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1.  Metal Oxide Nanostructures and Their Gas Sensing Properties: A Review 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(3):2610-2631.
Metal oxide gas sensors are predominant solid-state gas detecting devices for domestic, commercial and industrial applications, which have many advantages such as low cost, easy production, and compact size. However, the performance of such sensors is significantly influenced by the morphology and structure of sensing materials, resulting in a great obstacle for gas sensors based on bulk materials or dense films to achieve highly-sensitive properties. Lots of metal oxide nanostructures have been developed to improve the gas sensing properties such as sensitivity, selectivity, response speed, and so on. Here, we provide a brief overview of metal oxide nanostructures and their gas sensing properties from the aspects of particle size, morphology and doping. When the particle size of metal oxide is close to or less than double thickness of the space-charge layer, the sensitivity of the sensor will increase remarkably, which would be called “small size effect”, yet small size of metal oxide nanoparticles will be compactly sintered together during the film coating process which is disadvantage for gas diffusion in them. In view of those reasons, nanostructures with many kinds of shapes such as porous nanotubes, porous nanospheres and so on have been investigated, that not only possessed large surface area and relatively mass reactive sites, but also formed relatively loose film structures which is an advantage for gas diffusion. Besides, doping is also an effective method to decrease particle size and improve gas sensing properties. Therefore, the gas sensing properties of metal oxide nanostructures assembled by nanoparticles are reviewed in this article. The effect of doping is also summarized and finally the perspectives of metal oxide gas sensor are given.
doi:10.3390/s120302610
PMCID: PMC3376589  PMID: 22736968
metal oxide; gas sensing; nanostructure; size effect; doping
2.  The Design and Characterization of a Flexible Tactile Sensing Array for Robot Skin 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(12):2001.
In this study, a flexible tactile sensing array based on a capacitive mechanism was designed, fabricated, and characterized for sensitive robot skin. A device with 8 × 8 sensing units was composed of top and bottom flexible polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) substrates with copper (Cu) electrodes, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) dielectric layer, and a bump contact layer. Four types of microstructures (i.e., pyramids and V-shape grooves) atop a PDMS dielectric layer were well-designed and fabricated to enhance tactile sensitivity. The optimal sensing unit achieved a high sensitivity of 35.9%/N in a force range of 0–1 N. By incorporating a tactile feedback control system, the flexible sensing array as the sensitive skin of a robotic manipulator demonstrated a potential capability of robotic obstacle avoidance.
doi:10.3390/s16122001
PMCID: PMC5190982  PMID: 27897993
flexible electronics; capacitive tactile sensing array; robot skin; robotic obstacle avoidance
3.  An Alternative Approach for Registration of High-Resolution Satellite Optical Imagery and ICESat Laser Altimetry Data 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(12):2008.
Satellite optical images and altimetry data are two major data sources used in Antarctic research. The integration use of these two datasets is expected to provide more accurate and higher quality products, during which data registration is the first issue that needs to be solved. This paper presents an alternative approach for the registration of high-resolution satellite optical images and ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) laser altimetry data. Due to the sparse distribution characteristic of the ICESat laser point data, it is difficult and even impossible to find same-type conjugate features between ICESat data and satellite optical images. The method is implemented in a direct way to correct the point-to-line inconsistency in image space through 2D transformation between the projected terrain feature points and the corresponding 2D image lines, which is simpler than discrepancy correction in object space that requires stereo images for 3D model construction, and easier than the indirect way of image orientation correction via photogrammetric bundle adjustment. The correction parameters are further incorporated into imaging model through RPCs (Rational Polynomial Coefficients) generation/regeneration for the convenience of photogrammetric applications. The experimental results by using the ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) images and ZY-3 (Ziyuan-3 satellite) images for registration with ICESat data showed that sub-pixel level registration accuracies were achieved after registration, which have validated the feasibility and effectiveness of the presented approach.
doi:10.3390/s16122008
PMCID: PMC5190989  PMID: 27898048
Antarctica; ASTER; ZY-3; ICESat; feature point; feature line; registration
4.  High-Frequency Fiber-Optic Ultrasonic Sensor Using Air Micro-Bubble for Imaging of Seismic Physical Models 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(12):2125.
A micro-fiber-optic Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) is proposed and demonstrated experimentally for ultrasonic imaging of seismic physical models. The device consists of a micro-bubble followed by the end of a single-mode fiber (SMF). The micro-structure is formed by the discharging operation on a short segment of hollow-core fiber (HCF) that is spliced to the SMF. This micro FPI is sensitive to ultrasonic waves (UWs), especially to the high-frequency (up to 10 MHz) UW, thanks to its ultra-thin cavity wall and micro-diameter. A side-band filter technology is employed for the UW interrogation, and then the high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) UW signal is achieved. Eventually the sensor is used for lateral imaging of the physical model by scanning UW detection and two-dimensional signal reconstruction.
doi:10.3390/s16122125
PMCID: PMC5191105  PMID: 27983639
Fabry-Perot interferometer; high frequency ultrasonic detection; ultrasonic imaging
5.  A Novel Modification of PSO Algorithm for SML Estimation of DOA 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(12):2188.
This paper addresses the issue of reducing the computational complexity of Stochastic Maximum Likelihood (SML) estimation of Direction-of-Arrival (DOA). The SML algorithm is well-known for its high accuracy of DOA estimation in sensor array signal processing. However, its computational complexity is very high because the estimation of SML criteria is a multi-dimensional non-linear optimization problem. As a result, it is hard to apply the SML algorithm to real systems. The Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm is considered as a rather efficient method for multi-dimensional non-linear optimization problems in DOA estimation. However, the conventional PSO algorithm suffers two defects, namely, too many particles and too many iteration times. Therefore, the computational complexity of SML estimation using conventional PSO algorithm is still a little high. To overcome these two defects and to reduce computational complexity further, this paper proposes a novel modification of the conventional PSO algorithm for SML estimation and we call it Joint-PSO algorithm. The core idea of the modification lies in that it uses the solution of Estimation of Signal Parameters via Rotational Invariance Techniques (ESPRIT) and stochastic Cramer-Rao bound (CRB) to determine a novel initialization space. Since this initialization space is already close to the solution of SML, fewer particles and fewer iteration times are needed. As a result, the computational complexity can be greatly reduced. In simulation, we compare the proposed algorithm with the conventional PSO algorithm, the classic Altering Minimization (AM) algorithm and Genetic algorithm (GA). Simulation results show that our proposed algorithm is one of the most efficient solving algorithms and it shows great potential for the application of SML in real systems.
doi:10.3390/s16122188
PMCID: PMC5191167  PMID: 27999377
direction-of-arrival; stochastic maximum likelihood; Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm; computational complexity
6.  3D Tracking via Shoe Sensing 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(11):1809.
Most location-based services are based on a global positioning system (GPS), which only works well in outdoor environments. Compared to outdoor environments, indoor localization has created more buzz in recent years as people spent most of their time indoors working at offices and shopping at malls, etc. Existing solutions mainly rely on inertial sensors (i.e., accelerometer and gyroscope) embedded in mobile devices, which are usually not accurate enough to be useful due to the mobile devices’ random movements while people are walking. In this paper, we propose the use of shoe sensing (i.e., sensors attached to shoes) to achieve 3D indoor positioning. Specifically, a short-time energy-based approach is used to extract the gait pattern. Moreover, in order to improve the accuracy of vertical distance estimation while the person is climbing upstairs, a state classification is designed to distinguish the walking status including plane motion (i.e., normal walking and jogging horizontally), walking upstairs, and walking downstairs. Furthermore, we also provide a mechanism to reduce the vertical distance accumulation error. Experimental results show that we can achieve nearly 100% accuracy when extracting gait patterns from walking/jogging with a low-cost shoe sensor, and can also achieve 3D indoor real-time positioning with high accuracy.
doi:10.3390/s16111809
PMCID: PMC5134468  PMID: 27801839
indoor localization; 3D positioning; inertial sensor; walking state classification
7.  Modelling of XCO2 Surfaces Based on Flight Tests of TanSat Instruments 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(11):1818.
The TanSat carbon satellite is to be launched at the end of 2016. In order to verify the performance of its instruments, a flight test of TanSat instruments was conducted in Jilin Province in September, 2015. The flight test area covered a total area of about 11,000 km2 and the underlying surface cover included several lakes, forest land, grassland, wetland, farmland, a thermal power plant and numerous cities and villages. We modeled the column-average dry-air mole fraction of atmospheric carbon dioxide (XCO2) surface based on flight test data which measured the near- and short-wave infrared (NIR) reflected solar radiation in the absorption bands at around 760 and 1610 nm. However, it is difficult to directly analyze the spatial distribution of XCO2 in the flight area using the limited flight test data and the approximate surface of XCO2, which was obtained by regression modeling, which is not very accurate either. We therefore used the high accuracy surface modeling (HASM) platform to fill the gaps where there is no information on XCO2 in the flight test area, which takes the approximate surface of XCO2 as its driving field and the XCO2 observations retrieved from the flight test as its optimum control constraints. High accuracy surfaces of XCO2 were constructed with HASM based on the flight’s observations. The results showed that the mean XCO2 in the flight test area is about 400 ppm and that XCO2 over urban areas is much higher than in other places. Compared with OCO-2’s XCO2, the mean difference is 0.7 ppm and the standard deviation is 0.95 ppm. Therefore, the modelling of the XCO2 surface based on the flight test of the TanSat instruments fell within an expected and acceptable range.
doi:10.3390/s16111818
PMCID: PMC5134477  PMID: 27809272
TanSat; flight test; XCO2 retrieval; HASM; XCO2 simulation
8.  A Power-Optimized Cooperative MAC Protocol for Lifetime Extension in Wireless Sensor Networks 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(10):1630.
In wireless sensor networks, in order to satisfy the requirement of long working time of energy-limited nodes, we need to design an energy-efficient and lifetime-extended medium access control (MAC) protocol. In this paper, a node cooperation mechanism that one or multiple nodes with higher channel gain and sufficient residual energy help a sender relay its data packets to its recipient is employed to achieve this objective. We first propose a transmission power optimization algorithm to prolong network lifetime by optimizing the transmission powers of the sender and its cooperative nodes to maximize their minimum residual energy after their data packet transmissions. Based on it, we propose a corresponding power-optimized cooperative MAC protocol. A cooperative node contention mechanism is designed to ensure that the sender can effectively select a group of cooperative nodes with the lowest energy consumption and the best channel quality for cooperative transmissions, thus further improving the energy efficiency. Simulation results show that compared to typical MAC protocol with direct transmissions and energy-efficient cooperative MAC protocol, the proposed cooperative MAC protocol can efficiently improve the energy efficiency and extend the network lifetime.
doi:10.3390/s16101630
PMCID: PMC5087418  PMID: 27706079
wireless sensor networks; medium access control (MAC); cooperative MAC protocol; transmission power optimization; cooperative node selection; network lifetime; energy efficiency
9.  A Multifunctional Sensor in Ternary Solution Using Canonical Correlations for Variable Links Assessment 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(10):1661.
Accurately measuring the oil content and salt content of crude oil is very important for both estimating oil reserves and predicting the lifetime of an oil well. There are some problems with the current methods such as high cost, low precision, and difficulties in operation. To solve these problems, we present a multifunctional sensor, which applies, respectively, conductivity method and ultrasound method to measure the contents of oil, water, and salt. Based on cross sensitivity theory, these two transducers are ideally integrated for simplifying the structure. A concentration test of ternary solutions is carried out to testify its effectiveness, and then Canonical Correlation Analysis is applied to evaluate the data. From the perspective of statistics, the sensor inputs, for instance, oil concentration, salt concentration, and temperature, are closely related to its outputs including output voltage and time of flight of ultrasound wave, which further identify the correctness of the sensing theory and the feasibility of the integrated design. Combined with reconstruction algorithms, the sensor can realize the content measurement of the solution precisely. The potential development of the proposed sensor and method in the aspect of online test for crude oil is of important reference and practical value.
doi:10.3390/s16101661
PMCID: PMC5087449  PMID: 27775640
multifunctional sensor; ternary solution; content measurement; canonical correlation analysis
10.  Estimation Accuracy on Execution Time of Run-Time Tasks in a Heterogeneous Distributed Environment 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(9):1386.
Distributed Computing has achieved tremendous development since cloud computing was proposed in 2006, and played a vital role promoting rapid growth of data collecting and analysis models, e.g., Internet of things, Cyber-Physical Systems, Big Data Analytics, etc. Hadoop has become a data convergence platform for sensor networks. As one of the core components, MapReduce facilitates allocating, processing and mining of collected large-scale data, where speculative execution strategies help solve straggler problems. However, there is still no efficient solution for accurate estimation on execution time of run-time tasks, which can affect task allocation and distribution in MapReduce. In this paper, task execution data have been collected and employed for the estimation. A two-phase regression (TPR) method is proposed to predict the finishing time of each task accurately. Detailed data of each task have drawn interests with detailed analysis report being made. According to the results, the prediction accuracy of concurrent tasks’ execution time can be improved, in particular for some regular jobs.
doi:10.3390/s16091386
PMCID: PMC5038664  PMID: 27589753
cloud computing; data convergence; MapReduce; data analysis; speculative execution; J0101
11.  Aspect-Aided Dynamic Non-Negative Sparse Representation-Based Microwave Image Classification 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(9):1413.
Classification of target microwave images is an important application in much areas such as security, surveillance, etc. With respect to the task of microwave image classification, a recognition algorithm based on aspect-aided dynamic non-negative least square (ADNNLS) sparse representation is proposed. Firstly, an aspect sector is determined, the center of which is the estimated aspect angle of the testing sample. The training samples in the aspect sector are divided into active atoms and inactive atoms by smooth self-representative learning. Secondly, for each testing sample, the corresponding active atoms are selected dynamically, thereby establishing dynamic dictionary. Thirdly, the testing sample is represented with ℓ1-regularized non-negative sparse representation under the corresponding dynamic dictionary. Finally, the class label of the testing sample is identified by use of the minimum reconstruction error. Verification of the proposed algorithm was conducted using the Moving and Stationary Target Acquisition and Recognition (MSTAR) database which was acquired by synthetic aperture radar. Experiment results validated that the proposed approach was able to capture the local aspect characteristics of microwave images effectively, thereby improving the classification performance.
doi:10.3390/s16091413
PMCID: PMC5038691  PMID: 27598172
microwave imaging sensor; image classification; aspect angle; sparse representation
12.  An Indoor Pedestrian Positioning Method Using HMM with a Fuzzy Pattern Recognition Algorithm in a WLAN Fingerprint System 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(9):1447.
With the rapid development of smartphones and wireless networks, indoor location-based services have become more and more prevalent. Due to the sophisticated propagation of radio signals, the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) shows a significant variation during pedestrian walking, which introduces critical errors in deterministic indoor positioning. To solve this problem, we present a novel method to improve the indoor pedestrian positioning accuracy by embedding a fuzzy pattern recognition algorithm into a Hidden Markov Model. The fuzzy pattern recognition algorithm follows the rule that the RSSI fading has a positive correlation to the distance between the measuring point and the AP location even during a dynamic positioning measurement. Through this algorithm, we use the RSSI variation trend to replace the specific RSSI value to achieve a fuzzy positioning. The transition probability of the Hidden Markov Model is trained by the fuzzy pattern recognition algorithm with pedestrian trajectories. Using the Viterbi algorithm with the trained model, we can obtain a set of hidden location states. In our experiments, we demonstrate that, compared with the deterministic pattern matching algorithm, our method can greatly improve the positioning accuracy and shows robust environmental adaptability.
doi:10.3390/s16091447
PMCID: PMC5038725  PMID: 27618053
pedestrian positioning; fuzzy pattern recognition algorithm; RSSI variation trend; hidden markov model; smartphone; fingerprint system
13.  Data-Aware Retrodiction for Asynchronous Harmonic Measurement in a Cyber-Physical Energy System 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(8):1316.
Cyber-physical energy systems provide a networked solution for safety, reliability and efficiency problems in smart grids. On the demand side, the secure and trustworthy energy supply requires real-time supervising and online power quality assessing. Harmonics measurement is necessary in power quality evaluation. However, under the large-scale distributed metering architecture, harmonic measurement faces the out-of-sequence measurement (OOSM) problem, which is the result of latencies in sensing or the communication process and brings deviations in data fusion. This paper depicts a distributed measurement network for large-scale asynchronous harmonic analysis and exploits a nonlinear autoregressive model with exogenous inputs (NARX) network to reorder the out-of-sequence measuring data. The NARX network gets the characteristics of the electrical harmonics from practical data rather than the kinematic equations. Thus, the data-aware network approximates the behavior of the practical electrical parameter with real-time data and improves the retrodiction accuracy. Theoretical analysis demonstrates that the data-aware method maintains a reasonable consumption of computing resources. Experiments on a practical testbed of a cyber-physical system are implemented, and harmonic measurement and analysis accuracy are adopted to evaluate the measuring mechanism under a distributed metering network. Results demonstrate an improvement of the harmonics analysis precision and validate the asynchronous measuring method in cyber-physical energy systems.
doi:10.3390/s16081316
PMCID: PMC5017481  PMID: 27548171
out-of-sequence measurement; cyber-physical energy systems; harmonic measurement; data-aware
14.  A Miniaturized On-Chip Colorimeter for Detecting NPK Elements 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(8):1234.
Recently, precision agriculture has become a globally attractive topic. As one of the most important factors, the soil nutrients play an important role in estimating the development of precision agriculture. Detecting the content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) elements more efficiently is one of the key issues. In this paper, a novel chip-level colorimeter was fabricated to detect the NPK elements for the first time. A light source–microchannel photodetector in a sandwich structure was designed to realize on-chip detection. Compared with a commercial colorimeter, all key parts are based on MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) technology so that the volume of this on-chip colorimeter can be minimized. Besides, less error and high precision are achieved. The cost of this colorimeter is two orders of magnitude less than that of a commercial one. All these advantages enable a low-cost and high-precision sensing operation in a monitoring network. The colorimeter developed herein has bright prospects for environmental and biological applications.
doi:10.3390/s16081234
PMCID: PMC5017399  PMID: 27527177
colorimeter; NPK elements; Beer-Lambert’s Law
15.  Resolution-Enhanced Harmonic and Interharmonic Measurement for Power Quality Analysis in Cyber-Physical Energy System 
Power quality analysis issues, especially the measurement of harmonic and interharmonic in cyber-physical energy systems, are addressed in this paper. As new situations are introduced to the power system, the impact of electric vehicles, distributed generation and renewable energy has introduced extra demands to distributed sensors, waveform-level information and power quality data analytics. Harmonics and interharmonics, as the most significant disturbances, require carefully designed detection methods for an accurate measurement of electric loads whose information is crucial to subsequent analyzing and control. This paper gives a detailed description of the power quality analysis framework in networked environment and presents a fast and resolution-enhanced method for harmonic and interharmonic measurement. The proposed method first extracts harmonic and interharmonic components efficiently using the single-channel version of Robust Independent Component Analysis (RobustICA), then estimates the high-resolution frequency from three discrete Fourier transform (DFT) samples with little additional computation, and finally computes the amplitudes and phases with the adaptive linear neuron network. The experiments show that the proposed method is time-efficient and leads to a better accuracy of the simulated and experimental signals in the presence of noise and fundamental frequency deviation, thus providing a deeper insight into the (inter)harmonic sources or even the whole system.
doi:10.3390/s16070946
PMCID: PMC4970000  PMID: 27355946
harmonics; interharmonics; resolution-enhanced; independent component analysis; adaptive linear neuron; power quality; cyber-physical energy system
16.  Filtering Based Adaptive Visual Odometry Sensor Framework Robust to Blurred Images 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(7):1040.
Visual odometry (VO) estimation from blurred image is a challenging problem in practical robot applications, and the blurred images will severely reduce the estimation accuracy of the VO. In this paper, we address the problem of visual odometry estimation from blurred images, and present an adaptive visual odometry estimation framework robust to blurred images. Our approach employs an objective measure of images, named small image gradient distribution (SIGD), to evaluate the blurring degree of the image, then an adaptive blurred image classification algorithm is proposed to recognize the blurred images, finally we propose an anti-blurred key-frame selection algorithm to enable the VO robust to blurred images. We also carried out varied comparable experiments to evaluate the performance of the VO algorithms with our anti-blur framework under varied blurred images, and the experimental results show that our approach can achieve superior performance comparing to the state-of-the-art methods under the condition with blurred images while not increasing too much computation cost to the original VO algorithms.
doi:10.3390/s16071040
PMCID: PMC4970089  PMID: 27399704
visual odometry; blurred image; adaptive classification; key-frame selection; image gradient distribution
17.  A Depth-Adjustment Deployment Algorithm Based on Two-Dimensional Convex Hull and Spanning Tree for Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(7):1087.
Most of the existing node depth-adjustment deployment algorithms for underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSNs) just consider how to optimize network coverage and connectivity rate. However, these literatures don’t discuss full network connectivity, while optimization of network energy efficiency and network reliability are vital topics for UWSN deployment. Therefore, in this study, a depth-adjustment deployment algorithm based on two-dimensional (2D) convex hull and spanning tree (NDACS) for UWSNs is proposed. First, the proposed algorithm uses the geometric characteristics of a 2D convex hull and empty circle to find the optimal location of a sleep node and activate it, minimizes the network coverage overlaps of the 2D plane, and then increases the coverage rate until the first layer coverage threshold is reached. Second, the sink node acts as a root node of all active nodes on the 2D convex hull and then forms a small spanning tree gradually. Finally, the depth-adjustment strategy based on time marker is used to achieve the three-dimensional overall network deployment. Compared with existing depth-adjustment deployment algorithms, the simulation results show that the NDACS algorithm can maintain full network connectivity with high network coverage rate, as well as improved network average node degree, thus increasing network reliability.
doi:10.3390/s16071087
PMCID: PMC4970133  PMID: 27428970
underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSNs); two-dimensional convex hull; spanning tree; time marker; network reliability; full network connectivity
18.  Overhauser Geomagnetic Sensor Based on the Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Effect for Magnetic Prospecting 
Based on the dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) effect, an alternative design of an Overhauser geomagnetic sensor is presented that enhances the proton polarization and increases the amplitude of the free induction decay (FID) signal. The short-pulse method is adopted to rotate the enhanced proton magnetization into the plane of precession to create an FID signal. To reduce the negative effect of the powerful electromagnetic interference, the design of the anti-interference of the pick-up coil is studied. Furthermore, the radio frequency polarization method based on the capacitive-loaded coaxial cavity is proposed to improve the quality factor of the resonant circuit. In addition, a special test instrument is designed that enables the simultaneous testing of the classical proton precession and the Overhauser sensor. Overall, comparison experiments with and without the free radical of the Overhauser sensors show that the DNP effect does effectively improve the amplitude and quality of the FID signal, and the magnetic sensitivity, resolution and range reach to 10 pT/Hz1/2@1 Hz, 0.0023 nT and 20–100 μT, respectively.
doi:10.3390/s16060806
PMCID: PMC4934232  PMID: 27258283
dynamic nuclear polarization effect; Overhauser geomagnetic sensor; free radical; anti-interference; resonant cavity
19.  Effective Sensor Selection and Data Anomaly Detection for Condition Monitoring of Aircraft Engines 
In a complex system, condition monitoring (CM) can collect the system working status. The condition is mainly sensed by the pre-deployed sensors in/on the system. Most existing works study how to utilize the condition information to predict the upcoming anomalies, faults, or failures. There is also some research which focuses on the faults or anomalies of the sensing element (i.e., sensor) to enhance the system reliability. However, existing approaches ignore the correlation between sensor selecting strategy and data anomaly detection, which can also improve the system reliability. To address this issue, we study a new scheme which includes sensor selection strategy and data anomaly detection by utilizing information theory and Gaussian Process Regression (GPR). The sensors that are more appropriate for the system CM are first selected. Then, mutual information is utilized to weight the correlation among different sensors. The anomaly detection is carried out by using the correlation of sensor data. The sensor data sets that are utilized to carry out the evaluation are provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center and have been used as Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) challenge data in 2008. By comparing the two different sensor selection strategies, the effectiveness of selection method on data anomaly detection is proved.
doi:10.3390/s16050623
PMCID: PMC4883314  PMID: 27136561
condition monitoring; sensor selection; anomaly detection; mutual information; Gaussian Process Regression
20.  A Novel Tactile Sensor with Electromagnetic Induction and Its Application on Stick-Slip Interaction Detection 
Real-time detection of contact states, such as stick-slip interaction between a robot and an object on its end effector, is crucial for the robot to grasp and manipulate the object steadily. This paper presents a novel tactile sensor based on electromagnetic induction and its application on stick-slip interaction. An equivalent cantilever-beam model of the tactile sensor was built and capable of constructing the relationship between the sensor output and the friction applied on the sensor. With the tactile sensor, a new method to detect stick-slip interaction on the contact surface between the object and the sensor is proposed based on the characteristics of friction change. Furthermore, a prototype was developed for a typical application, stable wafer transferring on a wafer transfer robot, by considering the spatial magnetic field distribution and the sensor size according to the requirements of wafer transfer. The experimental results validate the sensing mechanism of the tactile sensor and verify its feasibility of detecting stick-slip on the contact surface between the wafer and the sensor. The sensing mechanism also provides a new approach to detect the contact state on the soft-rigid surface in other robot-environment interaction systems.
doi:10.3390/s16040430
PMCID: PMC4850944  PMID: 27023545
tactile sensor; electromagnetic induction; stick-slip detection; end effector; wafer transfer robot
21.  A Trust-Based Adaptive Probability Marking and Storage Traceback Scheme for WSNs 
Security is a pivotal issue for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), which are emerging as a promising platform that enables a wide range of military, scientific, industrial and commercial applications. Traceback, a key cyber-forensics technology, can play an important role in tracing and locating a malicious source to guarantee cybersecurity. In this work a trust-based adaptive probability marking and storage (TAPMS) traceback scheme is proposed to enhance security for WSNs. In a TAPMS scheme, the marking probability is adaptively adjusted according to the security requirements of the network and can substantially reduce the number of marking tuples and improve network lifetime. More importantly, a high trust node is selected to store marking tuples, which can avoid the problem of marking information being lost. Experimental results show that the total number of marking tuples can be reduced in a TAPMS scheme, thus improving network lifetime. At the same time, since the marking tuples are stored in high trust nodes, storage reliability can be guaranteed, and the traceback time can be reduced by more than 80%.
doi:10.3390/s16040451
PMCID: PMC4850965  PMID: 27043566
traceback; wireless sensor network; trust; adaptive probability marking
22.  Mass Sensitivity Optimization of a Surface Acoustic Wave Sensor Incorporating a Resonator Configuration 
The effect of the sensitive area of the two-port resonator configuration on the mass sensitivity of a Rayleigh surface acoustic wave (R-SAW) sensor was investigated theoretically, and verified in experiments. A theoretical model utilizing a 3-dimensional finite element method (FEM) approach was established to extract the coupling-of-modes (COM) parameters in the absence and presence of mass loading covering the electrode structures. The COM model was used to simulate the frequency response of an R-SAW resonator by a P-matrix cascading technique. Cascading the P-matrixes of unloaded areas with mass loaded areas, the sensitivity for different sensitive areas was obtained by analyzing the frequency shift. The performance of the sensitivity analysis was confirmed by the measured responses from the silicon dioxide (SiO2) deposited on different sensitive areas of R-SAW resonators. It is shown that the mass sensitivity varies strongly for different sensitive areas, and the optimal sensitive area lies towards the center of the device.
doi:10.3390/s16040562
PMCID: PMC4851076  PMID: 27104540
mass sensitivity; Rayleigh surface acoustic wave (R-SAW) resonator; finite element method (FEM); coupling-of-modes (COM); sensitive areas
23.  Sparsity-Aware DOA Estimation Scheme for Noncircular Source in MIMO Radar 
In this paper, a novel sparsity-aware direction of arrival (DOA) estimation scheme for a noncircular source is proposed in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar. In the proposed method, the reduced-dimensional transformation technique is adopted to eliminate the redundant elements. Then, exploiting the noncircularity of signals, a joint sparsity-aware scheme based on the reweighted l1 norm penalty is formulated for DOA estimation, in which the diagonal elements of the weight matrix are the coefficients of the noncircular MUSIC-like (NC MUSIC-like) spectrum. Compared to the existing l1 norm penalty-based methods, the proposed scheme provides higher angular resolution and better DOA estimation performance. Results from numerical experiments are used to show the effectiveness of our proposed method.
doi:10.3390/s16040539
PMCID: PMC4851053  PMID: 27089345
MIMO radar; DOA estimation; noncircular signal; sparse representation; reweighted l1 norm penalty
24.  An Electrochemiluminescence Immunosensor Based on Gold-Magnetic Nanoparticles and Phage Displayed Antibodies 
Using the multiple advantages of the ultra-highly sensitive electrochemiluminescence (ECL) technique, Staphylococcus protein A (SPA) functionalized gold-magnetic nanoparticles and phage displayed antibodies, and using gold-magnetic nanoparticles coated with SPA and coupled with a polyclonal antibody (pcAb) as magnetic capturing probes, and Ru(bpy)32+-labeled phage displayed antibody as a specific luminescence probe, this study reports a new way to detect ricin with a highly sensitive and specific ECL immunosensor and amplify specific detection signals. The linear detection range of the sensor was 0.0001~200 µg/L, and the limit of detection (LOD) was 0.0001 µg/L, which is 2500-fold lower than that of the conventional ELISA technique. The gold-magnetic nanoparticles, SPA and Ru(bpy)32+-labeled phage displayed antibody displayed different amplifying effects in the ECL immunosensor and can decrease LOD 3-fold, 3-fold and 20-fold, respectively, compared with the ECL immunosensors without one of the three effects. The integrated amplifying effect can decrease the LOD 180-fold. The immunosensor integrates the unique advantages of SPA-coated gold-magnetic nanoparticles that improve the activity of the functionalized capturing probe, and the amplifying effect of the Ru(bpy)32+-labeled phage displayed antibodies, so it increases specificity, interference-resistance and decreases LOD. It is proven to be well suited for the analysis of trace amounts of ricin in various environmental samples with high recovery ratios and reproducibility.
doi:10.3390/s16030308
PMCID: PMC4813883  PMID: 26927130
gold-magnetic nanoparticles; phage displayed antibody; Staphylococcus protein A; ECL immunosensor; ricin
25.  Spectral Similarity Assessment Based on a Spectrum Reflectance-Absorption Index and Simplified Curve Patterns for Hyperspectral Remote Sensing 
Hyperspectral images possess properties such as rich spectral information, narrow bandwidth, and large numbers of bands. Finding effective methods to retrieve land features from an image by using similarity assessment indices with specific spectral characteristics is an important research question. This paper reports a novel hyperspectral image similarity assessment index based on spectral curve patterns and a reflection-absorption index. First, some spectral reflection-absorption features are extracted to restrict the subsequent curve simplification. Then, the improved Douglas-Peucker algorithm is employed to simplify all spectral curves without setting the thresholds. Finally, the simplified curves with the feature points are matched, and the similarities among the spectral curves are calculated using the matched points. The Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and Reflective Optics System Imaging Spectrometer (ROSIS) hyperspectral image datasets are then selected to test the effect of the proposed index. The practical experiments indicate that the proposed index can achieve higher precision and fewer points than the traditional spectral information divergence and spectral angle match.
doi:10.3390/s16020152
PMCID: PMC4801530  PMID: 26821030
similarity assessment; spectrum absorption-reflection idex; simplified curve pattern; Douglas-Peucker algorithm; hyperspectral remote sensing

Results 1-25 (684)