Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 289

Search results for: Bridge

289 Applications of Drones in Infrastructures: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Jin Fan, M. Ala Saadeghvaziri

Abstract:

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also referred to as drones, equipped with various kinds of advanced detecting or surveying systems, are effective and low-cost in data acquisition, data delivery and sharing, which can benefit the building of infrastructures. This paper will give an overview of applications of drones in planning, designing, construction and maintenance of infrastructures. The drone platform, detecting and surveying systems, and post-data processing systems will be introduced, followed by cases with details of the applications. Challenges from different aspects will be addressed. Opportunities of drones in infrastructure include but not limited to the following. Firstly, UAVs equipped with high definition cameras or other detecting equipment are capable of inspecting the hard to reach infrastructure assets. Secondly, UAVs can be used as effective tools to survey and map the landscape to collect necessary information before infrastructure construction. Furthermore, an UAV or multi-UVAs are useful in construction management. UVAs can also be used in collecting roads and building information by taking high-resolution photos for future infrastructure planning. UAVs can be used to provide reliable and dynamic traffic information, which is potentially helpful in building smart cities. The main challenges are: limited flight time, the robustness of signal, post data analyze, multi-drone collaboration, weather condition, distractions to the traffic caused by drones. This paper aims to help owners, designers, engineers and architects to improve the building process of infrastructures for higher efficiency and better performance.

Keywords: Bridge, construction, drones, infrastructure, information.

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288 Development of a Real Time Axial Force Measurement System and IoT-Based Monitoring for Smart Bearing

Authors: Hassam Ahmed, Yuanzhi Liu, Yassine Selami, Wei Tao, Hui Zhao

Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to develop a real time axial force measurement system for a smart bearing through the use of strain-gauges, whereby the data acquisition is performed by an Arduino microcontroller due to its easy manipulation and low-cost. The measured signal is acquired and then discretized using a Wheatstone Bridge and an Analog-Digital Converter (ADC) respectively. For bearing monitoring, a real time monitoring system based on Internet of things (IoT) and Bluetooth were developed. Experimental tests were performed on a bearing within a force range up to 600 kN. The experimental results show that there is a proportional linear relationship between the applied force and the output voltage, and the error R squared is within 0.9878 based on the regression analysis.

Keywords: Bearing, force measurement, IoT, strain gauge.

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287 Application of Transform Fourier for Dynamic Control of Structures with Global Positioning System

Authors: J. M. de Luis Ruiz, P. M. Sierra García, R. P. García, R. P. Álvarez, F. P. García, E. C. López

Abstract:

Given the evolution of viaducts, structural health monitoring requires more complex techniques to define their state. two alternatives can be distinguished: experimental and operational modal analysis. Although accelerometers or Global Positioning System (GPS) have been applied for the monitoring of structures under exploitation, the dynamic monitoring during the stage of construction is not common. This research analyzes whether GPS data can be applied to certain dynamic geometric controls of evolving structures. The fundamentals of this work were applied to the New Bridge of Cádiz (Spain), a worldwide milestone in bridge building. GPS data were recorded with an interval of 1 second during the erection of segments and turned to the frequency domain with Fourier transform. The vibration period and amplitude were contrasted with those provided by the finite element model, with differences of less than 10%, which is admissible. This process provides a vibration record of the structure with GPS, avoiding specific equipment.

Keywords: Fourier transform, global position system, operational modal analysis, structural health monitoring.

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286 Investigating the Pedestrian Willingness to Pay to Choose Appropriate Policies for Improving the Safety of Pedestrian Facilities

Authors: Babak Mirbaha, Mahmoud Saffarzadeh, Fatemeh Mohajeri

Abstract:

Road traffic accidents lead to a higher rate of death and injury, especially in vulnerable road users such as pedestrians. Improving the safety of facilities for pedestrians is a major concern for policymakers because of the high number of pedestrian fatalities and direct and indirect costs which are imposed to the society. This study focuses on the idea of determining the willingness to pay of pedestrians for increasing their safety while crossing the street. In this study, three different scenarios including crossing the street with zebra crossing facilities, crossing the street with zebra crossing facilities and installing a pedestrian traffic light and constructing a pedestrian bridge with escalator are presented. The research was conducted based on stated preferences method. The required data were collected from a questionnaire that consisted of three parts: pedestrian’s demographic characteristics, travel characteristics and scenarios. Four different payment amounts are presented for each scenario and a logit model has been built for each proposed payment. The results show that sex, age, education, average household income and individual salary have significant effect on choosing a scenario. Among the policies that have been mentioned through the questionnaire scenarios, the scenario of crossing the street with zebra crossing facilities and installing a traffic lights is the most frequent, with willingness to pay 10,000 Rials and the scenario of crossing the street with a zebra crossing with a willingness to pay 100,000 Rials having the least frequency. For all scenarios, as the payment is increasing, the willingness to pay decreases.

Keywords: Pedestrians, willingness to pay, safety, immunization.

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285 Numerical Simulation of Axially Loaded to Failure Large Diameter Bored Pile

Authors: M. Ezzat, Y. Zaghloul, T. Sorour, A. Hefny, M. Eid

Abstract:

Ultimate capacity of large diameter bored piles is usually determined from pile loading tests as recommended by several international codes and foundation design standards. However, loading of this type of piles till achieving apparent failure is practically seldom. In this paper, numerical analyses are carried out to simulate load test of a large diameter bored pile performed at the location of Alzey highway bridge project (Germany). Test results of pile load settlement relationship till failure as well as results of the base and shaft resistances are available. Apparent failure was indicated in this test by the significant increase of the induced settlement during the last load increment applied on the pile head. Measurements of this pile load test are used to assess the quality of the numerical models investigated. Three different material soil models are implemented in the analyses: Mohr coulomb (MC), Soft soil (SS), and Modified Mohr coulomb (MMC). Very good agreement is obtained between the field measured settlement and the calculated settlement using the MMC model. Results of analysis showed also that the MMC constitutive model is superior to MC, and SS models in predicting the ultimate base and shaft resistances of the large diameter bored pile. After calibrating the numerical model, behavior of large diameter bored piles under axial loads is discussed and the formation of the plastic zone around the pile is explored. Results obtained showed that the plastic zone below the base of the pile at failure extended laterally to about four times the pile diameter and vertically to about three times the pile diameter.

Keywords: Ultimate capacity, large diameter bored piles, plastic zone, failure, pile load test.

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284 Identifying Game Variables from Students’ Surveys for Prototyping Games for Learning

Authors: N. Ismail, O. Thammajinda, U. Thongpanya

Abstract:

Games-based learning (GBL) has become increasingly important in teaching and learning. This paper explains the first two phases (analysis and design) of a GBL development project, ending up with a prototype design based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions. The two phases are part of a full cycle GBL project aiming to help secondary school students in Thailand in their study of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). In the course of the study, we invited 1,152 students to complete questionnaires and interviewed 12 secondary school teachers in focus groups. This paper found that GBL can serve students in their learning about CSE, enabling them to gain understanding of their sexuality, develop skills, including critical thinking skills and interact with others (peers, teachers, etc.) in a safe environment. The objectives of this paper are to outline the development of GBL variables from the research question(s) into the developers’ flow chart, to be responsive to the GBL beneficiaries’ preferences and expectations, and to help in answering the research questions. This paper details the steps applied to generate GBL variables that can feed into a game flow chart to develop a GBL prototype. In our approach, we detailed two models: (1) Game Elements Model (GEM) and (2) Game Object Model (GOM). There are three outcomes of this research – first, to achieve the objectives and benefits of GBL in learning, game design has to start with the research question(s) and the challenges to be resolved as research outcomes. Second, aligning the educational aims with engaging GBL end users (students) within the data collection phase to inform the game prototype with the game variables is essential to address the answer/solution to the research question(s). Third, for efficient GBL to bridge the gap between pedagogy and technology and in order to answer the research questions via technology (i.e. GBL) and to minimise the isolation between the pedagogists “P” and technologist “T”, several meetings and discussions need to take place within the team.

Keywords: Games-based learning, design, engagement, pedagogy, preferences, prototype, variables.

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283 The Potential of Hybrid Microgrids for Mitigating Power Outage in Lebanon

Authors: R. Chedid, R. Ghajar

Abstract:

Lebanon electricity crisis continues to escalate. Rationing hours still apply across the country but with different rates. The capital Beirut is subjected to 3 hours cut while other cities, town and villages may endure 9 to 14 hours of power shortage. To mitigate this situation, private diesel generators distributed illegally all over the country are being used to bridge the gap in power supply. Almost each building in large cities has its own generator and individual villages may have more than one generator supplying their loads. These generators together with their private networks form incomplete and ill-designed and managed microgrids (MG) but can be further developed to become renewable energy-based MG operating in island- or grid-connected modes. This paper will analyze the potential of introducing MG to help resolve the energy crisis in Lebanon. It will investigate the usefulness of developing MG under the prevailing situation of existing private power supply service providers and in light of the developed national energy policy that supports renewable energy development. A case study on a distribution feeder in a rural area will be analyzed using HOMER software to demonstrate the usefulness of introducing photovoltaic (PV) arrays along the existing diesel generators for all the stakeholders; namely, the developers, the customers, the utility and the community at large. Policy recommendations regarding MG development in Lebanon will be presented on the basis of the accumulated experience in private generation and the privatization and public-private partnership laws.

Keywords: Decentralized systems, microgrids, distributed generation, renewable energy.

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282 A Topology for High Voltage Gain Half-Bridge Z-Source Inverter with Low Voltage Stress on Capacitors

Authors: M. Nageswara Rao

Abstract:

In this paper, a topology for high voltage gain half-bridge z-source inverter with low voltage stress on capacitors is proposed. The proposed inverter has only one impedance network. It can generate symmetric and asymmetric voltages with different magnitudes during both half-cycles. By selecting the duty cycle it can also produce conventional half-bridge inverter characteristics. It is used in special applications like, electrochemical and electro plating applications. Calculations of voltage ripple of capacitors, capacitors voltage stress inductors current ripple are presented. The proposed topology is simulated using PSCAD software and the simulated values are compared with the theoretical values.

Keywords: Half-bridge inverter, impedance network-source inverter, high voltage gain inverter, power system computer aided design.

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281 Weaving Social Development: An Exploratory Study of Adapting Traditional Textiles Using Indigenous Organic Wool for the Modern Interior Textiles Market

Authors: Seema Singh, Puja Anand, Alok Bhasin

Abstract:

The interior design profession aims to create aesthetically pleasing design solutions for human habitats but of late, growing awareness about depleting environmental resources, both tangible and intangible, and damages to the eco-system led to the quest for creating healthy and sustainable interior environments. The paper proposes adapting traditionally produced organic wool textiles for the mainstream interior design industry. This can create sustainable livelihoods whereby eco-friendly bridges can be built between Interior designers and consumers and pastoral communities. This study focuses on traditional textiles produced by two pastoral communities from India that use organic wool from indigenous sheep varieties. The Gaddi communities of Himachal Pradesh use wool from the Gaddi sheep breed to create Pattu (a multi-purpose textile). The Kurumas of Telangana weave a blanket called the Gongadi, using wool from the Black Deccani variety of sheep. These communities have traditionally reared indigenous sheep breeds for their wool and produce hand-spun and hand-woven textiles for their own consumption, using traditional processes that are chemical free. Based on data collected personally from field visits and documentation of traditional crafts of these pastoral communities, and using traditionally produced indigenous organic wool, the authors have developed innovative textile samples by including design interventions and exploring dyeing and weaving techniques. As part of the secondary research, the role of pastoralism in sustaining the eco-systems of Himachal Pradesh and Telangana was studied, and also the role of organic wool in creating healthy interior environments. The authors found that natural wool from indigenous sheep breeds can be used to create interior textiles that have the potential to be marketed to an urban audience, and this will help create earnings for pastoral communities. Literature studies have shown that organic & sustainable wool can reduce indoor pollution & toxicity levels in interiors and further help in creating healthier interior environments. Revival of indigenous breeds of sheep can further help in rejuvenating dying crafts, and promotion of these indigenous textiles can help in sustaining traditional eco-systems and the pastoral communities whose way of life is endangered today. Based on research and findings, the authors propose that adapting traditional textiles can have potential for application in Interiors, creating eco-friendly spaces. Interior textiles produced through such sustainable processes can help reduce indoor pollution, give livelihood opportunities to traditional economies, and leave almost zero carbon foot-print while being in sync with available natural resources, hence ultimately benefiting the society. The win-win situation for all the stakeholders in this eco-friendly model makes it pertinent to re-think how we design lifestyle textiles for interiors. This study illustrates a specific example from the two pastoral communities and can be used as a model that can work equally well in any community, regardless of geography.

Keywords: Design Intervention, Eco-Friendly, Healthy Interiors, Indigenous, Organic Wool, Pastoralism, Sustainability.

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280 Reduced Rule Based Fuzzy Logic Controlled Isolated Bidirectional Converter Operating in Extended Phase Shift Control for Bidirectional Energy Transfer

Authors: Anupam Kumar, Abdul Hamid Bhat, Pramod Agarwal

Abstract:

Bidirectional energy transfer capability with high efficiency and reduced cost is fast gaining prominence in the central part of a lot of power conversion systems in Direct Current (DC) microgrid. Preferably, under the economics constraints, these systems utilise a single high efficiency power electronics conversion system and a dual active bridge converter. In this paper, modeling and performance of Dual Active Bridge (DAB) converter with Extended Phase Shift (EPS) is evaluated with two batteries on both sides of DC bus and bidirectional energy transfer is facilitated and this is further compared with the Single Phase Shift (SPS) mode of operation. Optimum operating zone is identified through exhaustive simulations using MATLAB/Simulink and SimPowerSystem software. Reduced rules based fuzzy logic controller is implemented for closed loop control of DAB converter. The control logic enables the bidirectional energy transfer within the batteries even at lower duty ratios. Charging and discharging of batteries is supervised by the fuzzy logic controller. State of charge, current and voltage for both the batteries are plotted in the battery characteristics. Power characteristics of batteries are also obtained using MATLAB simulations.

Keywords: Fuzzy logic controller, rule base, membership functions, dual active bridge converter, bidirectional power flow, duty ratio, extended phase shift, state of charge.

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279 Cascaded H-Bridge Five Level Inverter Based Selective Harmonic Eliminated Pulse Width Modulation for Harmonic Elimination

Authors: S. Selvaperumal, M. S. Sivagamasundari

Abstract:

In this paper, selective harmonic elimination pulse width modulation technique is employed to eliminate lower order harmonics like third by determination of solving non-linear equations. The cascaded H-bridge five level inverter is driven by the Peripheral Interface Controlled (PIC) Microcontroller 16F877A. The performance of single phase cascaded H-bridge five level inverter with relevant to harmonics and a variety of switches with solar cell as its input source is simulated by employing MATLAB/Simulink. A hardware model is developed to verify the performance of the developed system.

Keywords: Multilevel inverter, cascaded H-Bridge multilevel inverter, total harmonic distortion, selective harmonic elimination pulse width modulation, MATLAB.

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278 Collaboration in Palliative Care Networks in Urban and Rural Regions of Switzerland

Authors: R. Schweighoffer, N. Nagy, E. Reeves, B. Liebig

Abstract:

Due to aging populations, the need for seamless palliative care provision is of central interest for western societies. An essential aspect of palliative care delivery is the quality of collaboration amongst palliative care providers. Therefore, the current research is based on Bainbridge’s conceptual framework, which provides an outline for the evaluation of palliative care provision. This study is the first one to investigate the predictive validity of spatial distribution on the quantity of interaction amongst various palliative care providers. Furthermore, based on the familiarity principle, we examine whether the extent of collaboration influences the perceived quality of collaboration among palliative care providers in urban versus rural areas of Switzerland. Based on a population-representative survey of Swiss palliative care providers, the results of the current study show that professionals in densely populated areas report higher absolute numbers of interactions and are more satisfied with their collaborative practice. This indicates that palliative care providers who work in urban areas are better embedded into networks than their counterparts in more rural areas. The findings are especially important, considering that efficient collaboration is a prerequisite to achieve satisfactory patient outcomes. Conclusively, measures should be taken to foster collaboration in weakly interconnected palliative care networks.

Keywords: Collaboration, healthcare networks, palliative care, Switzerland.

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277 Theoretical, Numerical and Experimental Assessment of Elastomeric Bearing Stability

Authors: Manuel A. Guzman, Davide Forcellini, Ricardo Moreno, Diego H. Giraldo

Abstract:

Elastomeric bearings (EB) are used in many applications, such as base isolation of bridges, seismic protection and vibration control of other structures and machinery. Their versatility is due to their particular behavior since they have different stiffness in the vertical and horizontal directions, allowing to sustain vertical loads and at the same time horizontal displacements. Therefore, vertical, horizontal and bending stiffnesses are important parameters to take into account in the design of EB. In order to acquire a proper design methodology of EB all three, theoretical, finite element analysis and experimental, approaches should be taken into account to assess stability due to different loading states, predict their behavior and consequently their effects on the dynamic response of structures, and understand complex behavior and properties of rubber-like materials respectively. In particular, the recent large-displacement theory on the stability of EB formulated by Forcellini and Kelly is validated with both numerical simulations using the finite element method, and experimental results set at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. In this regard, this study reproduces the behavior of EB under compression loads and investigates the stability behavior with the three mentioned points of view.

Keywords: Elastomeric bearings, experimental tests, numerical simulations, stability, large-displacement theory.

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276 Double Loop Control of H-Bridge DC Chopper Fed Permanent Magnet DC Motor Drives Using Low Cost Hardware

Authors: Zin Maw Tun, Tun Lin Naing

Abstract:

This paper presents the two loop proportional integral (PI) controller for speed control of permanent magnet DC motor (PMDC) motor drive with H-bridge DC chopper. PMDC motors are widely used in many applications because of having a good performance and it is easy to apply the speed control. The speed can be adjusted by using armature voltage control as it had only the armature circuit. H-bridge DC chopper circuit is used to obtain the desired speed in any direction. In this system, the two loop PI controller is designed by using pole-zero cancellation method. The speed and current controller gains are considered depending on the sampling frequency of the microcontroller. An Arduino IO package is used to implement the control algorithm. Both simulation and experimental results are presented to prove the correctness of the mathematical model.

Keywords: Arduino IO package, double loop PI controller, H-bridge DC chopper, low cost hardware, PMDC motor.

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275 A Procedure for Post-Earthquake Damage Estimation Based on Detection of High-Frequency Transients

Authors: Aleksandar Zhelyazkov, Daniele Zonta, Helmut Wenzel, Peter Furtner

Abstract:

In the current research structural health monitoring is considered for addressing the critical issue of post-earthquake damage detection. A non-standard approach for damage detection via acoustic emission is presented - acoustic emissions are monitored in the low frequency range (up to 120 Hz). Such emissions are termed high-frequency transients. Further a damage indicator defined as the Time-Ratio Damage Indicator is introduced. The indicator relies on time-instance measurements of damage initiation and deformation peaks. Based on the time-instance measurements a procedure for estimation of the maximum drift ratio is proposed. Monitoring data is used from a shaking-table test of a full-scale reinforced concrete bridge pier. Damage of the experimental column is successfully detected and the proposed damage indicator is calculated.

Keywords: Acoustic emission, Damage detection, Shaking table test, Structural health monitoring, High-frequency transients.

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274 Design and Production of Thin-Walled UHPFRC Footbridge

Authors: P. Tej, P. Kněž, M. Blank

Abstract:

The paper presents design and production of thin-walled U-profile footbridge made of UHPFRC. The main structure of the bridge is one prefabricated shell structure made of UHPFRC with dispersed steel fibers without any conventional reinforcement. The span of the bridge structure is 10 m and the clear width of 1.5 m. The thickness of the UHPFRC shell structure oscillated in an interval of 30-45 mm. Several calculations were made during the bridge design and compared with the experiments. For the purpose of verifying the calculations, a segment of 1.5 m was first produced, followed by the whole footbridge for testing. After the load tests were done, the design was optimized to cast the final footbridge.

Keywords: Footbridge, UHPFRC, non-linear analysis, shell structure.

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273 A Wireless Feedback Control System as a Base of Bio-Inspired Structure System to Mitigate Vibration in Structures

Authors: Gwanghee Heo, Geonhyeok Bang, Chunggil Kim, Chinok Lee

Abstract:

This paper attempts to develop a wireless feedback control system as a primary step eventually toward a bio-inspired structure system where inanimate structure behaves like a life form autonomously. It is a standalone wireless control system which is supposed to measure externally caused structural responses, analyze structural state from acquired data, and take its own action on the basis of the analysis with an embedded logic. For an experimental examination of its effectiveness, we applied it on a model of two-span bridge and performed a wireless control test. Experimental tests have been conducted for comparison on both the wireless and the wired system under the conditions of Un-control, Passive-off, Passive-on, and Lyapunov control algorithm. By proving the congruence of the test result of the wireless feedback control system with the wired control system, its control performance was proven to be effective. Besides, it was found to be economical in energy consumption and also autonomous by means of a command algorithm embedded into it, which proves its basic capacity as a bio-inspired system.

Keywords: Structural vibration control, wireless system, MR damper, feedback control, embedded system.

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272 An Efficient Motion Recognition System Based on LMA Technique and a Discrete Hidden Markov Model

Authors: Insaf Ajili, Malik Mallem, Jean-Yves Didier

Abstract:

Human motion recognition has been extensively increased in recent years due to its importance in a wide range of applications, such as human-computer interaction, intelligent surveillance, augmented reality, content-based video compression and retrieval, etc. However, it is still regarded as a challenging task especially in realistic scenarios. It can be seen as a general machine learning problem which requires an effective human motion representation and an efficient learning method. In this work, we introduce a descriptor based on Laban Movement Analysis technique, a formal and universal language for human movement, to capture both quantitative and qualitative aspects of movement. We use Discrete Hidden Markov Model (DHMM) for training and classification motions. We improve the classification algorithm by proposing two DHMMs for each motion class to process the motion sequence in two different directions, forward and backward. Such modification allows avoiding the misclassification that can happen when recognizing similar motions. Two experiments are conducted. In the first one, we evaluate our method on a public dataset, the Microsoft Research Cambridge-12 Kinect gesture data set (MSRC-12) which is a widely used dataset for evaluating action/gesture recognition methods. In the second experiment, we build a dataset composed of 10 gestures(Introduce yourself, waving, Dance, move, turn left, turn right, stop, sit down, increase velocity, decrease velocity) performed by 20 persons. The evaluation of the system includes testing the efficiency of our descriptor vector based on LMA with basic DHMM method and comparing the recognition results of the modified DHMM with the original one. Experiment results demonstrate that our method outperforms most of existing methods that used the MSRC-12 dataset, and a near perfect classification rate in our dataset.

Keywords: Human Motion Recognition, Motion representation, Laban Movement Analysis, Discrete Hidden Markov Model.

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271 A Thirteen-Level Asymmetrical Cascaded H-Bridge Single Phase Inverter

Authors: P. Varalaxmi, A. Kirubakaran

Abstract:

This paper presents a thirteen-level asymmetrical cascaded H-bridge single phase inverter. In this configuration, the desired output voltage level is achieved by connecting the DC sources in different combinations by triggering the switches. The modes of operation are explained well for positive level generations. Moreover, a comparison is made with conventional topologies of diode clamped, flying capacitors and cascaded-H-bridge and some recently proposed topologies to show the significance of the proposed topology in terms of reduced part counts. The simulation work has been carried out in MATLAB/Simulink environment. The experimental work is also carried out for lower rating to verify the performance and feasibility of the proposed topology. Further the results are presented for different loading conditions.

Keywords: Multilevel inverter, pulse width modulation, total harmonic distortion, THD.

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270 A Numerical Study on Semi-Active Control of a Bridge Deck under Seismic Excitation

Authors: A. Yanik, U. Aldemir

Abstract:

This study investigates the benefits of implementing the semi-active devices in relation to passive viscous damping in the context of seismically isolated bridge structures. Since the intrinsically nonlinear nature of semi-active devices prevents the direct evaluation of Laplace transforms, frequency response functions are compiled from the computed time history response to sinusoidal and pulse-like seismic excitation. A simple semi-active control policy is used in regard to passive linear viscous damping and an optimal non-causal semi-active control strategy. The control strategy requires optimization. Euler-Lagrange equations are solved numerically during this procedure. The optimal closed-loop performance is evaluated for an idealized controllable dash-pot. A simplified single-degree-of-freedom model of an isolated bridge is used as numerical example. Two bridge cases are investigated. These cases are; bridge deck without the isolation bearing and bridge deck with the isolation bearing. To compare the performances of the passive and semi-active control cases, frequency dependent acceleration, velocity and displacement response transmissibility ratios Ta(w), Tv(w), and Td(w) are defined. To fully investigate the behavior of the structure subjected to the sinusoidal and pulse type excitations, different damping levels are considered. Numerical results showed that, under the effect of external excitation, bridge deck with semi-active control showed better structural performance than the passive bridge deck case.

Keywords: Bridge structures, passive control, seismic, semi-active control, viscous damping.

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269 Accounting for Rice Productivity Heterogeneity in Ghana: The Two-Step Stochastic Metafrontier Approach

Authors: Franklin Nantui Mabe, Samuel A. Donkoh, Seidu Al-Hassan

Abstract:

Rice yields among agro-ecological zones are heterogeneous. Farmers, researchers and policy makers are making frantic efforts to bridge rice yield gaps between agro-ecological zones through the promotion of improved agricultural technologies (IATs). Farmers are also modifying these IATs and blending them with indigenous farming practices (IFPs) to form farmer innovation systems (FISs). Also, different metafrontier models have been used in estimating productivity performances and their drivers. This study used the two-step stochastic metafrontier model to estimate the productivity performances of rice farmers and their determining factors in GSZ, FSTZ and CSZ. The study used both primary and secondary data. Farmers in CSZ are the most technically efficient. Technical inefficiencies of farmers are negatively influenced by age, sex, household size, education years, extension visits, contract farming, access to improved seeds, access to irrigation, high rainfall amount, less lodging of rice, and well-coordinated and synergized adoption of technologies. Albeit farmers in CSZ are doing well in terms of rice yield, they still have the highest potential of increasing rice yield since they had the lowest TGR. It is recommended that government through the ministry of food and agriculture, development partners and individual private companies promote the adoption of IATs as well as educate farmers on how to coordinate and synergize the adoption of the whole package. Contract farming concept and agricultural extension intensification should be vigorously pursued to the latter.

Keywords: Efficiency, farmer innovation systems, improved agricultural technologies, two-step stochastic metafrontier approach.

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268 A Pilot Study of Robot Reminiscence in Dementia Care

Authors: Ryuji Yamazaki, Masahiro Kochi, Weiran Zhu, Hiroko Kase

Abstract:

In care for older adults, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) like agitation and aggression are distressing for patients and their caretakers, often resulting in premature institutionalization with increased costs of care. To improve mood and mitigate symptoms, as a non-pharmaceutical approach, emotion-oriented therapy like reminiscence work is adopted in face-to-face communication. Telecommunication support is expected to be provided by robotic media as a bridge for digital divide for those with dementia and facilitate social interaction both verbally and nonverbally. The purpose of this case study is to explore the conditions in which robotic media can effectively attract attention from older adults with dementia and promote their well-being. As a pilot study, we introduced the pillow-phone Hugvie®, a huggable humanly shaped communication medium to five residents with dementia at a care facility, to investigate how the following conditions work for the elderly when they use the medium; 1) no sound, 2) radio, non-interactive, 3) daily conversation, and 4) reminiscence work. As a result, under condition 4, reminiscence work, the five participants kept concentration in interacting with the medium for a longer duration than other conditions. In condition 4, they also showed larger amount of utterances than under other conditions. These results indicate that providing topics related to personal histories through robotic media could affect communication positively and should, therefore, be further investigated. In addition, the issue of ethical implications by using persuasive technology that affects emotions and behaviors of older adults is also discussed.

Keywords: BPSD, reminiscence, tactile telecommunication, utterances.

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267 Hand Gesture Detection via EmguCV Canny Pruning

Authors: N. N. Mosola, S. J. Molete, L. S. Masoebe, M. Letsae

Abstract:

Hand gesture recognition is a technique used to locate, detect, and recognize a hand gesture. Detection and recognition are concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI concepts are applicable in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Expert systems (ES), etc. Hand gesture recognition can be used in sign language interpretation. Sign language is a visual communication tool. This tool is used mostly by deaf societies and those with speech disorder. Communication barriers exist when societies with speech disorder interact with others. This research aims to build a hand recognition system for Lesotho’s Sesotho and English language interpretation. The system will help to bridge the communication problems encountered by the mentioned societies. The system has various processing modules. The modules consist of a hand detection engine, image processing engine, feature extraction, and sign recognition. Detection is a process of identifying an object. The proposed system uses Canny pruning Haar and Haarcascade detection algorithms. Canny pruning implements the Canny edge detection. This is an optimal image processing algorithm. It is used to detect edges of an object. The system employs a skin detection algorithm. The skin detection performs background subtraction, computes the convex hull, and the centroid to assist in the detection process. Recognition is a process of gesture classification. Template matching classifies each hand gesture in real-time. The system was tested using various experiments. The results obtained show that time, distance, and light are factors that affect the rate of detection and ultimately recognition. Detection rate is directly proportional to the distance of the hand from the camera. Different lighting conditions were considered. The more the light intensity, the faster the detection rate. Based on the results obtained from this research, the applied methodologies are efficient and provide a plausible solution towards a light-weight, inexpensive system which can be used for sign language interpretation.

Keywords: Canny pruning, hand recognition, machine learning, skin tracking.

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266 Design of Multiband Microstrip Antenna Using Stepped Cut Method for WLAN/WiMAX and C/Ku-Band Applications

Authors: Ahmed Boutejdar, Bishoy I. Halim, Soumia El Hani, Larbi Bellarbi, Amal Afyf

Abstract:

In this paper, a planar monopole antenna for multi band applications is proposed. The antenna structure operates at three operating frequencies at 3.7, 6.2, and 13.5 GHz which cover different communication frequency ranges. The antenna consists of a quasi-modified rectangular radiating patch with a partial ground plane and two parasitic elements (open-loop-ring resonators) to serve as coupling-bridges. A stepped cut at lower corners of the radiating patch and the partial ground plane are used, to achieve the multiband features. The proposed antenna is manufactured on the FR4 substrate and is simulated and optimized using High Frequency Simulation System (HFSS). The antenna topology possesses an area of 30.5 x 30 x 1.6 mm3. The measured results demonstrate that the candidate antenna has impedance bandwidths for 10 dB return loss and operates from 3.80 – 3.90 GHz, 4.10 – 5.20 GHz, 11.2 – 11.5 GHz and from 12.5 – 14.0 GHz, which meet the requirements of the wireless local area network (WLAN), worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX), C- (Uplink) and Ku- (Uplink) band applications. Acceptable agreement is obtained between measurement and simulation results. Experimental results show that the antenna is successfully simulated and measured, and the tri-band antenna can be achieved by adjusting the lengths of the three elements and it gives good gains across all the operation bands.

Keywords: Planar monopole antenna, FR4 substrate, HFSS, WLAN, WiMAX, C & Ku.

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265 Bipolar PWM and LCL Filter Configuration to Reduce Leakage Currents in Transformerless PV System Connected to Utility Grid

Authors: Shanmuka Naga Raju

Abstract:

This paper  presents PV system without considering transformer connected to electric grid. This is considered more economic compared to present PV system. The problem that occurs when transformer is not considered appears with a leakage current near capacitor connected to ground. Bipolar Pulse Width Modulation (BPWM) technique along with filter L-C-L configuration in the circuit is modeled to shrink the leakage current in the circuit. The DC/AC inverter is modeled using H-bridge Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) module which is controlled using proposed Bipolar PWM control technique. To extract maximum power, Maximum Power Point Technique (MPPT) controller is used in this model. Voltage and current regulators are used to determine the reference voltage for the inverter from active and reactive current where reactive current is set to zero. The PLL is modeled to synchronize the measurements. The model is designed with MATLAB Simulation blocks and compared with the methods available in literature survey to show its effectiveness.

Keywords: Photovoltaic, PV, pulse width modulation, PWM, perturb and observe, phase locked loop.

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264 A Fast, Portable Computational Framework for Aerodynamic Simulations

Authors: Mehdi Ghommem, Daniel Garcia, Nathan Collier, Victor Calo

Abstract:

We develop a fast, user-friendly implementation of a potential flow solver based on the unsteady vortex lattice method (UVLM). The computational framework uses the Python programming language which has easy integration with the scripts requiring computationally-expensive operations written in Fortran. The mixed-language approach enables high performance in terms of solution time and high flexibility in terms of easiness of code adaptation to different system configurations and applications. This computational tool is intended to predict the unsteady aerodynamic behavior of multiple moving bodies (e.g., flapping wings, rotating blades, suspension bridges...) subject to an incoming air. We simulate different aerodynamic problems to validate and illustrate the usefulness and effectiveness of the developed computational tool.

Keywords: Unsteady aerodynamics, numerical simulations, mixed-language approach, potential flow.

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263 Studying the Effect of Froude Number and Densimetric Froude Number on Local Scours around Circular Bridge Piers

Authors: Md Abdullah Al Faruque

Abstract:

A very large percentage of bridge failures are attributed to scouring around bridge piers and this directly influences public safety. Experiments are carried out in a 12-m long rectangular open channel flume made of transparent tempered glass. A 300 mm thick bed made up of sand particles is leveled horizontally to create the test bed and a 50 mm hollow plastic cylinder is used as a model bridge pier. Tests are carried out with varying flow depths and velocities. Data points of various scour parameters such as scour depth, width, and length are collected based on different flow conditions and visual observations of changes in the stream bed downstream the bridge pier are also made as the scour progresses. Result shows that all three major flow characteristics (flow depth, Froude number and densimetric Froude number) have one way or other affect the scour profile.

Keywords: Bridge pier scour, densimetric Froude number, flow depth, Froude Number, sand.

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262 Seismic Protection of Automated Stocker System by Customized Viscous Fluid Dampers

Authors: Y. P. Wang, J. K. Chen, C. H. Lee, G. H. Huang, M. C. Wang, S. W. Chen, Y. T. Kuan, H. C. Lin, C. Y. Huang, W. H. Liang, W. C. Lin, H. C. Yu

Abstract:

The hi-tech industries in the Science Park at southern Taiwan were heavily damaged by a strong earthquake early 2016. The financial loss in this event was attributed primarily to the automated stocker system handling fully processed products, and recovery of the automated stocker system from the aftermath proved to contribute major lead time. Therefore, development of effective means for protection of stockers against earthquakes has become the highest priority for risk minimization and business continuity. This study proposes to mitigate the seismic response of the stockers by introducing viscous fluid dampers in between the ceiling and the top of the stockers. The stocker is expected to vibrate less violently with a passive control force on top. Linear damper is considered in this application with an optimal damping coefficient determined from a preliminary parametric study. The damper is small in size in comparison with those adopted for building or bridge applications. Component test of the dampers has been carried out to make sure they meet the design requirement. Shake table tests have been further conducted to verify the proposed scheme under realistic earthquake conditions. Encouraging results have been achieved by effectively reducing the seismic responses of up to 60% and preventing the FOUPs from falling off the shelves that would otherwise be the case if left unprotected. Effectiveness of adopting a viscous fluid damper for seismic control of the stocker on top against the ceiling has been confirmed. This technique has been adopted by Macronix International Co., LTD for seismic retrofit of existing stockers. Demonstrative projects on the application of the proposed technique are planned underway for other companies in the display industry as well.

Keywords: Hi-tech industries, seismic protection, automated stocker system, viscous fluid damper.

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261 Lateral Torsional Buckling Resistance of Trapezoidally Corrugated Web Girders

Authors: Annamária Käferné Rácz, Bence Jáger, Balázs Kövesdi, László Dunai

Abstract:

Due to the numerous advantages of steel corrugated web girders, its application field is growing for bridges as well as for buildings. The global stability behavior of such girders is significantly larger than those of conventional I-girders with flat web, thus the application of the structural steel material can be significantly reduced. Design codes and specifications do not provide clear and complete rules or recommendations for the determination of the lateral torsional buckling (LTB) resistance of corrugated web girders. Therefore, the authors made a thorough investigation regarding the LTB resistance of the corrugated web girders. Finite element (FE) simulations have been performed to develop new design formulas for the determination of the LTB resistance of trapezoidally corrugated web girders. FE model is developed considering geometrical and material nonlinear analysis using equivalent geometric imperfections (GMNI analysis). The equivalent geometric imperfections involve the initial geometric imperfections and residual stresses coming from rolling, welding and flame cutting. Imperfection sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the necessary magnitudes regarding only the first eigenmodes shape imperfections. By the help of the validated FE model, an extended parametric study is carried out to investigate the LTB resistance for different trapezoidal corrugation profiles. First, the critical moment of a specific girder was calculated by FE model. The critical moments from the FE calculations are compared to the previous analytical calculation proposals. Then, nonlinear analysis was carried out to determine the ultimate resistance. Due to the numerical investigations, new proposals are developed for the determination of the LTB resistance of trapezoidally corrugated web girders through a modification factor on the design method related to the conventional flat web girders.

Keywords: Critical moment, FE modeling, lateral torsional buckling, trapezoidally corrugated web girders.

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260 CompleX-Machine: An Automated Testing Tool Using X-Machine Theory

Authors: E. K. A. Ogunshile

Abstract:

This paper is aimed at creating an Automatic Java X-Machine testing tool for software development. The nature of software development is changing; thus, the type of software testing tools required is also changing. Software is growing increasingly complex and, in part due to commercial impetus for faster software releases with new features and value, increasingly in danger of containing faults. These faults can incur huge cost for software development organisations and users; Cambridge Judge Business School’s research estimated the cost of software bugs to the global economy is $312 billion. Beyond the cost, faster software development methodologies and increasing expectations on developers to become testers is driving demand for faster, automated, and effective tools to prevent potential faults as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. Using X-Machine theory, this paper will explore a new tool to address software complexity, changing expectations on developers, faster development pressures and methodologies, with a view to reducing the huge cost of fixing software bugs.

Keywords: Conformance testing, finite state machine, software testing, X-Machine.

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