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ISSN / EISSN : 14248220 / 14248220
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Latest articles in this journal

Weiwei Li
Published: 11 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164477

Abstract:
With the widely used monthly gravity models, it is hard to determine the sub-monthly variations. Thanks to the high temporal resolution, a daily ITSG-Grace2018 gravity model is employed to derive the vertical deformation of the China region in 1.0° × 1.0° grids. The standard deviations of residuals between the daily and monthly averaged displacement range from 1.0 to 3.5 mm, reaching half of the median residuals, which indicates that a higher temporal resolution gravity model is quite necessary for the analysis of crustal displacement. For the signal analysis, traditional least square (LS) is limited in its analysis of signals with constant amplitude. However, geophysical signals in a geodetic time series usually fluctuate over long periods, and missing data happen. In this study, the data adaptive approach called enhanced harmonic analysis (EHA), which is based on an Independent Point (IP) scheme, is introduced to deal with these issues. To demonstrate the time-varying signals, the relative differences between EHA and LS are calculated. It illustrates that the median percentage of epochs at grids with a relative difference larger than 10% is 69.7% and the proportions for the ranges of 30%, 50%, and 70% are about 30.1%, 18.4%, and 13.0%, respectively. The obvious discrepancy suggests the advantage of EHA over LS in obtaining time-varying signals. Moreover, the spatial distribution of the discrepancy also demonstrates the regional characteristics, suggesting that the assumption of constant amplitude is not appropriate in specific regions. To further validate the effectiveness of EHA, the comprehensive analysis on the different noise types, number of IPs, missing data, and simultaneous signals are carried out. Specifically, EHA can deal with series containing white or color noise, although the stochastic model for the color noise should be modified. The signals are slightly different when selecting different numbers of IPs within a range, which could be accepted during analysis. Without interpolation, EHA performs well even with continuously missing data, which is regarded as its feature. Meanwhile, not only a single signal but also simultaneous signals can be effectively identified by EHA.
Peiying Bian, Xiaodong Shao, Jingli Du, Fangxia Ye, Xiuping Zhang, Yaozhao Mu
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164451

Abstract:
The process parameters of selective laser melting (SLM) significantly influence molten pool formation. A comprehensive understanding and analysis, from a macroscopic viewpoint, of the mechanisms underlying these technological parameters and how they affect the evolution of molten pools are presently lacking. In this study, we established a dynamic finite element simulation method for the process of molten pool formation by SLM using a dynamic moving heat source. The molten pool was generated, and the dynamic growth process of the molten pool belt and the evolution process of the thermal field of the SLM molten pool were simulated. Then, a deposition experiment that implemented a new measurement method for online monitoring involving laser supplementary light was conducted using the same process parameters as the simulation, in which high-speed images of the molten pool were acquired, including images of the pool surface and cross-section images of the deposited samples. The obtained experimental results show a good agreement with the simulation results, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.
Anderson Santos, José Marcato Junior, Jonathan De Andrade Silva, Rodrigo Pereira, Daniel Matos, Geazy Menezes, Leandro Higa, A. Eltner, Ana Paula Ramos, Lucas Osco, et al.
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164450

Abstract:
As key-components of the urban-drainage system, storm-drains and manholes are essential to the hydrological modeling of urban basins. Accurately mapping of these objects can help to improve the storm-drain systems for the prevention and mitigation of urban floods. Novel Deep Learning (DL) methods have been proposed to aid the mapping of these urban features. The main aim of this paper is to evaluate the state-of-the-art object detection method RetinaNet to identify storm-drain and manhole in urban areas in street-level RGB images. The experimental assessment was performed using 297 mobile mapping images captured in 2019 in the streets in six regions in Campo Grande city, located in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil. Two configurations of training, validation, and test images were considered. ResNet-50 and ResNet-101 were adopted in the experimental assessment as the two distinct feature extractor networks (i.e., backbones) for the RetinaNet method. The results were compared with the Faster R-CNN method. The results showed a higher detection accuracy when using RetinaNet with ResNet-50. In conclusion, the assessed DL method is adequate to detect storm-drain and manhole from mobile mapping RGB images, outperforming the Faster R-CNN method. The labeled dataset used in this study is available for future research.
Narcisa Gabriela Pricope, Joanne Nancie Halls, Kerry Lynn Mapes, Joseph Britton Baxley, James JyunYueh Wu
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164453

Abstract:
Wetlands provide critical ecosystem services across a range of environmental gradients and are at heightened risk of degradation from anthropogenic pressures and continued development, especially in coastal regions. There is a growing need for high-resolution (spatially and temporally) habitat identification and precise delineation of wetlands across a variety of stakeholder groups, including wetlands loss mitigation programs. Traditional wetland delineations are costly, time-intensive and can physically degrade the systems that are being surveyed, while aerial surveys are relatively fast and relatively unobtrusive. To assess the efficacy and feasibility of using two variable-cost LiDAR sensors mounted on a commercial hexacopter unmanned aerial system (UAS) in deriving high resolution topography, we conducted nearly concomitant flights over a site located in the Atlantic Coastal plain that contains a mix of palustrine forested wetlands, upland coniferous forest, upland grass and bare ground/dirt roads. We compared point clouds and derived topographic metrics acquired using the Quanergy M8 and the Velodyne HDL-32E LiDAR sensors with airborne LiDAR and results showed that the less expensive and lighter payload sensor outperforms the more expensive one in deriving high resolution, high accuracy ground elevation measurements under a range of canopy cover densities and for metrics of point cloud density and digital terrain computed both globally and locally using variable size tessellations. The mean point cloud density was not significantly different between wetland and non-wetland areas, but the two sensors were significantly different by wetland/non-wetland type. Ultra-high-resolution LiDAR-derived topography models can fill evolving wetlands mapping needs and increase accuracy and efficiency of detection and prediction of sensitive wetland ecosystems, especially for heavily forested coastal wetland systems.
Jana Nowaková, Miroslav Pokorný
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164454

Abstract:
With the rapid growth of sensor networks and the enormous, fast-growing volumes of data collected from these sensors, there is a question relating to the way it will be used, and not only collected and analyzed. The data from these sensors are traditionally used for controlling and influencing the states and processes. Standard controllers are available and successfully implemented. However, with the data-driven era we are facing nowadays, there is an opportunity to use controllers, which can include much information, elusive for common controllers. Our goal is to propose a design of an intelligent controller–a conventional controller, but with a non-conventional method of designing its parameters using approaches of artificial intelligence combining fuzzy and genetics methods. Intelligent adaptation of parameters of the control system is performed using data from the sensors measured in the controlled process. All parts designed are based on non-conventional methods and are verified by simulations. The identification of the system’s parameters is based on parameter optimization by means of its difference equation using genetic algorithms. The continuous monitoring of the quality control process and the design of the controller parameters are conducted using a fuzzy expert system of the Mamdani type, or the Takagi–Sugeno type. The concept of the intelligent control system is open and easily expandable.
Vicente Mayor, Rafael Estepa, Antonio Estepa, Germán Madinabeitia
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164455

Abstract:
This paper formulates a new problem for the optimal placement of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) geared towards wireless coverage provision for Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) service to a set of ground users confined in an open area. Our objective function is constrained by coverage and by VoIP speech quality and minimizes the ratio between the number of UAVs deployed and energy efficiency in UAVs, hence providing the layout that requires fewer UAVs per hour of service. Solutions provide the number and position of UAVs to be deployed, and are found using well-known heuristic search methods such as genetic algorithms (used for the initial deployment of UAVs), or particle swarm optimization (used for the periodical update of the positions). We examine two communication services: (a) one bidirectional VoWiFi channel per user; (b) single broadcast VoWiFi channel for announcements. For these services, we study the results obtained for an increasing number of users confined in a small area of 100 m2 as well as in a large area of 10,000 m2. Results show that the drone turnover rate is related to both users’ sparsity and the number of users served by each UAV. For the unicast service, the ratio of UAVs per hour of service tends to increase with user sparsity and the power of radio communication represents 14–16% of the total UAV energy consumption depending on ground user density. In large areas, solutions tend to locate UAVs at higher altitudes seeking increased coverage, which increases energy consumption due to hovering. However, in the VoWiFi broadcast communication service, the traffic is scarce, and solutions are mostly constrained only by coverage. This results in fewer UAVs deployed, less total power consumption (between 20% and 75%), and less sensitivity to the number of served users.
Shuangshuang Li, Haixin Sun, Hamada Esmaiel
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164457

Abstract:
Underwater acoustic localization is a useful technique applied to any military and civilian applications. Among the range-based underwater acoustic localization methods, the time difference of arrival (TDOA) has received much attention because it is easy to implement and relatively less affected by the underwater environment. This paper proposes a TDOA-based localization algorithm for an underwater acoustic sensor network using the maximum-likelihood (ML) ratio criterion. To relax the complexity of the proposed localization complexity, we construct an auxiliary function, and use the majorization-minimization (MM) algorithm to solve it. The proposed localization algorithm proposed in this paper is called a T-MM algorithm. T-MM is applying the MM algorithm to the TDOA acoustic-localization technique. As the MM algorithm iterations are sensitive to the initial points, a gradient-based initial point algorithm is used to set the initial points of the T-MM scheme. The proposed T-MM localization scheme is evaluated based on squared position error bound (SPEB), and through calculation, we get the SPEB expression by the equivalent Fisher information matrix (EFIM). The simulation results show how the proposed T-MM algorithm has better performance and outperforms the state-of-the-art localization algorithms in terms of accuracy and computation complexity even under a high presence of underwater noise.
José-Vicente Riquelme-Ros, Germán Rodríguez-Bermúdez, Ignacio Rodríguez-Rodríguez, José-Víctor Rodríguez, José-María Molina-García-Pardo
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164452

Abstract:
Motor imagery (MI)-based brain-computer interface (BCI) systems detect electrical brain activity patterns through electroencephalogram (EEG) signals to forecast user intention while performing movement imagination tasks. As the microscopic details of individuals’ brains are directly shaped by their rich experiences, musicians can develop certain neurological characteristics, such as improved brain plasticity, following extensive musical training. Specifically, the advanced bimanual motor coordination that pianists exhibit means that they may interact more effectively with BCI systems than their non-musically trained counterparts; this could lead to personalized BCI strategies according to the users’ previously detected skills. This work assessed the performance of pianists as they interacted with an MI-based BCI system and compared it with that of a control group. The Common Spatial Patterns (CSP) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) machine learning algorithms were applied to the EEG signals for feature extraction and classification, respectively. The results revealed that the pianists achieved a higher level of BCI control by means of MI during the final trial (74.69%) compared to the control group (63.13%). The outcome indicates that musical training could enhance the performance of individuals using BCI systems.
Hansol Kim, Sukho Lee, Moon Gi Kang
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164458

Abstract:
Recently, the white (w) channel has been incorporated in various forms into color filter arrays (CFAs). The advantage of using the W channel is that W pixels have less noise than RGB pixels; therefore, under low-light conditions, pixels with high fidelity can be obtained. However, RGBW CFAs normally suffer from spatial resolution degradation due to a smaller number of color pixels than in RGB CFAs. Therefore, even though the reconstructed colors have higher sensitivity, which results in larger CPSNR values, there are some color aliasing artifacts due to a low resolution. In this paper, we propose a rank minimization-based color interpolation method with a colorization constraint for the RGBW format with a large number of W pixels. The rank minimization can achieve a broad interpolation and preserve the structure in the image, and it thereby eliminates the color artifacts. However, the colors fade from this global process. Therefore, we further incorporate a colorization constraint into the rank minimization process for better reproduction of the colors. Experimental results show that the images can be reconstructed well even from noisy pattern images obtained under low-light conditions.
Regina Magalhães, João Pereira, Oleksandr Tarasenko, Sonia Martin-Lopez, Miguel González-Herráez, Walter Margulis, Hugo F. Martins
Published: 10 August 2020
by MDPI
Sensors, Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20164461

Abstract:
Nowadays there is an increasing demand for the cost-effective monitoring of potential threats to the integrity of high-voltage networks and electric power infrastructures. Optical fiber sensors are a particularly interesting solution for applications in these environments, due to their low cost and positive intrinsic features, including small size and weight, dielectric properties, and invulnerability to electromagnetic interference (EMI). However, due precisely to their intrinsic EMI-immune nature, the development of a distributed optical fiber sensing solution for the detection of partial discharges and external electrical fields is in principle very challenging. Here, we propose a method to exploit the third-order and second-order nonlinear effects in silica fibers, as a means to achieve highly sensitive distributed measurements of external electrical fields in real time. By monitoring the electric-field-induced variations in the refractive index using a highly sensitive Rayleigh-based CP-φOTDR scheme, we demonstrate the distributed detection of Kerr and Pockels electro-optic effects, and how those can assign a new sensing dimension to optical fibers, transducing external electric fields into visible minute disturbances in the guided light. The proposed sensing configuration, electro-optical time domain reflectometry, is validated both theoretically and experimentally, showing experimental second-order and third-order nonlinear coefficients, respectively, of χ(2) ~ 0.27 × 10−12 m/V and χ(3) ~ 2.5 × 10−22 m2/V2 for silica fibers.
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