi-Antenna System

As the deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) mobile communication networks take shape all over the world, achieving spectral efficiency, energy efficiency, and dealing with interference are among the greatest challenges encountered so far. The aim of this study is to mitigate inter-cell interference (ICI) in a multi-cell multi-antenna system while maximizing the spectral efficiency of the system. In this study, a system model was devised that showed a miniature representation of a multi-cell multi-antenna system. Based on this system model, a convex optimization problem was formulated to maximize the spectral efficiency of the system while mitigating the ICI. This optimization problem was solved using CVX, which is a modeling system for constructing and solving discipline convex programs. The solutions to the optimization problem are sub-optimal coordinated beamformers. These coordinated beamformers direct each data to the served user equipments (UEs) in each cell without interference during downlink transmission, thereby maximizing the system-wide spectral efficiency.

Comparison of Conventional Control and Robust Control on Double-Pipe Heat Exchanger

Heat exchanger is a device used to mix liquids having different temperatures. In this case, the temperature control becomes a critical objective. This research work presents the temperature control of the double-pipe heat exchanger (multi-input multi-output (MIMO) system), which is modeled as first-order coupled hyperbolic partial differential equations (PDEs), using conventional and advanced control techniques, and develops appropriate robust control strategy to meet stability requirements and performance objectives. We designed the proportional–integral–derivative (PID) controller and H-infinity controller for a heat exchanger (HE) system. Frequency characteristics of sensitivity functions and open-loop and closed-loop time responses are simulated using MATLAB software and the stability of the system is analyzed using Kalman's test. The simulation results have demonstrated that the H-infinity controller is more efficient than PID in terms of robustness and performance.

Reducing the Need for Multi-Input Multi-Output in Multi-Beam Base Transceiver Station Antennas Using Orthogonally-Polarized Feeds with an Arbitrary Number of Ports

A multi-beam BTS (Base Transceiver Station) antenna has been developed using dual parabolic cylindrical reflectors. The ±45° polarization feeds are used in spatial diversity MIMO (Multi-Input Multi-Output). They can be replaced by single-port orthogonally polarized feeds. Then, with two sets of beams generated above each other, the ± 45° polarization ports of any conventional transceiver can be connected to two of these beam sets. Thus, with two-port transceivers, the system will be equivalent to 4x4 MIMO, instead of 2x2. Radio Frequency (RF) power combiners/splitters can also be used to combine the multiple beams into a single beam or any arbitrary number of beams/ports. The gain of the combined-beam will be more than 20-24 dBi instead of 17-18 dBi of conventional wide-beam antennas. Furthermore, the gain of the combined beam will be high over the whole beam angle. Moreover, the users will always be close to the peak gain value of the combined beam regardless of their location within the combined beam angle. The frequency bands of all the combined beams are adjusted such that they all have the same frequency band. Different configurations of RF power splitter/combiners can be used to provide any arbitrary number of beams/ports according to the requirements of any existing base station configuration.

6D Posture Estimation of Road Vehicles from Color Images

Currently, in the field of object posture estimation, there is research on estimating the position and angle of an object by storing a 3D model of the object to be estimated in advance in a computer and matching it with the model. However, in this research, we have succeeded in creating a module that is much simpler, smaller in scale, and faster in operation. Our 6D pose estimation model consists of two different networks – a classification network and a regression network. From a single RGB image, the trained model estimates the class of the object in the image, the coordinates of the object, and its rotation angle in 3D space. In addition, we compared the estimation accuracy of each camera position, i.e., the angle from which the object was captured. The highest accuracy was recorded when the camera position was 75°, the accuracy of the classification was about 87.3%, and that of regression was about 98.9%.

Early Depression Detection for Young Adults with a Psychiatric and AI Interdisciplinary Multimodal Framework

During COVID-19, the depression rate has increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Lower-income families have a higher ratio to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, but less access to clinics. This research aims to achieve early depression detection at low cost, large scale, and high accuracy with an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating clinical practices defined by American Psychiatric Association (APA) as well as multimodal AI framework. The proposed approach detected the nine depression symptoms with Natural Language Processing sentiment analysis and a symptom-based Lexicon uniquely designed for young adults. The experiments were conducted on the multimedia survey results from adolescents and young adults and unbiased Twitter communications. The result was further aggregated with the facial emotional cues analyzed by the Convolutional Neural Network on the multimedia survey videos. Five experiments each conducted on 10k data entries reached consistent results with an average accuracy of 88.31%, higher than the existing natural language analysis models. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users and is highly accessible by low-income populations to promote early depression detection to raise awareness in adolescents and young adults and reveal complementary cues to assist clinical depression diagnosis.

Experimental Study on the Variation of Young's Modulus of Hollow Clay Brick Obtained from Static and Dynamic Tests

In parallel with the appearance of new materials, brick masonry had and still has an essential part of the construction market today, with new technical challenges in designing bricks to meet additional requirements. Being used in structural applications, predicting the performance of clay brick masonry allows a significant cost reduction, in terms of practical experimentation. The behavior of masonry walls depends on the behavior of their elementary components, such as bricks, joints, and coatings. Therefore, it is necessary to consider it at different scales (from the scale of the intrinsic material to the real scale of the wall) and then to develop appropriate models, using numerical simulations. The work presented in this paper focuses on the mechanical characterization of the terracotta material at ambient temperature. As a result, the static Young’s modulus obtained from the flexural test shows different values in comparison with the compression test, as well as with the dynamic Young’s modulus obtained from the Impulse excitation of vibration test. Moreover, the Young's modulus varies according to the direction in which samples are extracted, where the values in the extrusion direction diverge from the ones in the orthogonal directions. Based on these results, hollow bricks can be considered as transversely isotropic bimodulus material.

Chemistry and Biological Activity of Feed Additive for Poultry Farming

Essential oils are one of the most important groups of biologically active substances present in plants. Due to the chemical diversity of components, essential oils and their preparations have a wide spectrum of pharmacological action. They have bactericidal, antiviral, fungicidal, antiprotozoal, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, sedative and other activities. They are expectorant, spasmolytic, sedative, hypotensive, secretion enhancing, antioxidant remedies. Based on preliminary pharmacological studies, we have developed a formulation called “Phytobiotic” containing essential oils, a feed additive for poultry as an alternative to antibiotics. Phytobiotic is a water-soluble powder containing a composition of essential oils of thyme, clary, monarda and auxiliary substances: dry extract of liquorice and inhalation lactose. On this stage of research, the goal was to study the chemical composition of provided phytobiotic, identify the main substances and determine their quantity, investigate the biological activity of phytobiotic through in vitro and in vivo studies. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, 38 components were identified in phytobiotic, representing acyclic-, monocyclic-, bicyclic-, and sesquiterpenes. Together with identification of main active substances, their quantitative content was determined, including acyclic terpene alcohol β-linalool, acyclic terpene ketone linalyl acetate, monocyclic terpenes: D-limonene and γ-terpinene, monocyclic aromatic terpene thymol. Provided phytobiotic has pronounced and at the same time broad spectrum of antibacterial activity. In the cell model, phytobiotic showed weak antioxidant activity, and it was stronger in the ORAC (chemical model) tests. Meanwhile anti-inflammatory activity was also observed. When fowls were supplied feed enriched with phytobiotic, it was observed that gained weight of the chickens in the experimental group exceeded the same data for the control group during the entire period of the experiment. The survival rate of broilers in the experimental group during the growth period was 98% compared to -94% in the control group. As a result of conducted researches probable four different mechanisms which are important for the action of phytobiotics were identified: sensory, metabolic, antioxidant and antibacterial action. General toxic, possible local irritant and allergenic effects of phytobiotic were also investigated. Performed assays proved that formulation is safe.

A Highly Sensitive Dip Strip for Detection of Phosphate in Water

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant life which is most frequently found as phosphate in water. Once phosphate is found in abundance in surface water, a series of adverse effects on an ecosystem can be initiated. Therefore, a portable and reliable method is needed to monitor the phosphate concentrations in the field. In this paper, an inexpensive dip strip device with the ascorbic acid/antimony reagent dried on blotting paper along with wet chemistry is developed for the detection of low concentrations of phosphate in water. Ammonium molybdate and sulfuric acid are separately stored in liquid form so as to improve significantly the lifetime of the device and enhance the reproducibility of the device’s performance. The limit of detection and quantification for the optimized device are 0.134 ppm and 0.472 ppm for phosphate in water, respectively. The device’s shelf life, storage conditions, and limit of detection are superior to what has been previously reported for the paper-based phosphate detection devices.

Neural Network Models for Actual Cost and Actual Duration Estimation in Construction Projects: Findings from Greece

Predicting the actual cost and duration in construction projects concern a continuous and existing problem for the construction sector. This paper addresses this problem with modern methods and data available from past public construction projects. 39 bridge projects, constructed in Greece, with a similar type of available data were examined. Considering each project’s attributes with the actual cost and the actual duration, correlation analysis is performed and the most appropriate predictive project variables are defined. Additionally, the most efficient subgroup of variables is selected with the use of the WEKA application, through its attribute selection function. The selected variables are used as input neurons for neural network models through correlation analysis. For constructing neural network models, the application FANN Tool is used. The optimum neural network model, for predicting the actual cost, produced a mean squared error with a value of 3.84886e-05 and it was based on the budgeted cost and the quantity of deck concrete. The optimum neural network model, for predicting the actual duration, produced a mean squared error with a value of 5.89463e-05 and it also was based on the budgeted cost and the amount of deck concrete.

Multiple Approaches for Ultrasonic Cavitation Monitoring of Oxygen-Loaded Nanodroplets

Ultrasound (US) is widely used in medical field for a variety diagnostic techniques but, in recent years, it has also been creating great interest for therapeutic aims. Regarding drug delivery, the use of US as an activation source provides better spatial delivery confinement and limits the undesired side effects. However, at present there is no complete characterization at a fundamental level of the different signals produced by sono-activated nanocarriers. Therefore, the aim of this study is to obtain a metrological characterization of the cavitation phenomena induced by US through three parallel investigation approaches. US was focused into a channel of a customized phantom in which a solution with oxygen-loaded nanodroplets (OLNDs) was led to flow and the cavitation activity was monitored. Both quantitative and qualitative real-time analysis were performed giving information about the dynamics of bubble formation, oscillation and final implosion with respect to the working acoustic pressure and the type of nanodroplets, compared with pure water. From this analysis a possible interpretation of the observed results is proposed.

Perturbative Analysis on a Lunar Free Return Trajectory

In this study, starting with a predetermined Lunar free-return trajectory, an analysis of major near-Earth perturbations is carried out. Referencing to historical Apollo-13 flight, changes in the mission’s resultant perimoon and perigee altitudes with each perturbative effect are evaluated. The perturbations that were considered are Earth oblateness effects, up to the 6th order, atmospheric drag, third body perturbations consisting of solar and planetary effects and solar radiation pressure effects. It is found that for a Moon mission, most of the main perturbative effects spoil the trajectory significantly while some came out to be negligible. It is seen that for apparent future request of constructing low cost, reliable and safe trajectories to the Moon, most of the orbital perturbations are crucial.

Protection of Cultural Heritage against the Effects of Climate Change Using Autonomous Aerial Systems Combined with Automated Decision Support

The article presents an ongoing work in research projects such as SCAN4RECO or ARCH, both funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 program. The former one concerns multimodal and multispectral scanning of Cultural Heritage assets for their digitization and conservation via spatiotemporal reconstruction and 3D printing, while the latter one aims to better preserve areas of cultural heritage from hazards and risks. It co-creates tools that would help pilot cities to save cultural heritage from the effects of climate change. It develops a disaster risk management framework for assessing and improving the resilience of historic areas to climate change and natural hazards. Tools and methodologies are designed for local authorities and practitioners, urban population, as well as national and international expert communities, aiding authorities in knowledge-aware decision making. In this article we focus on 3D modelling of object geometry using primarily photogrammetric methods to achieve very high model accuracy using consumer types of devices, attractive both to professions and hobbyists alike.

Effect of Current Density, Temperature and Pressure on Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyser Stack

This study investigates the effects of operating parameters of different current density, temperature and pressure on the performance of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis stack. A 7-cell PEM water electrolysis stack was assembled and tested under different operation modules. The voltage change and polarization curves under different test conditions, namely current density, temperature and pressure, were recorded. Results show that higher temperature has positive effect on overall stack performance, where temperature of 80 ℃ improved the cell performance greatly. However, the cathode pressure and current density has little effect on stack performance.

Pictorial Multimodal Analysis of Selected Paintings of Salvador Dali

Multimodality involves the communication between verbal and visual components in various discourses. A painting represents a form of communication between the artist and the viewer in terms of colors, shades, objects, and the title. This paper aims to present how multimodality can be used to decode the verbal and visual dimensions a painting holds. For that purpose, this study uses Kress and van Leeuwen’s theoretical framework of visual grammar for the analysis of the multimodal semiotic resources of selected paintings of Salvador Dali. This study investigates the visual decoding of the selected paintings of Salvador Dali and analyzing their social and political meanings using Kress and van Leeuwen’s framework of visual grammar. The paper attempts to answer the following questions: 1. How far can multimodality decode the verbal and non-verbal meanings of surrealistic art? 2. How can Kress and van Leeuwen’s theoretical framework of visual grammar be applied to analyze Dali’s paintings? 3. To what extent is Kress and van Leeuwen’s theoretical framework of visual grammar apt to deliver political and social messages of Dali? The paper reached the following findings: the framework’s descriptive tools (representational, interactive, and compositional meanings) can be used to analyze the paintings’ title and their visual elements. Social and political messages were delivered by appropriate usage of color, gesture, vectors, modality, and the way social actors were represented.