Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 29

Search results for: Tsutomu Kobayashi

29 Sustainable Use of Laura Lens during Drought

Authors: Kazuhisa Koda, Tsutomu Kobayashi

Abstract:

Laura Island, which is located about 50 km away from downtown, is a source of water supply in Majuro atoll, which is the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Low and flat Majuro atoll has neither river nor lake. It is very important for Majuro atoll to ensure the conservation of its water resources. However, up-coning, which is the process of partial rising of the freshwater-saltwater boundary near the water-supply well, was caused by the excess pumping from it during the severe drought in 1998. Up-coning will make the water usage of the freshwater lens difficult. Thus, appropriate water usage is required to prevent up-coning in the freshwater lens because there is no other water source during drought. Numerical simulation of water usage applying SEAWAT model was conducted at the central part of Laura Island, including the water-supply well, which was affected by up-coning. The freshwater lens was created as a result of infiltration of consistent average rainfall. The lens shape was almost the same as the one in 1985. 0 of monthly rainfall and variable daily pump discharge were used to calculate the sustainable pump discharge from the water-supply well. Consequently, the total amount of pump discharge was increased as the daily pump discharge was increased, indicating that it needs more time to recover from up-coning. Thus, a pump standard to reduce the pump intensity is being proposed, which is based on numerical simulation concerning the occurrence of the up-coning phenomenon in Laura Island during the drought.

Keywords: freshwater lens, islands, numerical simulation, sustainable water use

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28 Freshwater Lens Observation: Case Study of Laura Island, Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Authors: Kazuhisa Koda, Tsutomu Kobayashi, Rebecca Lorennji, Alington Robert, Halston DeBrum, Julious Lucky, Paul Paul

Abstract:

Atolls are low-lying small islands with highly permeable ground that does not allow rivers and lakes to develop. As the water resources on these atolls basically rely on precipitation, groundwater becomes a very important water resource during droughts. Freshwater lenses develop as groundwater on relatively large atoll islands and play a key role in the stable water supply. Atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean sometimes suffer from drought due to El Nino. The global warming effects are noticeable, particularly on atoll islands. The Republic of the Marshall Islands in Oceania is burdened with the problems common to atoll islands. About half of its population lives in the capital, Majuro, and securing water resources for these people is a crucial issue. There is a freshwater lens on the largest, Laura Island, which serves as a water source for the downtown area. A serious drought that occurred in 1998 resulted in excessive water intake from the freshwater lens on Laura Island causing up-coning. Up-coning mixes saltwater into groundwater pumped from water-intake wells. Because up-coning makes the freshwater lens unusable, there was a need to investigate the freshwater lens on Laura Island. In this study, we observed the electrical conductivities of the groundwater at different depths in existing monitoring wells to determine the total storage volume of the freshwater lens on Laura Island from 2010 to 2013. Our results indicated that most of the groundwater that seeped into the freshwater lens had flowed out into the sea.

Keywords: Atoll islands, drought, El-Nino, freshwater lens, groundwater observation

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27 Applying Theory of Inventive Problem Solving to Develop Innovative Solutions: A Case Study

Authors: Y. H. Wang, C. C. Hsieh

Abstract:

Good service design can increase organization revenue and consumer satisfaction while reducing labor and time costs. The problems facing consumers in the original serve model for eyewear and optical industry includes the following issues: 1. Insufficient information on eyewear products 2. Passively dependent on recommendations, insufficient selection 3. Incomplete records on progression of vision conditions 4. Lack of complete customer records. This study investigates the case of Kobayashi Optical, applying the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) to develop innovative solutions for eyewear and optical industry. Analysis results raise the following conclusions and management implications: In order to provide customers with improved professional information and recommendations, Kobayashi Optical is suggested to establish customer purchasing records. Overall service efficiency can be enhanced by applying data mining techniques to analyze past consumer preferences and purchase histories. Furthermore, Kobayashi Optical should continue to develop a 3D virtual trial service which can allow customers for easy browsing of different frame styles and colors. This 3D virtual trial service will save customer waiting times in during peak service times at stores.

Keywords: theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ), service design, augmented reality (AR), eyewear and optical industry

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26 The Study about the New Monitoring System of Signal Equipment of Railways Using Radio Communication

Authors: Masahiko Suzuki, Takashi Kato , Masahiro Kobayashi

Abstract:

In our company, the monitoring system for signal equipment has already implemented. So, we can know the state of signal equipment, sitting in the control room or the maintenance center. But this system was installed over 20 years ago, so it cannot stand the needs such as 'more stable operation', 'broadband data transfer', 'easy construction and easy maintenance'. To satisfy these needs, we studied the monitoring system using radio communication as a new method which can realize the operation in the terrible environment along railroads. In these studies, we have developed the terminals and repeaters based on the ZigBee protocol and have implemented the application using two different radio bands simultaneously. At last, we got the good results from the fundamental examinations using the developed equipment.

Keywords: monitoring, radio communication, 2 bands, ZigBee

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25 Luminescent Si Nanocrystals Synthesized by Si Ion Implantation and Reactive Pulsed Laser Deposition: The Effects of RTA, Excimer-Uv and E-Beam Irradiation

Authors: Tsutomu Iwayama, Takayuki Hama

Abstract:

Si ion implantation was widely used to synthesize specimens of SiO2 containing supersaturated Si and subsequent high temperature annealing induces the formation of embedded luminescent Si nanocrystals. In this work, the potentialities of excimer UV-light (172 nm, 7.2 eV) irradiation and rapid thermal annealing (RTA) to enhance the photoluminescence and to achieve low temperature formation of Si nanocrystals have been investigated. The Si ions were introduced at acceleration energy of 180 keV to fluence of 7.5 x 1016 ions/cm2. The implanted samples were subsequently irradiated with an excimer-UV lamp. After the process, the samples were rapidly thermal annealed before furnace annealing (FA). Photoluminescence spectra were measured at various stages at the process. We found that the luminescence intensity is strongly enhanced with excimer-UV irradiation and RTA. Moreover, effective visible photoluminescence is found to be observed even after FA at 900 oC, only for specimens treated with excimer-UV lamp and RTA. We also prepared specimens of Si nanocrystals embedded in a SiO2 by reactive pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in an oxygen atmosphere. We will make clear the similarities and differences with the way of preparation.

Keywords: Ion implantation, photoluminescence, pulsed laser deposition, rapid thermal anneal, Si nanocrystals

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24 Towards Developing a Self-Explanatory Scheduling System Based on a Hybrid Approach

Authors: Jian Zheng, Yoshiyasu Takahashi, Yuichi Kobayashi, Tatsuhiro Sato

Abstract:

In the study, we present a conceptual framework for developing a scheduling system that can generate self-explanatory and easy-understanding schedules. To this end, a user interface is conceived to help planners record factors that are considered crucial in scheduling, as well as internal and external sources relating to such factors. A hybrid approach combining machine learning and constraint programming is developed to generate schedules and the corresponding factors, and accordingly display them on the user interface. Effects of the proposed system on scheduling are discussed, and it is expected that scheduling efficiency and system understandability will be improved, compared with previous scheduling systems.

Keywords: constraint programming, factors considered in scheduling, machine learning, scheduling system

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23 Evaluation Using a Bidirectional Microphone as a Pressure Pulse Wave Meter

Authors: Shunsuke Fujiwara, Takashi Kaburagi, Kazuyuki Kobayashi, Kajiro Watanabe, Yosuke Kurihara

Abstract:

This paper describes a novel sensor device, a pressure pulse wave meter, which uses a bidirectional condenser microphone. The microphone work as a microphone as well as a sensor with high gain over a wide frequency range; they are also highly reliable and economical. Currently aging is becoming a serious social issue in Japan causing increased medical expenses in the country. Hence, it is important for elderly citizens to check health condition at home, and to care the health conditions through daily monitoring. Given this circumstances, we developed a novel pressure pulse wave meter based on a bidirectional condenser microphone. This novel pressure pulse wave meter device is used as a measuring instrument of health conditions.

Keywords: bidirectional microphone, pressure pulse wave meter, health condition, novel sensor device

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22 High Efficiency ZPS-PWM Dual-Output Converters with EMI Reduction Method

Authors: Yasunori Kobori, Nobukazu Tsukiji, Nobukazu Takai, Haruo Kobayashi

Abstract:

In this paper, we study a Pulse-WidthModulation (PWM) controlled Zero-Voltage-Switching (ZVS) for single-inductor dual-output (SIDO) converters. This method can meet the industry demands for high efficiency due to ZVS and small size and low cost, thanks to single-inductor per multiple voltages. We show the single inductor single-output (SISO) ZVS buck converter with its operation and simulation and then the experimental results. Next proposed ZVS-PWM controlled SIDO converters are explained in the simulation. Finally we have proposed EMI reduction method with spread spectrum.

Keywords: DC-DC switching converter, zero-oltage switching control, single-inductor dual-output converter, EMI reduction, spread spectrum

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21 Particle Filter Implementation of a Non-Linear Dynamic Fall Model

Authors: T. Kobayashi, K. Shiba, T. Kaburagi, Y. Kurihara

Abstract:

For the elderly living alone, falls can be a serious problem encountered in daily life. Some elderly people are unable to stand up without the assistance of a caregiver. They may become unconscious after a fall, which can lead to serious aftereffects such as hypothermia, dehydration, and sometimes even death. We treat the subject as an inverted pendulum and model its angle from the equilibrium position and its angular velocity. As the model is non-linear, we implement the filtering method with a particle filter which can estimate true states of the non-linear model. In order to evaluate the accuracy of the particle filter estimation results, we calculate the root mean square error (RMSE) between the estimated angle/angular velocity and the true values generated by the simulation. The experimental results give the highest accuracy RMSE of 0.0141 rad and 0.1311 rad/s for the angle and angular velocity, respectively.

Keywords: fall, microwave Doppler sensor, non-linear dynamics model, particle filter

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20 Phylogenetic Analyses of Newcastle Disease Virus Isolated from Unvaccinated Chicken Flocks in Kyrgyzstan from 2015 to 2016

Authors: Giang Tran Thi Huong, Hieu Dong Van, Tung Dao Duy, Saadanov Iskender, Isakeev Mairambek, Tsutomu Omatsu, Yukie Katayama, Tetsuya Mizutani, Yuki Ozeki, Yohei Takeda, Haruko Ogawa, Kunitoshi Imai

Abstract:

Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a contagious viral disease of the poultry industry and other birds throughout the world. At present, very little is known about molecular epidemiological data regarding the causes of ND outbreak in commercial poultry farms in Kyrgyzstan. In the current study, the NDV isolated from the one out of three samples from the unvaccinated flock was confirmed as NDV. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that this NDV strain is clustered in the Class II subgenotype VIId, and closely related to the Chinese NDV isolate. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the isolated NDV strain has an origin different from the 4 NDV strains previously identified in Kyrgyzstan. According to the mean death time (MDT: 61.1 h) and a multibasic amino acid (aa) sequence at the F0 proteolytic cleavage site (¹¹²R-R-Q-K-R-F¹¹⁷), the NDV isolate was determined as mesogenic strain. Several mutations in the neutralizing epitopes (notably, ³⁴⁷E→K) and the global head were observed in the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein of the current isolate. The present study represents the molecular characterization of the coding gene region of NDV in Kyrgyzstan. Additionally, further study will be investigated on the antigenic characterization using monoclonal antibody.

Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, Newcastle disease, genotype, genome characterization

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19 Durability Enhancement of CaSO4 in Repetitive Operation of Chemical Heat Pump

Authors: Y. Shiren, M. Masuzawa, H. Ohkura, T. Yamagata, Y. Aman, N. Kobayashi

Abstract:

An important problem for the CaSO4/CaSO4・1/2H2O Chemical heat pump (CHP) is that the material is deactivated through repetitive reaction between hydration and dehydration in which the crystal phase of the material is transformed from III-CaSO4 to II-CaSO4. We investigated suppression on the phase change by adding a sulfated compound. The most effective material was MgSO4. MgSO4 doping increased the durability of CaSO4 in the actual CHP repetitive cycle of hydration/dehydration to 3.6 times that of undoped CaSO4. The MgSO4-doped CaSO4 showed a higher phase transition temperature and activation energy for crystal transformation from III-CaSO4 to II-CaSO4. MgSO4 doping decreased the crystal lattice size of CaSO4・1/2H2O and II-CaSO4 to smaller than that of undoped CaSO4. Modification of the crystal structure is considered to be related to the durability change in CaSO4 resulting from MgSO4 doping.

Keywords: CaSO4, chemical heat pump, durability of chemical heat storage material, heat storage

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18 Single-Inductor Multi-Output Converters with Four-Level Output Voltages

Authors: Yasunori Kobori, Murong Li, Feng Zhao, Shu Wu, Nobukazu Takai, Haruo Kobayashi

Abstract:

This paper proposes an electrolytic capacitor-less transformer-less AC-DC LED driver with a current ripple canceller. The proposed LED driver includes a diode bridge, a buck-boost converter, a negative feedback controller and a current ripple cancellation circuit. The current ripple canceller works as a bi-directional current converter using a sub-inductor, a sub-capacitor and two switches for controlling current flow. LED voltage is controlled in order to regulate LED current by the negative feedback controller using a current sense resistor. There are two capacitors with capacitance of 5 uF. We describe circuit topologies, operation principles and simulation results for our proposed circuit. In addition, we show the line regulation for input voltage variation from 85V to 130V. The output voltage ripple is 2V and the LED current ripple is 65 mA which is less than 20% of the average of LED current of 350 mA.

Keywords: DC-DC buck converter, four-level output voltage, single inductor multi output (SIMO), switching converter

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17 Electrochemical Corrosion Behavior of New Developed Titanium Alloys in Ringer’s Solution

Authors: Yasser M. Abd-elrhman, Mohamed A. Gepreel, Kiochi Nakamura, Ahmed Abd El-Moneim, Sengo Kobayashi, Mervat M. Ibrahim

Abstract:

Titanium alloys are known as highly bio compatible metallic materials due to their high strength, low elastic modulus, and high corrosion resistance in biological media. Besides other important material features, the corrosion parameters and corrosion products are responsible for limiting the biological and chemical bio compatibility of metallic materials that produce undesirable reactions in implant-adjacent and/or more distant tissues. Electrochemical corrosion behaviors of novel beta titanium alloys, Ti-4.7Mo-4.5Fe, Ti-3Mo-0.5Fe, and Ti-2Mo-0.5Fe were characterized in naturally aerated Ringer’s solution at room temperature compared with common used biomedical titanium alloy, Ti-6Al-4V. The corrosion resistance of titanium alloys were investigated through open circuit potential (OCP), potentiodynamic polarization measurements and optical microscope (OM). A high corrosion resistance was obtained for all alloys due to the stable passive film formed on their surfaces. The new present alloys are promising metallic biomaterials for the future, owing to their very low elastic modulus and good corrosion resistance capabilities.

Keywords: titanium alloys, corrosion resistance, Ringer’s solution, electrochemical corrosion

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16 Electrolytic Capacitor-Less Transformer-Less AC-DC LED Driver with Current Ripple Canceller

Authors: Yasunori Kobori, Li Quan, Shu Wu, Nizam Mohyar, Zachary Nosker, Nobukazu Tsukiji, Nobukazu Takai, Haruo Kobayashi

Abstract:

This paper proposes an electrolytic capacitor-less transformer-less AC-DC LED driver with a current ripple canceller. The proposed LED driver includes a diode bridge, a buck-boost converter, a negative feedback controller and a current ripple cancellation circuit. The current ripple canceller works as a bi-directional current converter using a sub-inductor, a sub-capacitor and two switches for controlling current flow. LED voltage is controlled in order to regulate LED current by the negative feedback controller using a current sense resistor. There are two capacitors which capacitance of 5 uF. We describe circuit topologies, operation principles and simulation results for our proposed circuit. In addition, we show the line regulation for input voltage variation from 85V to 130V. The output voltage ripple is 2V and the LED current ripple is 65 mA which is less than 20% of the typical current of 350 mA. We are now making the proposed circuit on a universal board in order to measure the experimental characteristics.

Keywords: LED driver, electrolytic, capacitor-less, AC-DC converter, buck-boost converter, current ripple canceller

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15 Temporal Migration and Community Development in Rural Indonesia

Authors: Gunawan Prayitno, Kakuya Matshusima, Kiyoshi Kobayashi

Abstract:

Indonesia’s rural regions are characterized by wide-spread poverty, under-employment, and surplus of low-skilled labor. The aim of this paper is to empirically prove the effect of social ties (strong and weak tie) as social capital construct on households’ migration decision in the case of developing country (Indonesia). The methodology incorporated indicators of observe variables (four demographic attributes data: income, occupation, education, and family members) and indicators of latent variables (ties to neighbors, ties to community and sense of place) provided by responses to survey questions to aid in estimating the model. Using structural equation model that we employed in Mplus program, the result of our study shows that ties to community positively have a significant impact to the decision of respondents (migrate or not). Besides, education as observed variable directly influences the migration decisions. It seems that higher level of education have impact on migration decision. Our current model so far could explain the relation between social capital and migration decision choice.

Keywords: migration, ties to community, ties to neighbors, education

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14 Spread Spectrum with Notch Frequency Using Pulse Coding Method for Switching Converter of Communication Equipment

Authors: Yasunori Kobori, Futoshi Fukaya, Takuya Arafune, Nobukazu Tsukiji, Nobukazu Takai, Haruo Kobayashi

Abstract:

This paper proposes an EMI spread spectrum technique to enable to set notch frequencies using pulse coding method for DC-DC switching converters of communication equipment. The notches in the spectrum of the switching pulses appear at the frequencies obtained from empirically derived equations with the proposed spread spectrum technique using the pulse coding methods, the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) coding or the PCM (Pulse Cycle Modulation) coding. This technique would be useful for the switching converters in the communication equipment which receives standard radio waves, without being affected by noise from the switching converters. In our proposed technique, the notch frequencies in the spectrum depend on the pulse coding method. We have investigated this technique to apply to the switching converters and found that there is good relationship agreement between the notch frequencies and the empirical equations. The notch frequencies with the PWM coding is equal to the equation F=k/(WL-WS). With the PCM coding, that is equal to the equation F=k/(TL-TS).

Keywords: notch frequency, pulse coding, spread spectrum, switching converter

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13 Topographic Mapping of Farmland by Integration of Multiple Sensors on Board Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial System

Authors: Mengmeng Du, Noboru Noguchi, Hiroshi Okamoto, Noriko Kobayashi

Abstract:

This paper introduced a topographic mapping system with time-saving and simplicity advantages based on integration of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and Post Processing Kinematic Global Positioning System (PPK GPS) data. This topographic mapping system used a low-altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as a platform to conduct land survey in a low-cost, efficient, and totally autonomous manner. An experiment in a small-scale sugarcane farmland was conducted in Queensland, Australia. Subsequently, we synchronized LiDAR distance measurements that were corrected by using attitude information from gyroscope with PPK GPS coordinates for generation of precision topographic maps, which could be further utilized for such applications like precise land leveling and drainage management. The results indicated that LiDAR distance measurements and PPK GPS altitude reached good accuracy of less than 0.015 m.

Keywords: land survey, light detection and ranging, post processing kinematic global positioning system, precision agriculture, topographic map, unmanned aerial vehicle

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12 Classification Method for Turnover While Sleeping Using Multi-Point Unconstrained Sensing Devices

Authors: K. Shiba, T. Kobayashi, T. Kaburagi, Y. Kurihara

Abstract:

Elderly population in the world is increasing, and consequently, their nursing burden is also increasing. In such situations, monitoring and evaluating their daily action facilitates efficient nursing care. Especially, we focus on an unconscious activity during sleep, i.e. turnover. Monitoring turnover during sleep is essential to evaluate various conditions related to sleep. Bedsores are considered as one of the monitoring conditions. Changing patient’s posture every two hours is required for caregivers to prevent bedsore. Herein, we attempt to develop an unconstrained nocturnal monitoring system using a sensing device based on piezoelectric ceramics that can detect the vibrations owing to human body movement on the bed. In the proposed method, in order to construct a multi-points sensing, we placed two sensing devices under the right and left legs at the head-side of an ordinary bed. Using this equipment, when a subject lies on the bed, feature is calculated from the output voltages of the sensing devices. In order to evaluate our proposed method, we conducted an experiment with six healthy male subjects. Consequently, the period during which turnover occurs can be correctly classified as the turnover period with 100% accuracy.

Keywords: turnover, piezoelectric ceramics, multi-points sensing, unconstrained monitoring system

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11 Development of Electroencephalograph Collection System in Language-Learning Self-Study System That Can Detect Learning State of the Learner

Authors: Katsuyuki Umezawa, Makoto Nakazawa, Manabu Kobayashi, Yutaka Ishii, Michiko Nakano, Shigeichi Hirasawa

Abstract:

This research aims to develop a self-study system equipped with an artificial teacher who gives advice to students by detecting the learners and to evaluate language learning in a unified framework. 'Detecting the learners' means that the system understands the learners' learning conditions, such as each learner’s degree of understanding, the difference in each learner’s thinking process, the degree of concentration or boredom in learning, and problem solving for each learner, which can be interpreted from learning behavior. In this paper, we propose a system to efficiently collect brain waves from learners by focusing on only the brain waves among the biological information for 'detecting the learners'. The conventional Electroencephalograph (EEG) measurement method during learning using a simple EEG has the following disadvantages. (1) The start and end of EEG measurement must be done manually by the experiment participant or staff. (2) Even when the EEG signal is weak, it may not be noticed, and the data may not be obtained. (3) Since the acquired EEG data is stored in each PC, there is a possibility that the time of data acquisition will be different in each PC. This time, we developed a system to collect brain wave data on the server side. This system overcame the above disadvantages.

Keywords: artificial teacher, e-learning, self-study system, simple EEG

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10 Effect of Surface-Modification of Indium Tin Oxide Particles on Their Electrical Conductivity

Authors: Y. Kobayashi, T. Kurosaka, K. Yamamura, T. Yonezawa, K. Yamasaki

Abstract:

The present work reports an effect of surface- modification of indium tin oxide (ITO) particles with chemicals on their electronic conductivity properties. Examined chemicals were polyvinyl alcohol (nonionic polymer), poly(diallyl dimethyl ammonium chloride) (cationic polymer), poly(sodium 4-styrene-sulfonate) (anionic polymer), (2-aminopropyl) trimethoxy silane (APMS) (silane coupling agent with amino group), and (3-mercaptopropyl) trimethoxy silane (MPS) (silane coupling agent with thiol group). For all the examined chemicals, volume resistivities of surface-modified ITO particles did not increase much when they were aged in air at 80 oC, compared to a volume resistivity of un-surface-modified ITO particles. Increases in volume resistivities of ITO particles surface-modified with the silane coupling agents were smaller than those with the polymers, since hydrolysis of the silane coupling agents and condensation of generated silanol and OH groups on ITO particles took place to provide efficient immobilization of them on particles. The APMS gave an increase in volume resistivity smaller than the MPS, since a larger solubility in water of APMS providing a larger amount of APMS immobilized on particles.

Keywords: indium tin oxide, particles, surface-modification, volume resistivity

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9 High Speed Response Single-Inductor Dual-Output DC-DC Converter with Hysteretic Control

Authors: Y. Kobori, S. Tanaka, N. Tsukiji, N. Takai, H. Kobayashi

Abstract:

This paper proposes two kinds of new single-inductor dual-output (SIDO) DC-DC switching converters with ripple-based hysteretic control. First SIDO converters of type 1 utilize the triangular signal generated by the CR-circuit connected across the inductor. This triangular signal is used for generating the PWM signal instead of the saw-tooth signal used in the conventional converters. Second SIDO converters of type 2 utilize the triangular signal generated by the CR-circuit connected across the voltage error amplifier. This paper describes circuit topologies, Operation principles, simulation results and experimental results of the proposed SIDO converters. In simulation results of both type of SIDO converters, static output voltage ripples are less than 5mVpp and over/under shoots of the dynamic load regulations for the output current step are less than +/- 10mV. In experimental results of single output converter of type 2, static output voltage ripples are about 20mVpp. Output ripples of SIDO type 1 converter are about 80mVpp.

Keywords: DC-DC converter, switching converter, SIDO converter, hysteretic control, ripple-based control

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8 Decomposition of Factors Affecting Farmers Net Income Variation of Potato Crop Production in Bangladesh

Authors: M. Shah Alamgir, Jun Furuya, Shintaro Kobayashi, M. Abdus Salam

Abstract:

Farmers’ environmental and economic situations are very diverse. In order to develop effective policies and technologies to improve farmers’ life standard, it is important to understand which factors induce the diversity of agricultural income. Analyze both primary and secondary data, this study applied descriptive, inferential statistical tools, and econometric techniques. From the study, farmers of Sylhet Division produce potato as one of the main cash crop with other seasonal crops. The total costs of potato production per hectare varied in different districts of Sylhet division in addition seed and hired labor cost has the biggest share of the full cost. To grasp the diversity of income, the study decomposes the variance of net income into different factors of potato production. Through this decomposition, seed cost is the important factors of income variability and it is the most important sector to induce total cost disparity for potato production. The result shows that 73% of net income variation is explained by gross income. It implies that potato yield or potato price (quality) or both vary widely among farmers. This finding is important of policymaking and technology development of agricultural farming in Bangladesh.

Keywords: agricultural income, seed, hired labor, technology development

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7 4-DOFs Parallel Mechanism for Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery

Authors: Khalil Ibrahim, Ahmed Ramadan, Mohamed Fanni, Yo Kobayashi, Ahmed Abo-Ismail, Masakatus G. Fujie

Abstract:

This paper deals with the design process and the dynamic control simulation of a new type of 4-DOFs parallel mechanism that can be used as an endoscopic surgical manipulator. The proposed mechanism, 2-PUU_2-PUS, is designed based on the screw theory and the parallel virtual chain type synthesis method. Based on the structure analysis of the 4-DOF parallel mechanism, the inverse position equation is studied using the inverse analysis theory of kinematics. The design and the stress analysis of the mechanism are investigated using SolidWorks software. The virtual prototype of the parallel mechanism is constructed, and the dynamic simulation is performed using ADAMS TM software. The system model utilizing PID and PI controllers has been built using MATLAB software. A more realistic simulation in accordance with a given bending angle and point to point control is implemented by the use of both ADAMS/MATLAB software. The simulation results showed that this control method has solved the coordinate control for the 4-DOF parallel manipulator so that each output is feedback to the four driving rods. From the results, the tracking performance is achieved. Other control techniques, such as intelligent ones, are recommended to improve the tracking performance and reduce the numerical truncation error.

Keywords: parallel mechanisms, medical robotics, tracjectory control, virtual chain type synthesis method

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6 Effect of Nanostructure on Hydrogen Embrittlement Resistance of the Severely Deformed 316LN Austenitic Steel

Authors: Frank Jaksoni Mweta, Nozomu Adachi, Yoshikazu Todaka, Hirokazu Sato, Yuta Sato, Hiromi Miura, Masakazu Kobayashi, Chihiro Watanabe, Yoshiteru Aoyagi

Abstract:

Advances in the consumption of hydrogen fuel increase demands of high strength steel pipes and storage tanks. However, high strength steels are highly sensitive to hydrogen embrittlement. Because the introduction of hydrogen into steel during the fabrication process or from the environment is unavoidable, it is essential to improve hydrogen embrittlement resistance of high strength steels through microstructural control. In the present study, the heterogeneous nanostructure with a tensile strength of about 1.8 GPa and the homogeneous nanostructure with a tensile strength of about 2.0 GPa of 316LN steels were generated after 92% heavy cold rolling and high-pressure torsion straining, respectively. The heterogeneous nanostructure is composed of twin domains, shear bands, and lamellar grains. The homogeneous nanostructure is composed of uniformly distributed ultrafine nanograins. The influence of heterogeneous and homogenous nanostructures on the hydrogen embrittlement resistance was investigated. The specimen for each nanostructure was electrochemically charged with hydrogen for 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours, respectively. Under the same hydrogen charging time, both nanostructures show almost the same concentration of the diffusible hydrogen based on the thermal desorption analysis. The tensile properties of the homogenous nanostructure were severely affected by the diffusible hydrogen. However, the diffusible hydrogen shows less impact on the tensile properties of the heterogeneous nanostructure. The difference in embrittlement behavior between the heterogeneous and homogeneous nanostructures was elucidated based on the mechanism of the cracks' growth observed in the tensile fractography. The hydrogen embrittlement was suppressed in the heterogeneous nanostructure because the twin domain became an obstacle for crack growth. The homogeneous nanostructure was not consisting an obstacle such as a twin domain; thus, the crack growth resistance was low in this nanostructure.

Keywords: diffusible hydrogen, heterogeneous nanostructure, homogeneous nanostructure, hydrogen embrittlement

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5 Effects of Forest Bathing on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Parameters in Middle-Aged Males

Authors: Qing Li, Maiko Kobayashi, Shigeyoshi Kumeda, Hiroko Ochiai, Toshiya Ochiai, Takashi Miura, Takahide Kagawa, Michiko Imai, Toshiaki Otsuka, Tomoyuki Kawada

Abstract:

In the present study, we investigated the effects of a forest bathing program on cardiovascular and metabolic parameters. Nineteen healthy male subjects (mean age: 51.3 ± 8.8 years) were selected after obtaining informed consent. These subjects took day trips to a forest park named Akasawa Shizen Kyuyourin, Agematsu, Nagano Prefecture (situated in central Japan), and to an urban area of Nagano Prefecture as a control in August 2015. On both trips, they walked 2.6 km for 80 min each in the morning and afternoon on Saturdays. Blood and urine were sampled in the morning before and after each trip. Cardiovascular and metabolic parameters were measured. Blood pressure and pulse rate were measured by an ambulatory automatic blood pressure monitor. The Japanese version of the profile of mood states (POMS) test was conducted before, during and after the trips. Ambient temperature and humidity were monitoring during the trips. The forest bathing program significantly reduced pulse rate, and significantly increased the score for vigor and decreased the scores for depression, fatigue, and confusion in the POMS test. The levels of urinary noradrenaline and dopamine after forest bathing were significantly lower than those after urban area walking, suggesting the relaxing effect of the forest bathing program. The level of adiponectin in serum after the forest bathing program was significantly greater than that after urban area walking. There was no significant difference in blood pressure between forest and urban area trips during the trips.

Keywords: ambient temperature, blood pressure, forest bathing, forest therapy, human health, POMS, pulse rate

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4 Maresin Like 1 Treatment: Curbing the Pathogenesis of Behavioral Dysfunction and Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model

Authors: Yan Lu, Song Hong, Janakiraman Udaiyappan, Aarti Nagayach, Quoc-Viet A. Duong, Masao Morita, Shun Saito, Yuichi Kobayashi, Yuhai, Zhao, Hongying Peng, Nicholas B. Pham, Walter J Lukiw, Christopher A. Vuong, Nicolas G. Bazan

Abstract:

Aims: Neurodegeneration and behavior dysfunction occurs in patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD), and as the disease progresses many patients develop cognitive impairment. 5XFAD mouse model of AD is widely used to study AD pathogenesis and treatment. This study aimed to investigate the effect of maresin like 1 (MaR-L1) treatment in AD pathology using 5XFAD mice. Methods: We tested 12-month-old male 5XFAD mice and wild type control mice treated with MaR-L1 in a battery of behavioral tasks. We performed open field test, beam walking test, clasping test, inverted grid test, acetone test, marble burring test, elevated plus maze test, cross maze test and novel object recognition test. We also studied neuronal loss, amyloid β burden, and inflammation in the brains of 5XFAD mice using immunohistology and Western blotting. Results: MaR-L1 treatment to the 5XFAD mice showed improved cognitive function of 5XFAD mice. MaR-L1 showed decreased anxiety behavior in open field test and marble burring test, increased muscular strength in the beam walking test, clasping test and inverted grid test. Cognitive function was improved in MaR-L1 treated 5XFAD mice in the novel object recognition test. MaR-L1 prevented neuronal loss and aberrant inflammation. Conclusion: Our finding suggests that behavioral abnormalities were normalized by the administration of MaR-L1 and the neuroprotective role of MaR-L1 in the AD. It also indicates that MaR-L1 treatment is able to prevent and or ameliorate neuronal loss and aberrant inflammation. Further experiments to validate the results are warranted using other AD models in the future.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, motor and cognitive behavior, 5XFAD mice, Maresin Like 1, microglial cell, astrocyte, neurodegeneration, inflammation, resolution of inflammation

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3 Identification of Viruses Infecting Garlic Plants in Colombia

Authors: Diana M. Torres, Anngie K. Hernandez, Andrea Villareal, Magda R. Gomez, Sadao Kobayashi

Abstract:

Colombian Garlic crops exhibited mild mosaic, yellow stripes, and deformation. This group of symptoms suggested a viral infection. Several viruses belonging to the genera Potyvirus, Carlavirus and Allexivirus are known to infect garlic and lower their yield worldwide, but in Colombia, there are no studies of viral infections in this crop, only leek yellow stripe virus (LYSV) has been reported to our best knowledge. In Colombia, there are no management strategies for viral diseases in garlic because of the lack of information about viral infections on this crop, which is reflected in (i) high prevalence of viral related symptoms in garlic fields and (ii) high dispersal rate. For these reasons, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the viral status of garlic in Colombia, which can represent a major threat on garlic yield and quality for this country 55 symptomatic leaf samples were collected for virus detection by RT-PCR and mechanical inoculation. Total RNA isolated from infected samples were subjected to RT-PCR with primers 1-OYDV-G/2-OYDV-G for Onion yellow dwarf virus (OYDV) (expected size 774pb), 1LYSV/2LYSV for LYSV (expected size 1000pb), SLV 7044/SLV 8004 for Shallot latent virus (SLV) (expected size 960pb), GCL-N30/GCL-C40 for Garlic common latent virus (GCLV) (expected size 481pb) and EF1F/EF1R for internal control (expected size 358pb). GCLV, SLV, and LYSV were detected in infected samples; in 95.6% of the analyzed samples was detected at least one of the viruses. GCLV and SLV were detected in single infection with low prevalence (9.3% and 7.4%, respectively). Garlic generally becomes coinfected with several types of viruses. Four viral complexes were identified: three double infection (64% of analyzed samples) and one triple infection (15%). The most frequent viral complex was SLV + GCLV infecting 48.1% of the samples. The other double complexes identified had a prevalence of 7% (GCLV + LYSV and SLV + LYSV) and 5.6% of the samples were free from these viruses. Mechanical transmission experiments were set up using leaf tissues of collected samples from infected fields, different test plants were assessed to know the host range, but it was restricted to C. quinoa, confirming the presence of detected viruses which have limited host range and were detected in C. quinoa by RT-PCR. The results of molecular and biological tests confirm the presence of SLV, LYSV, and GCLV; this is the first report of SLV and LYSV in garlic plants in Colombia, which can represent a serious threat for this crop in this country.

Keywords: SLV, GCLV, LYSV, leek yellow stripe virus, Allium sativum

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2 An Algebraic Geometric Imaging Approach for Automatic Dairy Cow Body Condition Scoring System

Authors: Thi Thi Zin, Pyke Tin, Ikuo Kobayashi, Yoichiro Horii

Abstract:

Today dairy farm experts and farmers have well recognized the importance of dairy cow Body Condition Score (BCS) since these scores can be used to optimize milk production, managing feeding system and as an indicator for abnormality in health even can be utilized to manage for having healthy calving times and process. In tradition, BCS measures are done by animal experts or trained technicians based on visual observations focusing on pin bones, pin, thurl and hook area, tail heads shapes, hook angles and short and long ribs. Since the traditional technique is very manual and subjective, the results can lead to different scores as well as not cost effective. Thus this paper proposes an algebraic geometric imaging approach for an automatic dairy cow BCS system. The proposed system consists of three functional modules. In the first module, significant landmarks or anatomical points from the cow image region are automatically extracted by using image processing techniques. To be specific, there are 23 anatomical points in the regions of ribs, hook bones, pin bone, thurl and tail head. These points are extracted by using block region based vertical and horizontal histogram methods. According to animal experts, the body condition scores depend mainly on the shape structure these regions. Therefore the second module will investigate some algebraic and geometric properties of the extracted anatomical points. Specifically, the second order polynomial regression is employed to a subset of anatomical points to produce the regression coefficients which are to be utilized as a part of feature vector in scoring process. In addition, the angles at thurl, pin, tail head and hook bone area are computed to extend the feature vector. Finally, in the third module, the extracted feature vectors are trained by using Markov Classification process to assign BCS for individual cows. Then the assigned BCS are revised by using multiple regression method to produce the final BCS score for dairy cows. In order to confirm the validity of proposed method, a monitoring video camera is set up at the milk rotary parlor to take top view images of cows. The proposed method extracts the key anatomical points and the corresponding feature vectors for each individual cows. Then the multiple regression calculator and Markov Chain Classification process are utilized to produce the estimated body condition score for each cow. The experimental results tested on 100 dairy cows from self-collected dataset and public bench mark dataset show very promising with accuracy of 98%.

Keywords: algebraic geometric imaging approach, body condition score, Markov classification, polynomial regression

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1 A Challenge to Conserve Moklen Ethnic House: Case Study in Tubpla Village, Phang Nga Province, Southern Thailand

Authors: M. Attavanich, H. Kobayashi

Abstract:

Moklen is a sub-group of ethnic minority in Thailand. In the past, they were vagabonds of the sea. Their livelihood relied on the sea but they built temporary shelters to avoid strong wind and waves during monsoon season. Recently, they have permanently settled on land along coastal area and mangrove forest in Phang Nga and Phuket Province, Southern Thailand. Moklen people have their own housing culture: the Moklen ethnic house was built from local natural materials, indicating a unique structure and design. Its wooden structure is joined by rattan ropes. The construction process is very unique because of using body-based unit of measurement for design and construction. However, there are several threats for those unique structures. One of the most important threats on Moklen ethnic house is tsunami. Especially the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami caused widely damage to Southern Thailand and Phang Nga province was the most affected area. In that time, Moklen villages which are located along the coastal area also affected calamitously. In order to recover the damage in affected villages, mostly new modern style houses were provided by aid agencies. This process has caused a significant impact on Moklen housing culture. Not only tsunami, but also modernization has an influence on the changing appearance of the Moklen houses and the effect of modernization has been started to experience before the tsunami. As a result, local construction knowledge is very limited nowadays because the number of elderly people in Moklen has been decreasing drastically. Last but not the least, restrictions of construction materials which are originally provided from accessible mangroves, create limitations in building a Moklen house. In particular, after the Reserved Forest Act, wood chopping without any permission has become illegal. These are some of the most important reasons for Moklen ethnic houses to disappear. Nevertheless, according to the results of field surveys done in 2013 in Phang Nga province, it is found out that some Moklen ethnic houses are still available in Tubpla Village, but only a few. Next survey in the same area in 2014 showed that number of Moklen houses in the village has been started to increase significantly. That proves that there is a high potential to conserve Moklen houses. Also the project of our research team in February 2014 contributed to continuation of Moklen ethnic house. With the cooperation of the village leader and our team, it was aimed to construct a Moklen house with the help of local participants. For the project, villagers revealed the building knowledge and techniques, and in the end, project helped community to understand the value of their houses. Also, it was a good opportunity for Moklen children to learn about their culture. In addition, NGOs recently have started to support ecotourism projects in the village. It not only helps to preserve a way of life, but also contributes to preserve indigenous knowledge and techniques of Moklen ethnic house. This kind of supporting activities are important for the conservation of Moklen ethnic houses.

Keywords: conservation, construction project, Moklen Ethnic House, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

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