Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 40

Search results for: Gerson G. Cunha

40 Simulator Dynamic Positioning System with Azimuthal Thruster

Authors: Robson C. Santos, Christian N. Barreto, Gerson G. Cunha, Severino J. C. Neto

Abstract:

This paper aims to project the construction of a prototype azimuthal thruster, mounted with materials of low cost and easy access, testing in a controlled environment to measure their performance, characteristics and feasibility of future projects. The construction of the simulation of dynamic positioning software, responsible for simulating a vessel and reposition it when necessary . Tests for partial and full validation of the model were conducted, operates independently of the control system and executes the commands and commands of the helix of rotation azimuth. The system provides an interface to the user and simulates the conditions unfavorable positioning of a vessel, accurately calculates the azimuth angle, the direction of rotation of the helix and the time that this should be turned on so that the vessel back to position original. There is a serial communication that connects the Simulation Dynamic Positioning System with Embedded System causing the user-generated data to simulate the DP system arrives in the form of control signals to the motors of the propellant. This article addresses issues in the marine industry employees.

Keywords: azimuthal thruster, dynamic positioning, embedded system, simulator dynamic positioning

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39 Study of Variation of Winds Behavior on Micro Urban Environment with Use of Fuzzy Logic for Wind Power Generation: Case Study in the Cities of Arraial do Cabo and São Pedro da Aldeia, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Authors: Roberto Rosenhaim, Marcos Antonio Crus Moreira, Robson da Cunha, Gerson Gomes Cunha

Abstract:

This work provides details on the wind speed behavior within cities of Arraial do Cabo and São Pedro da Aldeia located in the Lakes Region of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This region has one of the best potentials for wind power generation. In interurban layer, wind conditions are very complex and depend on physical geography, size and orientation of buildings and constructions around, population density, and land use. In the same context, the fundamental surface parameter that governs the production of flow turbulence in urban canyons is the surface roughness. Such factors can influence the potential for power generation from the wind within the cities. Moreover, the use of wind on a small scale is not fully utilized due to complexity of wind flow measurement inside the cities. It is difficult to accurately predict this type of resource. This study demonstrates how fuzzy logic can facilitate the assessment of the complexity of the wind potential inside the cities. It presents a decision support tool and its ability to deal with inaccurate information using linguistic variables created by the heuristic method. It relies on the already published studies about the variables that influence the wind speed in the urban environment. These variables were turned into the verbal expressions that are used in computer system, which facilitated the establishment of rules for fuzzy inference and integration with an application for smartphones used in the research. In the first part of the study, challenges of the sustainable development which are described are followed by incentive policies to the use of renewable energy in Brazil. The next chapter follows the study area characteristics and the concepts of fuzzy logic. Data were collected in field experiment by using qualitative and quantitative methods for assessment. As a result, a map of the various points is presented within the cities studied with its wind viability evaluated by a system of decision support using the method multivariate classification based on fuzzy logic.

Keywords: behavior of winds, wind power, fuzzy logic, sustainable development

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38 Application of Monitoring of Power Generation through GPRS Network in Rural Residênias Cabo Frio/Rj

Authors: Robson C. Santos, David D. Oliveira, Matheus M. Reis, Gerson G. Cunha, Marcos A. C. Moreira

Abstract:

The project demonstrates the construction of a solar power generation, integrated inverter equipment to a "Grid-Tie" by converting direct current generated by solar panels, into alternating current, the same parameters of frequency and voltage concessionaire distribution network. The energy generated is quantified by smart metering module that transmits the information in specified periods of time to a microcontroller via GSM modem. The modem provides the measured data on the internet, using networks and cellular antennas. The monitoring, fault detection and maintenance are performed by a supervisory station. Employed board types, best inverter selection and studies about control equipment and devices have been described. The article covers and explores the global trend of implementing smart distribution electrical energy networks and the incentive to use solar renewable energy. There is the possibility of the excess energy produced by the system be purchased by the local power utility. This project was implemented in residences in the rural community of the municipality of Cabo Frio/RJ. Data could be seen through daily measurements during the month of November 2013.

Keywords: rural residence, supervisory, smart grid, solar energy

Procedia PDF Downloads 464
37 SisGeo: Support System for the Research of Georeferenced Comparisons Applied to Professional and Academic Devices

Authors: Bruno D. Souza, Gerson G. Cunha, Michael O. Ferreira, Roberto Rosenhaim, Robson C. Santos, Sergio O. Santos

Abstract:

Devices and applications that use satellite-based positioning are becoming more popular day-by-day. Thus, evolution and improvement in this technology are mandatory. Accordingly, satellite georeferenced systems need to accomplish the same evolution rhythm. Either GPS (Global Positioning System) or its similar Russian GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) are system samples that offer us powerful tools to plot coordinates on the earth surface. The development of this research aims the study of several aspects related to use of GPS and GLONASS technologies, given its application and collected data improvement during geodetic data acquisition. So, both relevant theoretic and practical aspects are considered. In this context, at the theoretical part, the main systems' characteristics are shown, observing its similarities and differences. At the practical part, a series of experiences are performed and obtained data packages are compared in order to demonstrate equivalence or differences among them. The evaluation methodology targets both quantitative and qualitative analysis provided by GPS and GPS/GLONASS receptors. Meanwhile, a specific collected data storage system was developed to better compare and analyze them (SisGeo - Georeferenced Research Comparison Support System).

Keywords: satellites, systems, applications, experiments, receivers

Procedia PDF Downloads 112
36 Teaching Material, Books, Publications versus the Practice: Myths and Truths about Installation and Use of Downhole Safety Valve

Authors: Robson da Cunha Santos, Caio Cezar R. Bonifacio, Diego Mureb Quesada, Gerson Gomes Cunha

Abstract:

The paper is related to the safety of oil wells and environmental preservation on the planet, because they require great attention and commitment from oil companies and people who work with these equipments. This must occur from drilling the well until it is abandoned in order to safeguard the environment and prevent possible damage. The project had as main objective the constitution resulting from comparatives made among books, articles and publications with information gathered in technical visits to operational bases of Petrobras. After the visits, the information from methods of utilization and present managements, which were not available before, became available to the general audience. As a result, it is observed a huge flux of incorrect and out-of-date information that comprehends not only bibliographic archives, but also academic resources and materials. During the gathering of more in-depth information on the manufacturing, assembling, and use aspects of DHSVs, several issues that were previously known as correct, customary issues were discovered to be uncertain and outdated. Information of great importance resulted in affirmations about subjects as the depth of the valve installation that was before installed to 30 meters from the seabed (mud line). Despite this, the installation should vary in conformity to the ideal depth to escape from area with the biggest tendency to hydrates formation according to the temperature and pressure. Regarding to valves with nitrogen chamber, in accordance with books, they have their utilization linked to water line ≥ 700 meters, but in Brazilian exploratory fields, their use occurs from 600 meters of water line. The valves used in Brazilian fields are able to be inserted to the production column and self-equalizing, but the use of screwed valve in the column of production and equalizing is predominant. Although these valves are more expensive to acquire, they are more reliable, efficient, with a bigger shelf life and they do not cause restriction to the fluid flux. It follows that based on researches and theoretical information confronted to usual forms used in fields, the present project is important and relevant. This project will be used as source of actualization and information equalization that connects academic environment and real situations in exploratory situations and also taking into consideration the enrichment of precise and easy to understand information to future researches and academic upgrading.

Keywords: down hole safety valve, security devices, installation, oil-wells

Procedia PDF Downloads 150
35 Reconfigurable Device for 3D Visualization of Three Dimensional Surfaces

Authors: Robson da C. Santos, Carlos Henrique de A. S. P. Coutinho, Lucas Moreira Dias, Gerson Gomes Cunha

Abstract:

The article refers to the development of an augmented reality 3D display, through the control of servo motors and projection of image with aid of video projector on the model. Augmented Reality is a branch that explores multiple approaches to increase real-world view by viewing additional information along with the real scene. The article presents the broad use of electrical, electronic, mechanical and industrial automation for geospatial visualizations, applications in mathematical models with the visualization of functions and 3D surface graphics and volumetric rendering that are currently seen in 2D layers. Application as a 3D display for representation and visualization of Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM), where it can be applied in the identification of canyons in the marine area of the Campos Basin, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The same can execute visualization of regions subject to landslides, as in Serra do Mar - Agra dos Reis and Serranas cities both in the State of Rio de Janeiro. From the foregoing, loss of human life and leakage of oil from pipelines buried in these regions may be anticipated in advance. The physical design consists of a table consisting of a 9 x 16 matrix of servo motors, totalizing 144 servos, a mesh is used on the servo motors for visualization of the models projected by a retro projector. Each model for by an image pre-processing, is sent to a server to be converted and viewed from a software developed in C # Programming Language.

Keywords: visualization, 3D models, servo motors, C# programming language

Procedia PDF Downloads 232
34 Educase–Intelligent System for Pedagogical Advising Using Case-Based Reasoning

Authors: Elionai Moura, José A. Cunha, César Analide

Abstract:

This work introduces a proposal scheme for an Intelligent System applied to Pedagogical Advising using Case-Based Reasoning, to find consolidated solutions before used for the new problems, making easier the task of advising students to the pedagogical staff. We do intend, through this work, introduce the motivation behind the choices for this system structure, justifying the development of an incremental and smart web system who learns bests solutions for new cases when it’s used, showing technics and technology.

Keywords: case-based reasoning, pedagogical advising, educational data-mining (EDM), machine learning

Procedia PDF Downloads 285
33 Sponsorship Strategy, Its Visibility, and Return: A Case Study on Brazilian Olympic Games

Authors: Elizabeth F. Rodrigues, Julia da R. Mattos, Naira Q. Leitão, Roberta T. da Cunha

Abstract:

The business strategy of many companies has two factors in common: the search for the competitive edge and its long term maintenance. The thing that differentiates the companies’ performance in their abilities to set the right strategy, which depends on their capacity to analyze and apply all sort of management support tools. In this context, the sponsorship of events stands out as an important way to increase brand awareness, especially when it is a worldwide event, such as Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This paper will present the case of a car maker company, which chose to invest on sponsorship as a way to reach its goals and grow in the brazilian market.

Keywords: strategy, sponsorship, events, management

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32 Parametric Optimization of Wire Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM) for Aluminium Metal Matrix Composites

Authors: G. Rajyalakhmi, C. Karthik, Gerson Desouza, Rimmie Duraisamy

Abstract:

In this present work, metal matrix composites with combination of aluminium with (Sic/Al2O3) were fabricated using stir casting technique. The objective of the present work is to optimize the process parameters of Wire Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM) composites. Pulse ON Time, Pulse OFF Time, wire feed and sensitivity are considered as input process parameters with responses Material Removal Rate (MRR), Surface Roughness (SR) for optimization of WEDM process. Taguchi L18 Orthogonal Array (OA) is used for experimentation. Grey Relational Analysis (GRA) is coupled with Taguchi technique for multiple process parameters optimization. ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) is used for finding the impact of process parameters individually. Finally confirmation experiments were carried out to validate the predicted results.

Keywords: parametric optimization, particulate reinforced metal matrix composites, Taguchi-grey relational analysis, WEDM

Procedia PDF Downloads 475
31 Correlates of Coping in Individuals with Tinnitus

Authors: Antonio Oliveira, Rute F. Meneses, Nuno Trigueiros-Cunha

Abstract:

Tinnitus is commonly defined as an aberrant perception of sound without external stimulus. It is a chronic condition, with consequences on the QOL. The coping strategies used were not always effective and coping was identified as a predictor of QOL in individuals with tinnitus, which reinforces the idea that in health the use of effective coping styles should be promoted. This work intend to verify relations between coping strategies assessed by BriefCope in subjects with tinnitus and variables such as gender, age and severity of tinnitus measured by THI and the Visual Analogue Scale and also hearing and hyperacusis. The results indicate that there are any statistically significant relationships between the variables assessed in relation to the results of BriefCope except in the Visual Analogue Scale. These results, indicating no relationship between almost all variables, reinforce the need for further study of coping strategies use by these patients.

Keywords: Brief Cope, coping strategies, quality of live, THI, Tinnitus

Procedia PDF Downloads 383
30 Implementation of an Open Source ERP for SMEs in the Automotive Sector in Peru: A Case Study

Authors: Gerson E. Cornejo, Luis A. Gamarra, David S. Mauricio

Abstract:

The Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) allows the integration of all the business processes of the functional areas of the companies, in order to automate and standardize the processes, obtain accurate information and improve decision making in time real. In Peru, 79% of medium and small companies (SMEs) do not use any management software, this is because it is believed that ERPs are expensive, complex and difficult to implement. However, for more than 20 years there have been Open Source ERPs, which are more accessible and have the same benefit as proprietary ERPs, but there is little information on the implementation process. In this work is made a case of study, in order to show the implementation process of an Open Source ERP, Odoo, based on the ASAP methodology (Accelerated SAP) and applied to a company of corrective and preventive maintenance services of vehicles. The ERP allowed the SME to standardize its business processes, increase its productivity, reducing up to 40% certain processes. The study of this case shows that it is feasible and profitable to implement an Open Source ERP in SMEs in the Automotive Sector of Peru. In addition, it is shown that the ASAP methodology is adequate to carry out Open Source ERPs implementation projects.

Keywords: ASAP, automotive sector, ERP implementation, open source

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29 Evaluation of Polyurethane-Bonded Particleboard Manufactured with Eucalyptus Sp. and Bi-Oriented Polypropylene Wastes

Authors: Laurenn Borges de Macedo, Fabiane Salles Ferro, Tiago Hendrigo de Almeida, Gérson Moreira de Lima, André Luiz Christoforo, Francisco Antonio Rocco Lahr

Abstract:

The growth of the furniture manufacturing industry is one of the fundamental factors contributing to the growth of the particleboard industry. The use of recycled products into particleboards can contribute to the forest conservation, in addition to achieve a high quality sustainable product with low-cost production. This work investigates the effect of bi-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) waste particles and sealing product on the physical and mechanical properties of Eucalyptus sp. particleboards fabricated with a castor oil based polyurethane resin. Among the factors, only the seal coating was statistically significant. The wood panels of Treatment 2 were classified as H1, based on the internal bond strength and elastic modulus results data required by ANSI A208.1:1999. The bending strength data did not reach the minimum values recommended by NBR 14810:2006 and ANSI A208.1:1999. The thickness swelling data for 2h immersed in water achieved the standard requirement levels. High-density panels were achieved revealing their potential use in variety of particleboard applications.

Keywords: BOPP, mechanical properties, particleboards, physical properties

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

Authors: Gizelle K. Vianna, Gustavo S. Oliveira, Gabriel V. Cunha

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: artificial neural networks, cellular automata, decision support system, pattern recognition

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27 Behavior of Helical Piles as Foundation of Photovoltaic Panels in Tropical Soils

Authors: Andrea J. Alarcón, Maxime Daulat, Raydel Lorenzo, Renato P. Da Cunha, Pierre Breul

Abstract:

Brazil has increased the use of renewable energy during the last years. Due to its sunshine and large surface area, photovoltaic panels founded in helical piles have been used to produce solar energy. Since Brazilian territory is mainly cover by highly porous structured tropical soils, when the helical piles are installed this structure is broken and its soil properties are modified. Considering the special characteristics of these soils, helical foundations behavior must be extensively studied. The first objective of this work is to determine the most suitable method to estimate the tensile capacity of helical piles in tropical soils. The second objective is to simulate the behavior of these piles in tropical soil. To obtain the rupture to assess load-displacement curves and the ultimate load, also a numerical modelling using Plaxis software was conducted. Lastly, the ultimate load and the load-displacements curves are compared with experimental values to validate the implemented model.

Keywords: finite element, helical piles, modelling, tropical soil, uplift capacity

Procedia PDF Downloads 38
26 Neural Network Analysis Applied to Risk Prediction of Early Neonatal Death

Authors: Amanda R. R. Oliveira, Caio F. F. C. Cunha, Juan C. L. Junior, Amorim H. P. Junior

Abstract:

Children deaths are traumatic events that most often can be prevented. The technology of prevention and intervention in cases of infant deaths is available at low cost and with solid evidence and favorable results, however, with low access cover. Weight is one of the main factors related to death in the neonatal period, so the newborns of low birth weight are a population at high risk of death in the neonatal period, especially early neonatal period. This paper describes the development of a model based in neural network analysis to predict the mortality risk rating in the early neonatal period for newborns of low birth weight to identify the individuals of this population with increased risk of death. The neural network applied was trained with a set of newborns data obtained from Brazilian health system. The resulting network presented great success rate in identifying newborns with high chances of death, which demonstrates the potential for using this tool in an integrated manner to the health system, in order to direct specific actions for improving prognosis of newborns.

Keywords: low birth weight, neonatal death risk, neural network, newborn

Procedia PDF Downloads 336
25 Knowledge Transfer in Industrial Clusters

Authors: Ana Paula Lisboa Sohn, Filipa Dionísio Vieria, Nelson Casarotto, Idaulo José Cunha

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This paper aims at identifying and analyzing the knowledge transmission channels in textile and clothing clusters located in Brazil and in Europe. Primary data was obtained through interviews with key individuals. The collection of primary data was carried out based on a questionnaire with ten categories of indicators of knowledge transmission. Secondary data was also collected through a literature review and through international organizations sites. Similarities related to the use of the main transmission channels of knowledge are observed in all cases. The main similarities are: influence of suppliers of machinery, equipment and raw materials; imitation of products and best practices; training promoted by technical institutions and businesses; and cluster companies being open to acquire new knowledge. The main differences lie in the relationship between companies, where in Europe the intensity of this relationship is bigger when compared to Brazil. The differences also occur in importance and frequency of the relationship with the government, with the cultural environment, and with the activities of research and development. It is also found factors that reduce the importance of geographical proximity in transmission of knowledge, and in generating trust and the establishment of collaborative behavior.

Keywords: industrial clusters, interorganizational learning, knowledge transmission channels, textile and clothing industry

Procedia PDF Downloads 273
24 Extending BDI Multiagent Systems with Agent Norms

Authors: Francisco José Plácido da Cunha, Tassio Ferenzini Martins Sirqueira, Marx Leles Viana, Carlos José Pereira de Lucena

Abstract:

Open Multiagent Systems (MASs) are societies in which heterogeneous and independently designed entities (agents) work towards similar, or different ends. Software agents are autonomous and the diversity of interests among different members living in the same society is a fact. In order to deal with this autonomy, these open systems use mechanisms of social control (norms) to ensure a desirable social order. This paper considers the following types of norms: (i) obligation — agents must accomplish a specific outcome; (ii) permission — agents may act in a particular way, and (iii) prohibition — agents must not act in a specific way. All of these characteristics mean to encourage the fulfillment of norms through rewards and to discourage norm violation by pointing out the punishments. Once the software agent decides that its priority is the satisfaction of its own desires and goals, each agent must evaluate the effects associated to the fulfillment of one or more norms before choosing which one should be fulfilled. The same applies when agents decide to violate a norm. This paper also introduces a framework for the development of MASs that provide support mechanisms to the agent’s decision-making, using norm-based reasoning. The applicability and validation of this approach is demonstrated applying a traffic intersection scenario.

Keywords: BDI agent, BDI4JADE framework, multiagent systems, normative agents

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

Authors: Gizelle K. Vianna, Gabriel V. Cunha, Gustavo S. Oliveira

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: artificial neural networks, digital image processing, pattern recognition, phytosanitary

Procedia PDF Downloads 234
22 Evaluation of Electro-Flocculation for Biomass Production of Marine Microalgae Phaodactylum tricornutum

Authors: Luciana C. Ramos, Leandro J. Sousa, Antônio Ferreira da Silva, Valéria Gomes Oliveira Falcão, Suzana T. Cunha Lima

Abstract:

The commercial production of biodiesel using microalgae demands a high-energy input for harvesting biomass, making production economically unfeasible. Methods currently used involve mechanical, chemical, and biological procedures. In this work, a flocculation system is presented as a cost and energy effective process to increase biomass production of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This diatom is the only species of the genus that present fast growth and lipid accumulation ability that are of great interest for biofuel production. The algae, selected from the Bank of Microalgae, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), have been bred in tubular reactor with photoperiod of 12 h (clear/dark), providing luminance of about 35 μmol photons m-2s-1, and temperature of 22 °C. The medium used for growing cells was the Conway medium, with addition of silica. The seaweed growth curve was accompanied by cell count in Neubauer camera and by optical density in spectrophotometer, at 680 nm. The precipitation occurred at the end of the stationary phase of growth, 21 days after inoculation, using two methods: centrifugation at 5000 rpm for 5 min, and electro-flocculation at 19 EPD and 95 W. After precipitation, cells were frozen at -20 °C and, subsequently, lyophilized. Biomass obtained by electro-flocculation was approximately four times greater than the one achieved by centrifugation. The benefits of this method are that no addition of chemical flocculants is necessary and similar cultivation conditions can be used for the biodiesel production and pharmacological purposes. The results may contribute to improve biodiesel production costs using marine microalgae.

Keywords: biomass, diatom, flocculation, microalgae

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21 The Culex Pipiens Niche: Assessment with Climatic and Physiographic Variables via a Geographic Information System

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Maria T. Rebelo, Marília Antunes, Maria J. Alves, Hugo Osório, Sofia Cunha, João Casaca

Abstract:

Using a geographic information system (GIS), the relations between a georeferenced data set of Culex pipiens sl. mosquitoes collected in Portugal mainland during seven years (2006-2012) and meteorological and physiographic parameters such as: air relative humidity, air temperature (minima, maxima and mean daily temperatures), daily total rainfall, altitude, land use/land cover and proximity to water bodies are evaluated. Focus is on the mosquito females; the characterization of its habitat is the key for the planning of chirurgical non-aggressive prophylactic countermeasures to avoid ambient degradation. The GIS allow for the spatial determination of the zones were the mosquito mean captures has been above average; using the meteorological values at these coordinates, the limits of each parameter are identified/computed. The meteorological parameters measured at the net of weather stations all over the country are averaged by month and interpolated to produce raster maps that can be segmented according to the thresholds obtained for each parameter. The intersection of the maps obtained for each month show the evolution of the area favorable to the species through the mosquito season, which is from May to October at these latitudes. In parallel, mean and above average captures were related to the physiographic parameters. Three levels of risk could be identified for each parameter, using above average captures as an index. The results were applied to the suitability meteorological maps of each month. The Culex pipiens critical niche is delimited, reflecting the critical areas and the level of risk for transmission of the pathogens to which they are competent vectors (West Nile virus, iridoviruses, rheoviruses and parvoviruses).

Keywords: Culex pipiens, ecological niche, risk assessment, risk management

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20 Ports and Airports: Gateways to Vector-Borne Diseases in Portugal Mainland

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Maria T. Rebelo, Maria J. Alves, Sofia Cunha

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Vector-borne diseases are transmitted to humans by mosquitos, sandflies, bugs, ticks, and other vectors. Some are re-transmitted between vectors, if the infected human has a new contact when his levels of infection are high. The vector is infected for lifetime and can transmit infectious diseases not only between humans but also from animals to humans. Some vector borne diseases are very disabling and globally account for more than one million deaths worldwide. The mosquitoes from the complex Culex pipiens sl. are the most abundant in Portugal, and we dispose in this moment of a data set from the surveillance program that has been carried on since 2006 across the country. All mosquitos’ species are included, but the large coverage of Culex pipiens sl. and its importance for public health make this vector an interesting candidate to assess risk of disease amplification. This work focus on ports and airports identified as key areas of high density of vectors. Mosquitoes being ectothermic organisms, the main factor for vector survival and pathogen development is temperature. Minima and maxima local air temperatures for each area of interest are averaged by month from data gathered on a daily basis at the national network of meteorological stations, and interpolated in a geographic information system (GIS). The range of temperatures ideal for several pathogens are known and this work shows how to use it with the meteorological data in each port and airport facility, to focus an efficient implementation of countermeasures and reduce simultaneously risk transmission and mitigation costs. The results show an increased alert with decreasing latitude, which corresponds to higher minimum and maximum temperatures and a lower amplitude range of the daily temperature.

Keywords: human health, risk assessment, risk management, vector-borne diseases

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19 Dynamic Wind Effects in Tall Buildings: A Comparative Study of Synthetic Wind and Brazilian Wind Standard

Authors: Byl Farney Cunha Junior

Abstract:

In this work the dynamic three-dimensional analysis of a 47-story building located in Goiania city when subjected to wind loads generated using both the Wind Brazilian code, NBR6123 (ABNT, 1988) and the Synthetic-Wind method is realized. To model the frames three different methodologies are used: the shear building model and both bi and three-dimensional finite element models. To start the analysis, a plane frame is initially studied to validate the shear building model and, in order to compare the results of natural frequencies and displacements at the top of the structure the same plane frame was modeled using the finite element method through the SAP2000 V10 software. The same steps were applied to an idealized 20-story spacial frame that helps in the presentation of the stiffness correction process applied to columns. Based on these models the two methods used to generate the Wind loads are presented: a discrete model proposed in the Wind Brazilian code, NBR6123 (ABNT, 1988) and the Synthetic-Wind method. The method uses the Davenport spectrum which is divided into a variety of frequencies to generate the temporal series of loads. Finally, the 47- story building was analyzed using both the three-dimensional finite element method through the SAP2000 V10 software and the shear building model. The models were loaded with Wind load generated by the Wind code NBR6123 (ABNT, 1988) and by the Synthetic-Wind method considering different wind directions. The displacements and internal forces in columns and beams were compared and a comparative study considering a situation of a full elevated reservoir is realized. As can be observed the displacements obtained by the SAP2000 V10 model are greater when loaded with NBR6123 (ABNT, 1988) wind load related to the permanent phase of the structure’s response.

Keywords: finite element method, synthetic wind, tall buildings, shear building

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18 Boundary Layer Control Using a Magnetic Field: A Case Study in the Framework of Ferrohydrodynamics

Authors: C. F. Alegretti, F. R. Cunha, R. G. Gontijo

Abstract:

This work investigates the effects of an applied magnetic field on the geometry-driven boundary layer detachment flow of a ferrofluid over a sudden expansion. Both constitutive equation and global magnetization equation for a ferrofluid are considered. Therefore, the proposed formulation consists in a coupled magnetic-hydrodynamic problem. Computational simulations are carried out in order to explore, not only the viability to control flow instabilities, but also to evaluate the consistency of theoretical aspects. The unidirectional sudden expansion in a ferrofluid flow is investigated numerically under the perspective of Ferrohydrodynamics in a two-dimensional domain using a Finite Differences Method. The boundary layer detachment induced by the sudden expansion results in a recirculating zone, which has been extensively studied in non-magnetic hydrodynamic problems for a wide range of Reynolds numbers. Similar investigations can be found in literature regarding the sudden expansion under the magnetohydrodynamics framework, but none considering a colloidal suspension of magnetic particles out of the superparamagnetic regime. The vorticity-stream function formulation is implemented and results in a clear coupling between the flow vorticity and its magnetization field. Our simulations indicate a systematic decay on the length of the recirculation zone as increasing physical parameters of the flow, such as the intensity of the applied field and the volume fraction of particles. The results all are discussed from a physical point of view in terms of the dynamical non-dimensional parameters. We argue that the decrease/reduction in the recirculation region of the flow is a direct consequence of the magnetic torque balancing the action of the torque produced by viscous and inertial forces of the flow. For the limit of small Reynolds and magnetic Reynolds parameters, the diffusion of vorticity balances the diffusion of the magnetic torque on the flow. These mechanics control the growth of the recirculation region.

Keywords: boundary layer detachment, ferrofluid, ferrohydrodynamics, magnetization, sudden expansion

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17 Genotypic Characterization of Gram-Positive Bacteria Isolated on Ornamental Animals Feed

Authors: C. Miranda, R. Soares, S. Cunha, L. Ferreira, G. Igrejas, P. Poeta

Abstract:

Different animal species, including ornamental animals, are reported as potential reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes. Consequently, these resistances can be disseminated in the environment and transferred to humans. Moreover, multidrug-resistant bacteria reduce the efficacy of antibiotics, as the case of vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium are described as the main nosocomial pathogens. In this line, the aim of this study was to characterize resistance and virulence genes of enterococci species isolated from samples of food supplied to ornamental animals during 2020. The 29 enterococci isolates (10 E. faecalis and 19 E. faecium) were tested for the presence of the resistance genes for the following antibiotics: erythromicyn (ermA, ermB and ermC), tetracycline (tetL, tetM, tetK and tetO), quinupristin/dalfopristin (vatD and vatE), gentamicin (aac(6’)-aph(2’’)-Ia), chloramphenicol (catA), streptomycin (ant(6)-Ia) and vancomycin (vanA and vanB). The same isolates were also tested for 10 virulence factors genes (esp, ace, gelE, agg, fsr, cpd, cylA, cylB, cylM and cylLL). The resistance and virulence genes were performed by PCR, using specific primers and conditions. Negative and positive controls were used in all PCR assays. The most prevalent resistance genes detected in both enterococci species were ermB (n=15, 52%), ermC (n=7, 24%), tetK (n=8, 28%) and vatE (n=4, 14%). Resistance genes for vancomycin were found in ten (34%) E. faecalis and ten (34%) E. faecium isolates. Only E. faecium isolates showed the presence of ermA (n=2, 7%), tetL (n=13, 45%) and ant(6)-Ia gene (n=4, 14%). A total of nine (31%) enterococci isolates were classified as multidrug-resistant bacteria (3 E. faecalis and 6 E. faecium). In three E. faecalis and one E. faecium were not detected resistance genes. The virulence genes detected in both species were agg (n=6, 21%) and cylLL (n=11, 38%). In general, each isolate showed only one of these virulence genes. Five E. faecalis and eleven E. faecium isolates were negative for all analyzed virulence genes. These preliminary results showed the presence of multidrug-resistant enterococci in food supplied to ornamental animals, in particular vancomycin-resistant enterococci. This genotypic characterization reinforces the relevance to public health in the control of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance, enterococci, feed, ornamental animals

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16 Use of Corn Stover for the Production of 2G Bioethanol, Enzymes, and Xylitol Under a Biorefinery Concept

Authors: Astorga-Trejo Rebeca, Fonseca-Peralta Héctor Manuel, Beltrán-Arredondo Laura Ivonne, Castro-Martínez Claudia

Abstract:

The use of biomass as feedstock for the production of fuels and other chemicals of interest is an ever growing accepted option in the way to the development of Biorefinery complexes; in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, two million tons of residues from corn crops are produced every year, most of which can be converted to Bioethanol and other products through biotechnological conversion using yeast and other microorganisms. Therefore, the objective of this work was to take advantage of corn residues (corn Stover) to evaluate its potential as a substrate in the production of second generation bioethanol, enzymes (xylanases and amylases), and xylitol. For the production of 2G bioethanol, an acid-alkaline pretreatment was carried out prior to saccharification and fermentation. The microorganisms used for the production of enzymes, as well as for the production of xylitol, were isolated and characterized in our workgroup. Statistical analysis was performed using Design Expert version 11.0. The results showed that it was possible to obtain 2G Bioethanol using corn Stover as a carbon source using the yeasts isolated in our workgroup: Saccharomyces cerevisiae ItVer01 and Candida Intermedia CBE002 with yields of 0.42 g / g and 0.31 g, respectively. It was also shown that C. intermedia has the ability to produce xylitol with a good yield (0.46 g/g), in comparison, Cunha-Pereira et. Al (2017) where able to produce ethanol and xylitol with yields of 0.41 g/g and 0.46 g/g respectively with a Candida guilliermondiistrain using soybean husk hydrolysates. On the other hand, qualitative and quantitative studies showed that the native strains of Fusariumequiseti (0.4 IU / mL - xylanase), Bacillus velezensis (1.2 IU / mL - xylanase), and Penicilliumfuniculosum (1.5 IU / mL - cellulases) have the capacity to produce xylanases or Cellulases using corn Stover as raw material, the previous has been proven in other strains of the same genus such as Bacillus sp. KW1 (Wang et al. 2019), Bacillus sp. P3. (Wu et al. 2021), Penicilliumoxalicum (Ye et al. 2017), amongst others. This study allowed us to demonstrate that it is possible to use corn Stover as a carbon source, a low-cost raw material with high availability in our country, to obtain Bioproducts of industrial interest, using processes that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable. It is necessary to continue the optimization of each Bioprocess.

Keywords: corn stover, cellulases, xylanases, bioethanol, xylitol

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15 Selenuranes as Cysteine Protease Inhibitors: Theorical Investigation on Model Systems

Authors: Gabriela D. Silva, Rodrigo L. O. R. Cunha, Mauricio D. Coutinho-Neto

Abstract:

In the last four decades the biological activities of selenium compounds has received great attention, particularly for hypervalent derivates from selenium (IV) used as enzyme inhibitors. The unregulated activity of cysteine proteases are related to the development of several pathologies, such as neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and parasitic infections. These enzymes are therefore a valuable target for designing new small molecule inhibitors such as selenuranes. Even tough there has been advances in the synthesis and design of new selenuranes based inhibitors, little is known about their mechanism of action. It is a given that inhibition occurs through the reaction between the thiol group of the enzyme and the chalcogen atom. However, several open questions remain about the nature of the mechanism (associative vs. dissociative) and about the nature of the reactive species in solution under physiological conditions. In this work we performed a theoretical investigation on model systems to study the possible routes of substitution reactions. Nucleophiles may be present in biological systems, our interest is centered in the thiol groups from the cysteine proteases and the hydroxyls from the aqueous environment. We therefore expect this study to clarify the possibility of a route reaction in two stages, the first consisting of the substitution of chloro atoms by hydroxyl groups and then replacing these hydroxyl groups per thiol groups in selenuranes. The structures of selenuranes and nucleophiles were optimized using density function theory along the B3LYP functional and a 6-311+G(d) basis set. Solvent was treated using the IEFPCM method as implemented in the Gaussian 09 code. Our results indicate that hydrolysis from water react preferably with selenuranes, and then, they are replaced by the thiol group. It show the energy values of -106,0730423 kcal/mol for dople substituition by hydroxyl group and 96,63078511 kcal/mol for thiol group. The solvatation and pH reduction promotes this route, increasing the energy value for reaction with hydroxil group to -50,75637672 kcal/mol and decreasing the energy value for thiol to 7,917767189 kcal/mol. Alternative ways were analyzed for monosubstitution (considering the competition between Cl, OH and SH groups) and they suggest the same route. Similar results were obtained for aliphatic and aromatic selenuranes studied.

Keywords: chalcogenes, computational study, cysteine proteases, enzyme inhibitors

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14 Pooled Analysis of Three School-Based Obesity Interventions in a Metropolitan Area of Brazil

Authors: Rosely Sichieri, Bruna K. Hassan, Michele Sgambato, Barbara S. N. Souza, Rosangela A. Pereira, Edna M. Yokoo, Diana B. Cunha

Abstract:

Obesity is increasing at a fast rate in low and middle-income countries where few school-based obesity interventions have been conducted. Results of obesity prevention studies are still inconclusive mainly due to underestimation of sample size in cluster-randomized trials and overestimation of changes in body mass index (BMI). The pooled analysis in the present study overcomes these design problems by analyzing 4,448 students (mean age 11.7 years) from three randomized behavioral school-based interventions, conducted in public schools of the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The three studies focused on encouraging students to change their drinking and eating habits over one school year, with monthly 1-h sessions in the classroom. Folders explaining the intervention program and suggesting the participation of the family, such as reducing the purchase of sodas were sent home. Classroom activities were delivered by research assistants in the first two interventions and by the regular teachers in the third one, except for culinary class aimed at developing cooking skills to increase healthy eating choices. The first intervention was conducted in 2005 with 1,140 fourth graders from 22 public schools; the second, with 644 fifth graders from 20 public schools in 2010; and the last one, with 2,743 fifth and sixth graders from 18 public schools in 2016. The result was a non-significant change in BMI after one school year of positive changes in dietary behaviors associated with obesity. Pooled intention-to-treat analysis using linear mixed models was used for the overall and subgroup analysis by BMI status, sex, and race. The estimated mean BMI changes were from 18.93 to 19.22 in the control group and from 18.89 to 19.19 in the intervention group; with a p-value of change over time of 0.94. Control and intervention groups were balanced at baseline. Subgroup analyses were statistically and clinically non-significant, except for the non-overweight/obese group with a 0.05 reduction of BMI comparing the intervention with control. In conclusion, this large pooled analysis showed a very small effect on BMI only in the normal weight students. The results are in line with many of the school-based initiatives that have been promising in relation to modifying behaviors associated with obesity but of no impact on excessive weight gain. Changes in BMI may require great changes in energy balance that are hard to achieve in primary prevention at school level.

Keywords: adolescents, obesity prevention, randomized controlled trials, school-based study

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13 Response of Caldeira De Tróia Saltmarsh to Sea Level Rise, Sado Estuary, Portugal

Authors: A. G. Cunha, M. Inácio, M. C. Freitas, C. Antunes, T. Silva, C. Andrade, V. Lopes

Abstract:

Saltmarshes are essential ecosystems both from an ecological and biological point of view. Furthermore, they constitute an important social niche, providing valuable economic and protection functions. Thus, understanding their rates and patterns of sedimentation is critical for functional management and rehabilitation, especially in an SLR scenario. The Sado estuary is located 40 km south of Lisbon. It is a bar built estuary, separated from the sea by a large sand spit: the Tróia barrier. Caldeira de Tróia is located on the free edge of this barrier, and encompasses a salt marsh with ca. 21,000 m². Sediment cores were collected in the high and low marshes and in the mudflat area of the North bank of Caldeira de Tróia. From the low marsh core, fifteen samples were chosen for ²¹⁰Pb and ¹³⁷Cs determination at University of Geneva. The cores from the high marsh and the mudflat are still being analyzed. A sedimentation rate of 2.96 mm/year was derived from ²¹⁰Pb using the Constant Flux Constant Sedimentation model. The ¹³⁷Cs profile shows a peak in activity (1963) between 15.50 and 18.50 cm, giving a 3.1 mm/year sedimentation rate for the past 53 years. The adopted sea level rise scenario was based on a model built with the initial rate of SLR of 2.1 mm/year in 2000 and an acceleration of 0.08 mm/year². Based on the harmonic analysis of Setubal-Tróia tide gauge of 2005 data, the tide model was estimated and used to build the tidal tables to the period 2000-2016. With these tables, the average mean water levels were determined for the same time span. A digital terrain model was created from LIDAR scanning with 2m horizontal resolution (APA-DGT, 2011) and validated with altimetric data obtained with a DGPS-RTK. The response model calculates a new elevation for each pixel of the DTM for 2050 and 2100 based on the sedimentation rates specific of each environment. At this stage, theoretical values were chosen for the high marsh and the mudflat (respectively, equal and double the low marsh rate – 2.92 mm/year). These values will be rectified once sedimentation rates are determined for the other environments. For both projections, the total surface of the marsh decreases: 2% in 2050 and 61% in 2100. Additionally, the high marsh coverage diminishes significantly, indicating a regression in terms of maturity.

Keywords: ¹³⁷Cs, ²¹⁰Pb, saltmarsh, sea level rise, response model

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12 Modeling Diel Trends of Dissolved Oxygen for Estimating the Metabolism in Pristine Streams in the Brazilian Cerrado

Authors: Wesley A. Saltarelli, Nicolas R. Finkler, Adriana C. P. Miwa, Maria C. Calijuri, Davi G. F. Cunha

Abstract:

The metabolism of the streams is an indicator of ecosystem disturbance due to the influences of the catchment on the structure of the water bodies. The study of the respiration and photosynthesis allows the estimation of energy fluxes through the food webs and the analysis of the autotrophic and heterotrophic processes. We aimed at evaluating the metabolism in streams located in the Brazilian savannah, Cerrado (Sao Carlos, SP), by determining and modeling the daily changes of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water during one year. Three water bodies with minimal anthropogenic interference in their surroundings were selected, Espraiado (ES), Broa (BR) and Canchim (CA). Every two months, water temperature, pH and conductivity are measured with a multiparameter probe. Nitrogen and phosphorus forms are determined according to standard methods. Also, canopy cover percentages are estimated in situ with a spherical densitometer. Stream flows are quantified through the conservative tracer (NaCl) method. For the metabolism study, DO (PME-MiniDOT) and light (Odyssey Photosynthetic Active Radiation) sensors log data for at least three consecutive days every ten minutes. The reaeration coefficient (k2) is estimated through the method of the tracer gas (SF6). Finally, we model the variations in DO concentrations and calculate the rates of gross and net primary production (GPP and NPP) and respiration based on the one station method described in the literature. Three sampling were carried out in October and December 2015 and February 2016 (the next will be in April, June and August 2016). The results from the first two periods are already available. The mean water temperatures in the streams were 20.0 +/- 0.8C (Oct) and 20.7 +/- 0.5C (Dec). In general, electrical conductivity values were low (ES: 20.5 +/- 3.5uS/cm; BR 5.5 +/- 0.7uS/cm; CA 33 +/- 1.4 uS/cm). The mean pH values were 5.0 (BR), 5.7 (ES) and 6.4 (CA). The mean concentrations of total phosphorus were 8.0ug/L (BR), 66.6ug/L (ES) and 51.5ug/L (CA), whereas soluble reactive phosphorus concentrations were always below 21.0ug/L. The BR stream had the lowest concentration of total nitrogen (0.55mg/L) as compared to CA (0.77mg/L) and ES (1.57mg/L). The average discharges were 8.8 +/- 6L/s (ES), 11.4 +/- 3L/s and CA 2.4 +/- 0.5L/s. The average percentages of canopy cover were 72% (ES), 75% (BR) and 79% (CA). Significant daily changes were observed in the DO concentrations, reflecting predominantly heterotrophic conditions (respiration exceeded the gross primary production, with negative net primary production). The GPP varied from 0-0.4g/m2.d (in Oct and Dec) and the R varied from 0.9-22.7g/m2.d (Oct) and from 0.9-7g/m2.d (Dec). The predominance of heterotrophic conditions suggests increased vulnerability of the ecosystems to artificial inputs of organic matter that would demand oxygen. The investigation of the metabolism in the pristine streams can help defining natural reference conditions of trophic state.

Keywords: low-order streams, metabolism, net primary production, trophic state

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11 Analysis of Resistance and Virulence Genes of Gram-Positive Bacteria Detected in Calf Colostrums

Authors: C. Miranda, S. Cunha, R. Soares, M. Maia, G. Igrejas, F. Silva, P. Poeta

Abstract:

The worldwide inappropriate use of antibiotics has increased the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms isolated from animals, humans, food, and the environment. To combat this complex and multifaceted problem is essential to know the prevalence in livestock animals and possible ways of transmission among animals and between these and humans. Enterococci species, in particular E. faecalis and E. faecium, are the most common nosocomial bacteria, causing infections in animals and humans. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize resistance and virulence factors genes among two enterococci species isolated from calf colostrums in Portuguese dairy farms. The 55 enterococci isolates (44 E. faecalis and 11 E. faecium) were tested for the presence of the resistance genes for the following antibiotics: erythromicyn (ermA, ermB, and ermC), tetracycline (tetL, tetM, tetK, and tetO), quinupristin/dalfopristin (vatD and vatE) and vancomycin (vanB). Of which, 25 isolates (15 E. faecalis and 10 E. faecium) were tested until now for 8 virulence factors genes (esp, ace, gelE, agg, cpd, cylA, cylB, and cylLL). The resistance and virulence genes were performed by PCR, using specific primers and conditions. Negative and positive controls were used in all PCR assays. All enterococci isolates showed resistance to erythromicyn and tetracycline through the presence of the genes: ermB (n=29, 53%), ermC (n=10, 18%), tetL (n=49, 89%), tetM (n=39, 71%) and tetK (n=33, 60%). Only two (4%) E. faecalis isolates showed the presence of tetO gene. No resistance genes for vancomycin were found. The virulence genes detected in both species were cpd (n=17, 68%), agg (n=16, 64%), ace (n=15, 60%), esp (n=13, 52%), gelE (n=13, 52%) and cylLL (n=8, 32%). In general, each isolate showed at least three virulence genes. In three E. faecalis isolates was not found virulence genes and only E. faecalis isolates showed virulence genes for cylA (n=4, 16%) and cylB (n=6, 24%). In conclusion, these colostrum samples that were consumed by calves demonstrated the presence of antibiotic-resistant enterococci harbored virulence genes. This genotypic characterization is crucial to control the antibiotic-resistant bacteria through the implementation of restricts measures safeguarding public health. Acknowledgements: This work was funded by the R&D Project CAREBIO2 (Comparative assessment of antimicrobial resistance in environmental biofilms through proteomics - towards innovative theragnostic biomarkers), with reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-030101 and PTDC/SAU-INF/30101/2017, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Northern Regional Operational Program (NORTE 2020) and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). This work was supported by the Associate Laboratory for Green Chemistry - LAQV which is financed by national funds from FCT/MCTES (UIDB/50006/2020 and UIDP/50006/2020).

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, calf, colostrums, enterococci

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