Concept of Net Zero Ecotourism in Sustainable Tourism Industry Development

With the increase of demand and popularity of ecotourism development to address the concern of carbon emission, the acceleration of development of the concept of net zero carbon ecotourism can increase international competitiveness, sustainability and productivity. This paper aims to outline the major key components and considerations in ecotourism development with integration of net zero strategy and provide recommendation and reference to government agents, Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry and stakeholders to contribute to the target of net zero and environmentally friendly ecotourism development project. This paper explores the alternative to the reliance on local regulation and ecotourism certification programs as a base tool to achieve the higher standard of the reduction of the use of energy and natural resources in ecotourism development and to enhance their sustainability.

The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Digital Forensics and Incident Response in a Constrained Environment

Digital investigators often have a hard time spotting evidence in digital information. It has become hard to determine which source of proof relates to a specific investigation. A growing concern is that the various processes, technology, and specific procedures used in the digital investigation are not keeping up with criminal developments. Therefore, criminals are taking advantage of these weaknesses to commit further crimes. In digital forensics investigations, artificial intelligence (AI) is invaluable in identifying crime. Providing objective data and conducting an assessment is the goal of digital forensics and digital investigation, which will assist in developing a plausible theory that can be presented as evidence in court. This research paper aims at developing a multiagent framework for digital investigations using specific intelligent software agents (ISAs). The agents communicate to address particular tasks jointly and keep the same objectives in mind during each task. The rules and knowledge contained within each agent are dependent on the investigation type. A criminal investigation is classified quickly and efficiently using the case-based reasoning (CBR) technique. The proposed framework development is implemented using the Java Agent Development Framework, Eclipse, Postgres repository, and a rule engine for agent reasoning. The proposed framework was tested using the Lone Wolf image files and datasets. Experiments were conducted using various sets of ISAs and VMs. There was a significant reduction in the time taken for the Hash Set Agent to execute. As a result of loading the agents, 5% of the time was lost, as the File Path Agent prescribed deleting 1,510, while the Timeline Agent found multiple executable files. In comparison, the integrity check carried out on the Lone Wolf image file using a digital forensic tool kit took approximately 48 minutes (2,880 ms), whereas the MADIK framework accomplished this in 16 minutes (960 ms). The framework is integrated with Python, allowing for further integration of other digital forensic tools, such as AccessData Forensic Toolkit (FTK), Wireshark, Volatility, and Scapy.

Depth Camera Aided Dead-Reckoning Localization of Autonomous Mobile Robots in Unstructured Global Navigation Satellite System Denied Environments

In global navigation satellite system (GNSS) denied settings, such as indoor environments, autonomous mobile robots are often limited to dead-reckoning navigation techniques to determine their position, velocity, and attitude (PVA). Localization is typically accomplished by employing an inertial measurement unit (IMU), which, while precise in nature, accumulates errors rapidly and severely degrades the localization solution. Standard sensor fusion methods, such as Kalman filtering, aim to fuse precise IMU measurements with accurate aiding sensors to establish a precise and accurate solution. In indoor environments, where GNSS and no other a priori information is known about the environment, effective sensor fusion is difficult to achieve, as accurate aiding sensor choices are sparse. However, an opportunity arises by employing a depth camera in the indoor environment. A depth camera can capture point clouds of the surrounding floors and walls. Extracting attitude from these surfaces can serve as an accurate aiding source, which directly combats errors that arise due to gyroscope imperfections. This configuration for sensor fusion leads to a dramatic reduction of PVA error compared to traditional aiding sensor configurations. This paper provides the theoretical basis for the depth camera aiding sensor method, initial expectations of performance benefit via simulation, and hardware implementation thus verifying its veracity. Hardware implementation is performed on the Quanser Qbot 2™ mobile robot, with a Vector-Nav VN-200™ IMU and Kinect™ camera from Microsoft.

Analytic on Various Grounding Configurations in Uniform Layer Soil

The performance of an embedded grounding system is very important for the safe operation of electrical appliances and human beings. In principle, a safe grounding system has two objectives, which are to dissipate fault current without exceeding any operating and equipment limits and to ensure there is no risk of electric shock to humans in the vicinity of earthed facilities. The case studies in this paper present the calculating grounding resistance for multiple configurations of vertical and horizontally by using a simple and accurate formula. From the analytic calculated results, observed good/empirical relationship between the grounding resistance and length of the embedded grounding configurations. Moreover, the configurations of vertical and horizontal observed effectiveness of grounding resistance and good agreement on the reduction of grounding resistance values especially for vertical configuration.

Development of a Quantitative Material Wastage Management Plan for Effective Waste Reduction in the Building Construction Industry

Combating climate change is becoming a hot topic in various sectors. Building construction and infrastructure sectors contributed a significant proportion of waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the environment of different countries and cities. However, there is little research on the micro-level of waste management, “building construction material wastage management,” and fewer reviews about regulatory control in the building construction sector. This paper focuses on the potentialities and importance of material wastage management and reviews the deficiencies of the current standard to take into account the reduction of material wastage in a systematic and quantitative approach.

Ductility, Rμ, and Overstrength Factors for V Braced Reinforced Concrete Buildings

Steel bracings are used to improve the seismic behaviors of the structures. In this study, 8, 12 and 16 story reinforced concrete (RC) buildings with steel bracings are used in three base shear contributions (25%, 50% and 75%) in the columns. With the help of pushover analysis and capacity curves, the overstrength factors, ductility factors and ductility reduction factors are investigated for braced RC buildings. It is observed that when the base shear contribution in the columns increases the ductility reduction factor also increases. The results show that when the time period of the structures increases, the ductility reduction factors of the structures decrease.

Challenge of Net-Zero Carbon Construction and Measurement of Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission Reduction to Climate Change, Economy and Job Growths in Hong Kong and Australia

Under the Paris Agreement 2015, the countries committed to address and combat the climate change and its negative impacts and agree to the target of reducing the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission substantially by limiting the global temperature to 2 0C above the pre-industrial level in this century. An international submit named “26th United Nations Climate Conference” (COP26) was held in Glasgow in 2021 with all committed countries agreed to finalize the outstanding element in Paris Agreement and Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5 0C. In this paper, we will focus on the basic approach of waste strategy, recycling policy, circular economy strategy, net-zero strategy and sustainability strategy and the importance of the elements which affect the carbon emission, waste generation and energy conservation will be further reviewed with recommendation for future study.

Supplementary Cementitious Materials as Sustainable Partial Replacement for Cement in the Building Industry

Cement is the most extensively used construction material due to its strength and versatility of use. However, the production of Portland cement has become unsustainable because of high energy usage, reduction of natural non-renewable resources and emissions of greenhouse gases. Production of cement contributes to anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions annually. The growing concerns for the environment resulting from this constant and excessive use of cement has therefore raised the need for more green materials and technology. The use of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) is considered as one of the many alternatives suited to address this issue and serve as a sustainable partial replacement for cement in construction. This paper will examine the reuse of these waste materials to partially replace Portland cement. It provides a critical review of literature analysing various supplementary cementitious materials which are applicable in the building industry as either partial replacement for cement or aggregates. These materials have been grouped based on source into industrial wastes, domestic/general wastes, and agricultural wastes. The reuse of these waste materials could potentially reduce the negative effects of cement production and reduce landfills which constitute an environmental nuisance. This paper seeks to inform building industry professionals and researchers in the field on the applicability of these waste materials in construction.

Development of a Basic Robot System for Medical and Nursing Care for Patients with Glaucoma

Medical methods to completely treat glaucoma are yet to be developed. Therefore, ophthalmologists manage patients mainly to delay disease progression. Patients with glaucoma are mainly elderly individuals. In elderly people's houses, having an equipment that can provide medical treatment and care can release their family from their care. For elderly people with the glaucoma to live by themselves as much as possible, we developed a support robot having five functions: elderly people care, ophthalmological examination, trip assistance to the neighborhood, medical treatment, and data referral to a hospital. The medical and nursing care robot should approach the visual field that the patients can see at a speed suitable for their eyesight. This is because the robot will be dangerous if it approaches the patients from the visual field that they cannot see. We experimentally developed a robot that brings a white cane to elderly people with glaucoma. The base part of the robot is a carriage, which is a Megarover 1.1, and it has two infrared sensors. The robot moves along a white line on the floor using the infrared sensors and has a special arm, which does not use electricity. The arm can scoop the block attached to the white cane. Next, we also developed a direction detector comprised of a charge-coupled device camera (SVR41ResucueHD; Sun Mechatronics), goggles (MG-277MLF; Midori Anzen Co. Ltd.), and biconvex lenses with a focal length of 25 mm (Edmund Co.). Some young people were photographed using the direction detector, which was put on their faces. Image processing was performed using Scilab 6.1.0 and Image Processing and Computer Vision Toolbox 4.1.2. To measure the people's line of vision, we calculated the iris's center of gravity using five processes: reduction, trimming, binarization or gray scale, edge extraction, and Hough transform. We compared the binarization and gray scale processes in image processing. The binarization process was better than the gray scale process. For edge extraction, we compared five methods: Sobel, Prewitt, Laplacian of Gaussian, fast Fourier transform, and Canny. The Canny method was the optimal extraction method. We performed the Hough transform to search for the main coordinates from the iris's edge, and we found that the Hough transform could calculate the center point of the iris.

Improving the Software Homologation Process through Peer Review: An Experience Report on Android Development Environment

In the current technological market environment, ensuring the quality of new products has become a complex challenge. In this scenario, companies have been investing in solutions that aim to reduce the execution time of software testing and lead to cost efficiency. However, companies that have a complex and specialized testing environment usually face barriers related to costly testing processes, especially in distributed settings. Sidia Institute of Technology works on research and development for the Android platform for mobile devices in Latin America. As we work in a global software development (GSD) scope, we have faced barriers caused by failures detected lately that have caused delays in the homologation release process on Android projects. Thus, we adopt an Internal Review process, using as an alternative to reduce these failures. In this paper it was presented the experience of a homologation team adopting an Internal Review process in order to increase the performance through of improving test efficiency. Using this approach, it was possible to realize a substantial improvement in quality, reliability and timeliness of our deliveries. Through the quantitative analyses, it was possible identify a positive growth in homologation efficiency of 6% after adoption of the process. In addition, we performed a qualitative analysis from the collected data through an online questionnaire. In particular, results show that association between failure reduction and review process adoption provides the most quality that has a positive effect on project milestones. We hope this report can be helpful to other companies and the scientific community to improve their process thereby increasing competitive advantages.

Comparative Analysis between Different Proposed Responsive Façade Designs for Reducing the Solar Radiation on the West Façade in the Hot Arid Region

Designing buildings which are sustainable and can control and reduce the solar radiation penetrated from the building facades is such an architectural turn. One of the most important methods of saving energy in a building is carefully designing its facade. Building’s facade is one of the most significant contributors to the energy budget as well as the comfort parameters of a building. Responsive architecture adapts to the surrounding environment causing alteration in the envelope configuration to perform in a more effectively way. One of the objectives of the responsive facades is to protect the building’s users from the external environment and achieving comfortable indoor environment. Solar radiation is one of the aspects that affects the comfortable indoor environment, as well as affects the energy consumption consumed by the HVAC systems for maintaining the indoor comfortable conditions. The aim of the paper is introducing and comparing between four different proposed responsive façade designs in terms of solar radiation reduction on the west façade of a building located in the hot arid region. In addition, the paper highlights the reducing amount of the solar radiation for each proposed responsive facades on the west façade. At the end of the paper, a proposal is introduced which combines the four different axis of movements which reduces the solar radiation the most. Moreover, the paper highlights the definition and aim of the responsive architecture, as well as the focusing on the solar radiation aspect in the hot arid zones. Besides, the paper analyzes an international responsive façade building in Essen, Germany, focusing on the type of responsive facades, angle of rotation, mechanism of movement and the effect of the responsive facades on the building’s performance.

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Acute Urology Admissions in a Busy District General Hospital in the UK

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had unprecedented effects on the healthcare system in the UK. The pandemic has impacted every service within secondary care, including urology. Our objective is to determine how COVID-19 has influenced acute urology admissions in a busy district general hospital in the UK. To conduct the study, retrospective data of patients presenting acutely to the urology department were collected between January 13 to March 22, 2020 (pre-lockdown period) and March 23 to May 31, 2020 (lockdown period). The nature of referrals, types of admission encountered, and management required in accordance with the new set of protocols established during the lockdown period were analysed and compared to the same data prior to UK lockdown. Included in the study were 1092 patients. The results show that an overall reduction of 32.5% was seen in the total number of admissions. A marked decrease was seen in non-urological pathology as compared to other categories. Urolithiasis showed the highest proportional increase. Treatment varied proportionately to the diagnosis, with conservative management accounting for the most likely treatment during lockdown. However, the proportion of patients requiring interventions during the lockdown period increased overall. No comparative differences were observed during the two periods in terms of source of referral, length of stay and patient age. The results of the study concluded that the admission rate showed a decrease, with no significant difference in the nature and timing of presentation. Our department was able to continue providing effective management to patients presenting acutely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Risk Assessment Tool for the Contamination of Aflatoxins on Dried Figs based on Machine Learning Algorithms

Aflatoxins are highly poisonous and carcinogenic compounds produced by species of the genus Aspergillus spp. that can infect a variety of agricultural foods, including dried figs. Biological and environmental factors, such as population, pathogenicity and aflatoxinogenic capacity of the strains, topography, soil and climate parameters of the fig orchards are believed to have a strong effect on aflatoxin levels. Existing methods for aflatoxin detection and measurement, such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), can provide accurate results, but the procedures are usually time-consuming, sample-destructive and expensive. Predicting aflatoxin levels prior to crop harvest is useful for minimizing the health and financial impact of a contaminated crop. Consequently, there is interest in developing a tool that predicts aflatoxin levels based on topography and soil analysis data of fig orchards. This paper describes the development of a risk assessment tool for the contamination of aflatoxin on dried figs, based on the location and altitude of the fig orchards, the population of the fungus Aspergillus spp. in the soil, and soil parameters such as pH, saturation percentage (SP), electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter, particle size analysis (sand, silt, clay), concentration of the exchangeable cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na), extractable P and trace of elements (B, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu), by employing machine learning methods. In particular, our proposed method integrates three machine learning techniques i.e., dimensionality reduction on the original dataset (Principal Component Analysis), metric learning (Mahalanobis Metric for Clustering) and K-nearest Neighbors learning algorithm (KNN), into an enhanced model, with mean performance equal to 85% by terms of the Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) between observed and predicted values.

Performance Evaluation of Minimum Quantity Lubrication on EN3 Mild Steel Turning

Lubrication, cooling and chip removal are the desired functions of any cutting fluid. Conventional or flood lubrication requires high volume flow rate and cost associated with this is higher. In addition, flood lubrication possesses health risks to machine operator. To avoid these consequences, dry machining and minimum quantity are two alternatives. Dry machining cannot be a suited alternative as it can generate greater heat and poor surface finish. Here, turning work is carried out on a Lathe machine using EN3 Mild steel. Variable cutting speeds and depth of cuts are provided and corresponding temperatures and surface roughness values were recorded. Experimental results are analyzed by Minitab software. Regression analysis, main effect plot, and interaction plot conclusion are drawn by using ANOVA. There is a 95.83% reduction in the use of cutting fluid. MQL gives a 9.88% reduction in tool temperature, this will improve tool life. MQL produced a 17.64% improved surface finish. MQL appears to be an economical and environmentally compatible lubrication technique for sustainable manufacturing.

Development of Electrospun Membranes with Defined Polyethylene Collagen and Oxide Architectures Reinforced with Medium and High Intensity Statins

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are related to affectations of the heart and blood vessels, within these are pathologies such as coronary or peripheral heart disease, caused by the narrowing of the vessel wall (atherosclerosis), which is related to the accumulation of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) in the arterial walls that leads to a progressive reduction of the lumen of the vessel and alterations in blood perfusion. Currently, the main therapeutic strategy for this type of alteration is drug treatment with statins, which inhibit the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMG-CoA reductase), responsible for modulating the rate of cholesterol production and other isoprenoids in the mevalonate pathway. This enzyme induces the expression of LDL receptors in the liver, increasing their number on the surface of liver cells, reducing the plasma concentration of cholesterol. On the other hand, when the blood vessel presents stenosis, a surgical procedure with vascular implants is indicated, which are used to restore circulation in the arterial or venous bed. Among the materials used for the development of vascular implants are Dacron® and Teflon®, which perform the function of re-waterproofing the circulatory circuit, but due to their low biocompatibility, they do not have the ability to promote remodeling and tissue regeneration processes. Based on this, the present research proposes the development of a hydrolyzed collagen and polyethylene oxide electrospun membrane reinforced with medium and high-intensity statins, so that in future research it can favor tissue remodeling processes from its microarchitecture.

Incentive Policies to Promote Green Infrastructure in Urban Jordan

The wellbeing of urban dwellers is strongly associated with the quality and quantity of green infrastructure. Nevertheless, urban green infrastructure is still lagging in many Arab cities, and Jordan is no exception. The capital city of Jordan, Amman, is becoming more urban dense with limited green spaces. The unplanned urban growth in Amman has caused several environmental problems such as urban heat islands, air pollution and lack of green spaces. This study aims to investigate the most suitable drivers to leverage the implementation of urban green infrastructure in Jordan through qualitative and quantitative analysis. The qualitative research includes an extensive literature review to discuss the most common drivers used internationally to promote urban green infrastructure implementation in the literature. The quantitative study employs a questionnaire survey to rank the suitability of each driver. Consultants, contractors and policymakers were invited to fill the research questionnaire according to their judgments and opinions. Relative Importance Index has been used to calculate the weighted average of all drivers and the Kruskal-Wallis test to check the degree of agreement among groups. This study finds that research participants agreed that indirect financial incentives (i.e., tax reductions, reduction in stormwater utility fee, reduction of interest rate, density bonus etc.) are the most effective incentive policy whilst granting sustainability certificate policy is the least effective driver to ensure widespread of UGI is elements in Jordan.

Simulation with Uncertainties of Active Controlled Vibration Isolation System for Astronaut’s Exercise Platform

In a task to assist NASA in analyzing the dynamic forces caused by operational countermeasures of an astronaut’s exercise platform impacting the spacecraft, an active proportional-integral-derivative controller commanding a linear actuator is proposed in a vibration isolation system to regulate the movement of the exercise platform. Computer simulation shows promising results that most exciter forces can be reduced or even eliminated. This paper emphasizes on parameter uncertainties, variations and exciter force variations. Drift and variations of system parameters in the vibration isolation system for astronaut’s exercise platform are analyzed. An active controlled scheme is applied with the goals to reduce the platform displacement and to minimize the force being transmitted to the spacecraft structure. The controller must be robust enough to accommodate the wide variations of system parameters and exciter forces. Computer simulation for the vibration isolation system was performed via MATLAB/Simulink and Trick. The simulation results demonstrate the achievement of force reduction with small platform displacement under wide ranges of variations in system parameters. 

Combination of Tensile Strength and Elongation of Reverse Rolled TaNbHfZrTi Refractory High Entropy Alloy

The refractory high entropy alloys are potential materials for high-temperature applications because of their ability to retain high strength up to 1600°C. However, their practical applications were limited due to poor elongation at room temperature. Therefore, decreasing the average valence electron concentrations (VEC) is an effective design strategy to improve the intrinsic ductility of refractory high entropy alloys. In this work, the high-entropy alloy TaNbHfZrTi was processed at room temperature by each step reverse rolling up to a 90% reduction in thickness. Subsequently, the reverse rolled 90% samples were utilized for annealing treatment at 800°C and 1000°C for 1 h to understand phase stability, microstructure, texture, and mechanical properties. The reverse rolled 90% condition contains body-centered cubic (BCC) single-phase; upon annealing at 800 °C, the formation of secondary phase BCC-2 prevailed. The partial recrystallization and complete recrystallization microstructures were developed for annealed at 800°C and 1000°C, respectively. The reverse rolled condition and 1000°C annealed temperature exhibit extraordinary room temperature tensile properties with high ultimate tensile strength (UTS) without compromising loss of ductility called “strength-ductility” trade-off. The reverse-rolled 90% and annealing treatment carried out at temperature about 1000°C for 1 h consist of UTS 1430 MPa and 1556 MPa with an appreciable amount of 21% and 20% elongation, respectively. The development of hierarchical microstructure prevailed for the annealed 1000°C which led to the simultaneous increase in tensile strength and elongation.

Performance Evaluation of Minimum Quantity Lubrication on EN3 Mild Steel Turning

Lubrication, cooling and chip removal are the desired functions of any cutting fluid. Conventional or flood lubrication requires high volume flow rate and cost associated with this is higher. In addition, flood lubrication possesses health risks to machine operator. To avoid these consequences, dry machining and minimum quantity are two alternatives. Dry machining cannot be a suited alternative as it can generate greater heat and poor surface finish. Here, turning work is carried out on a Lathe machine using EN3 Mild steel. Variable cutting speeds and depth of cuts are provided and corresponding temperatures and surface roughness values were recorded. Experimental results are analyzed by Minitab software. Regression analysis, main effect plot, and interaction plot conclusion are drawn by using ANOVA. There is a 95.83% reduction in the use of cutting fluid. MQL gives a 9.88% reduction in tool temperature, this will improve tool life. MQL produced a 17.64% improved surface finish. MQL appears to be an economical and environmentally compatible lubrication technique for sustainable manufacturing.

Trial of Fecal Microbial Transplantation for the Prevention of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

The skin-gut axis defines the relationship between the intestinal microbiota and the development of pathological skin diseases. Low diversity within the gut can predispose to the development of allergic skin conditions, and a greater diversity of the gastrointestinal microflora has been associated with a reduction of skin flares in people with atopic dermatitis. Manipulation of the gut microflora has been used as a treatment option for several conditions in people, but there is limited data available on the use of fecal transplantation as a preventative measure in either people or dogs. Six, 4-month-old pups from a litter of 10 were presented for diarrhea and/or signs of skin disease (chronic scratching, otitis externa). Of these pups, two were given probiotics with a resultant resolution of diarrhea. The other four pups were given fecal transplantation, either as a sole treatment or in combination with other treatments. Follow-up on the litter of 10 pups was performed at 18 months of age. At this stage, three out of the four pups that had received fecal transplantation had resolved all clinical signs and had no recurrence of either skin or gastrointestinal symptoms, the other pup had one episode of Malassezia otitis. Of the remaining six pups from the litter, all had developed at least one episode of Malassezia otitis externa within the period of five to 18 months of age. Two pups had developed two Malassezia otitis infections, and one had developed three Malassezia otitis infections during this period. Favrot’s criteria for the diagnosis of canine atopic dermatitis include chronic or recurrent Malassezia infections by the age of three years. Early results from this litter predict a reduction in the development of canine atopic disease in dogs given fecal microbial transplantation. Follow-up studies at three years of age and within a larger population of dogs can enhance understanding of the impact of early fecal transplantation in the prevention of canine atopic dermatitis.