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Technologies, Volume 9, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 21 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A Battery Management System (BMS) is one of the most crucial parts in almost all electric infrastructure. Though a significant amount of research into BMS is ongoing, industrial standards for BMS are essentially required for the reliable and safe operation of electric equipment. This study investigates the gap in BMS safety and performance requirements of electric transportation and large-scale (stationary) energy storage systems. In addition, the research discusses BMS testing, topology, functionalities, and architecture. A list of safety recommendations for BMS is also illustrated here. This document presents an excellent framework for developing a BMS standard for industrial applications, specifically stationary energy storage and electric transportation. View this paper
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Article
Effect of Different Physical Cross-Linkers on Drug Release from Hydrogel Layers Coated on Magnetically Steerable 3D-Printed Microdevices
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 43; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020043 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 528
Abstract
In the last few decades, the introduction of microrobotics has drastically changed the way medicine will be approached in the future. The development of untethered steerable microdevices able to operate in vivo inside the human body allows a high localization of the therapeutical [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, the introduction of microrobotics has drastically changed the way medicine will be approached in the future. The development of untethered steerable microdevices able to operate in vivo inside the human body allows a high localization of the therapeutical action, thus limiting invasiveness and possible medical complications. This approach results are particularly useful in drug delivery, where it is highly beneficial to administer the drug of choice exclusively to the target organ to avoid overdosage and side effects. In this context, drug releasing layers can be loaded on magnetically moveable platforms that can be guided toward the target organ to perform highly targeted release. In the present paper, we evaluate the possible application of alginate hydrogel layers on moveable platforms manufactured by coupling additive manufacturing with wet metallization. Such alginate layers are reticulated using three different physical crosslinkers: Ca, Zn or Mn. Their effect on drug release kinetics and on device functionality is evaluated. In the case of alginate reticulated using Mn, the strongly pH dependent behavior of the resulting hydrogel is evaluated as a possible way to introduce a triggered release functionality on the devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing Technologies)
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Article
Range-Based Localization of a Wireless Sensor Network for Internet of Things Using Received Signal Strength Indicator and the Most Valuable Player Algorithm
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020042 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 608
Abstract
The localization of the nodes in wireless sensor networks is essential in establishing effective communication among different devices connected, within the Internet of Things. This paper proposes a novel method to accurately determine the position and distance of the wireless sensors linked in [...] Read more.
The localization of the nodes in wireless sensor networks is essential in establishing effective communication among different devices connected, within the Internet of Things. This paper proposes a novel method to accurately determine the position and distance of the wireless sensors linked in a local network. The method utilizes the signal strength received at the target node to identify its location in the localized grid system. The Most Valuable Player Algorithm is used to solve the localization problem. Initially, the algorithm is implemented on four test cases with a varying number of sensor nodes to display its robustness under different network occupancies. Afterward, the study is extended to incorporate actual readings from both indoor and outdoor environments. The results display higher accuracy in the localization of unknown sensor nodes than previously reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communication Technologies)
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Article
User Experience Evaluation in Intelligent Environments: A Comprehensive Framework
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020041 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 675
Abstract
‘User Experience’ (UX) is a term that has been established in HCI research and practice, subsuming the term ‘usability’. UX denotes that interaction with a contemporary technological system goes far beyond usability, extending to one’s emotions before, during, and after using the system [...] Read more.
‘User Experience’ (UX) is a term that has been established in HCI research and practice, subsuming the term ‘usability’. UX denotes that interaction with a contemporary technological system goes far beyond usability, extending to one’s emotions before, during, and after using the system and cannot be defined only by studying the fundamental usability attributes of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction. Measuring UX becomes a substantially more complicated endeavor when the interaction target is not just a technological system or application, but an entire intelligent environment and the systems contained therein. Motivated by the imminent need to assess, measure and quantify user experience in intelligent environments, this paper presents a methodological and conceptual framework that provides concrete guidance for UX research, design and evaluation, explaining which UX parameter should be measured, how, and when. An evaluation of the framework indicated that it can be valuable for researchers and practitioners, assisting them in planning, carrying out, and analyzing UX studies in a comprehensive and thorough manner, thus enhancing their understanding and improving the experiences they design for intelligent environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communication Technologies)
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Technical Note
A Fused Variable by Night Light Images and MODIS Products for Improving Urban Built-Up Area Extraction
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020040 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
The boundary of urban built-up areas is the baseline data of a city. Rapid and accurate monitoring of urban built-up areas is the prerequisite for the boundary control and the layout of urban spaces. In recent years, the night light satellite sensors have [...] Read more.
The boundary of urban built-up areas is the baseline data of a city. Rapid and accurate monitoring of urban built-up areas is the prerequisite for the boundary control and the layout of urban spaces. In recent years, the night light satellite sensors have been employed in urban built-up area extraction. However, the existing extraction methods have not fully considered the properties that directly reflect the urban built-up areas, like the land surface temperature. This research first converted multi-source data into a uniform projection, geographic coordinate system and resampling size. Then, a fused variable that integrated the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program/Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) night light images, the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) surface temperature product and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) product was designed to extract the built-up areas. The fusion results showed that the values of the proposed index presented a sharper gradient within a smaller spatial range, compared with the only night light images. The extraction results were tested in both the area sizes and the spatial locations. The proposed index performed better in both accuracies (average error rate 1.10%) and visual perspective. We further discussed the regularity of the optimal thresholds in the final boundary determination. The optimal thresholds of the proposed index were more stable in different cases on the premise of higher accuracies. Full article
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Article
On the Use of Conformal Cooling in High-Pressure Die-Casting and Semisolid Casting
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020039 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Today, tool life in high pressure die casting (HPDC) is of growing interest. A common agreement is that die life is primarily decided by the thermal load and temperature gradients in the die materials. Conformal cooling with the growth of additive manufacturing has [...] Read more.
Today, tool life in high pressure die casting (HPDC) is of growing interest. A common agreement is that die life is primarily decided by the thermal load and temperature gradients in the die materials. Conformal cooling with the growth of additive manufacturing has raised interest as a means of extending die life. In the current paper, conformal cooling channels’ performance and effect on the thermal cycle in high-pressure die casting and rheocasting are investigated for conventional HPDC and semisolid processing. It was found that conformal cooling aids die temperature reduction, and the use of die spray may be reduced and support the die-life extension. For the die filling, the increased temperature was possibly counterproductive. Instead, it was found that the main focus for conformal cooling should be focused to manage temperature around the in-let bushing and possibly the runner system. Due to the possible higher inlet pressures for semisolid casting, particular benefits could be seen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Manufacturing Technology)
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Article
Comparison of System-Level Design Approaches on Different Types of Digitally-Controlled Ring-Oscillator
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020038 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
This paper presents a comparative study between two different implementations of digitally-controlled-oscillators (DCOs), whcih is the DAC-based and the digital controller-based DCO in TSMC 65 nm CMOS technology. This paper focuses on ring-oscillator architectures due to their high stability against PVT. The DAC-based [...] Read more.
This paper presents a comparative study between two different implementations of digitally-controlled-oscillators (DCOs), whcih is the DAC-based and the digital controller-based DCO in TSMC 65 nm CMOS technology. This paper focuses on ring-oscillator architectures due to their high stability against PVT. The DAC-based oscillator implements a differential architecture, and the digital controller-based architecture operates in a single-ended signal. The SFDR of the DAC-based DCO is 77.2 dBc and controller-based DCO is 56.8 dBc at 125 MHz offset. The Monte-Carlo simulation gives a deviation of 7.4% and 8.5% for the DAC-based and controller-based DCO, respectively. The phase noise performance of the DAC-based DCO and controller-based DCO is −78.9 dBc/Hz and −81.3 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset, respectively. The implementations are given and compared according to their performance based on post-layout simulation results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOCAST 2020)
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Article
A Review on Comparative Remarks, Performance Evaluation and Improvement Strategies of Quadrotor Controllers
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020037 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 925
Abstract
The quadrotor is an ideal platform for testing control strategies because of its non-linearity and under-actuated configuration, allowing researchers to evaluate and verify control strategies. Several control strategies are used, including Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID), Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR), Backstepping, Feedback Linearization Control (FLC), Sliding [...] Read more.
The quadrotor is an ideal platform for testing control strategies because of its non-linearity and under-actuated configuration, allowing researchers to evaluate and verify control strategies. Several control strategies are used, including Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID), Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR), Backstepping, Feedback Linearization Control (FLC), Sliding Mode Control (SMC), and Model Predictive Control (MPC), Neural Network, H-infinity, Fuzzy Logic, and Adaptive Control. However, due to several drawbacks, such as high computation, a large amount of training data, approximation error, and the existence of uncertainty, the commercialization of those control technologies in various industrial applications is currently limited. This paper conducts a thorough analysis of the current literature on the effects of multiple controllers on quadrotors, focusing on two separate approaches: (i) controller hybridization and (ii) controller development. Besides, the limitations of the previous works are discussed, challenges and opportunities to work in this field are assessed, and potential research directions are suggested. Full article
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Article
Surface Modification of Polyethersulfone (PES) with UV Photo-Oxidation
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020036 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
Polyethersulfone (PES) films are widely employed in the construction of membranes where there is a desire to make the surface more hydrophilic. Therefore, UV photo-oxidation was studied in order to oxidize the surface of PES and increase hydrophilicity. UV photo-oxidation using low pressure [...] Read more.
Polyethersulfone (PES) films are widely employed in the construction of membranes where there is a desire to make the surface more hydrophilic. Therefore, UV photo-oxidation was studied in order to oxidize the surface of PES and increase hydrophilicity. UV photo-oxidation using low pressure mercury lamps emitting both 253.7 and 184.9 nm radiation were compared with only 253.7 nm photons. The modified surfaces were characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and water contact angle (WCA) measurements. Both sets of lamps gave similar results, showing an increase of the oxygen concentration up to a saturation level of ca. 29 at.% and a decrease in the WCA, i.e., an increase in hydrophilicity, down to ca. 40°. XPS detected a decrease of sp2 C-C aromatic group bonding and an increase in the formation of C-O, C=O, O=C-O, O=C-OH, O-(C=O)-O, and sulphonate and sulphate moieties. Since little change in surface roughness was observed by AFM, the oxidation of the surface caused the increase in hydrophilicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Innovations in Manufacturing Technologies)
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Communication
Multiobjective Ant Lion Approaches Applied to Electromagnetic Device Optimization
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020035 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Nature-inspired metaheuristics of the swarm intelligence field are a powerful approach to solve electromagnetic optimization problems. Ant lion optimizer (ALO) is a nature-inspired stochastic metaheuristic that mimics the hunting behavior of ant lions using steps of random walk of ants, building traps, entrapment [...] Read more.
Nature-inspired metaheuristics of the swarm intelligence field are a powerful approach to solve electromagnetic optimization problems. Ant lion optimizer (ALO) is a nature-inspired stochastic metaheuristic that mimics the hunting behavior of ant lions using steps of random walk of ants, building traps, entrapment of ants in traps, catching preys, and re-building traps. To extend the classical single-objective ALO, this paper proposes four multiobjective ALO (MOALO) approaches using crowding distance, dominance concept for selecting the elite, and tournament selection mechanism with different schemes to select the leader. Numerical results from a multiobjective constrained brushless direct current (DC) motor design problem show that some MOALO approaches present promising performance in terms of Pareto-optimal solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOCAST 2020)
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Article
Electrical Breakdown Spectroscopy of Nano-/Micro-Thermites
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020034 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 583
Abstract
We describe the optical and electrical analysis of a micro-explosion of silicon and micro-thermite micro-bridges with a spectral temporal resolution within a 2 ms time range. The intensity of peaks and their mean lifetimes are calculated to identify the contributing atomic and molecular [...] Read more.
We describe the optical and electrical analysis of a micro-explosion of silicon and micro-thermite micro-bridges with a spectral temporal resolution within a 2 ms time range. The intensity of peaks and their mean lifetimes are calculated to identify the contributing atomic and molecular species. Singly ionised atoms and molecules were the main contributor to spectroscopic signature of emission. It is shown that micro-bridges can be used to characterise small (safe) < 10 mg amounts of energetic materials. Use of ions at low ionisation numbers of Si as well as Cu-oxides with different metal-to-oxygen ratios allows the thermal conditions for micro-explosions and a higher temperature of the discharge plasma to be engineered. Temperatures of 5000 ± 500 K (the black-body radiation fit) were achieved with simple micro-bridge junctions of 10–30 Ω resistance initiated with 100–250 V (triggered capacitor discharge). The demonstrated approach can be applied in material science research concerning ultra-fast melting, phase transitions, and detailed steps leading towards detonation (exponentially growing exothermic chemical reactions). Full article
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Article
Augmented Reality in Industry 4.0 and Future Innovation Programs
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020033 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Augmented Reality (AR) is worldwide recognized as one of the leading technologies of the 21st century and one of the pillars of the new industrial revolution envisaged by the Industry 4.0 international program. Several papers describe, in detail, specific applications of Augmented Reality [...] Read more.
Augmented Reality (AR) is worldwide recognized as one of the leading technologies of the 21st century and one of the pillars of the new industrial revolution envisaged by the Industry 4.0 international program. Several papers describe, in detail, specific applications of Augmented Reality developed to test its potentiality in a variety of fields. However, there is a lack of sources detailing the current limits of this technology in the event of its introduction in a real working environment where everyday tasks could be carried out by operators using an AR-based approach. A literature analysis to detect AR strength and weakness has been carried out, and a set of case studies has been implemented by authors to find the limits of current AR technologies in industrial applications outside the laboratory-protected environment. The outcome of this paper is that, even though Augmented Reality is a well-consolidated computer graphic technique in research applications, several improvements both from a software and hardware point of view should be introduced before its introduction in industrial operations. The originality of this paper lies in the detection of guidelines to improve the Augmented Reality potentialities in factories and industries. Full article
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Article
iMakerSpace Best Practices for Shaping the 21st Century Workforce
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020032 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
Innovations in engineering education are undergoing a noticeable transformation. Higher education institutions are practicing distance education, remote laboratories, studio pedagogies and several other approaches in order to increase their students’ retention, success, and preparedness for the job market. In engineering education, maker spaces [...] Read more.
Innovations in engineering education are undergoing a noticeable transformation. Higher education institutions are practicing distance education, remote laboratories, studio pedagogies and several other approaches in order to increase their students’ retention, success, and preparedness for the job market. In engineering education, maker spaces have become popular in the last ten years in universities as well as community colleges, high schools and community innovation hubs. A large number of engineering colleges have allocated significant spaces, and at some universities entire buildings, as maker spaces to be used for curricular and extracurricular activities. Success stories of these types of spaces are well documented. This paper describes the core activities and programs held at Tennessee Tech University’s maker space called ‘iMakerSpace.’ Accomplishments include several innovative workforce development activities. The impact and effectiveness of the iMakerSpace, presented through workforce innovations and survey statistics, is a unique contribution to this paper. In addition, the modification of operations under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions has resulted in changes that may be carried out post-pandemic. Full article
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Article
Evaluating the Performance of Eigenface, Fisherface, and Local Binary Pattern Histogram-Based Facial Recognition Methods under Various Weather Conditions
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020031 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Facial recognition (FR) in unconstrained weather is still challenging and surprisingly ignored by many researchers and practitioners over the past few decades. Therefore, this paper aims to evaluate the performance of three existing popular facial recognition methods considering different weather conditions. As a [...] Read more.
Facial recognition (FR) in unconstrained weather is still challenging and surprisingly ignored by many researchers and practitioners over the past few decades. Therefore, this paper aims to evaluate the performance of three existing popular facial recognition methods considering different weather conditions. As a result, a new face dataset (Lamar University database (LUDB)) was developed that contains face images captured under various weather conditions such as foggy, cloudy, rainy, and sunny. Three very popular FR methods—Eigenface (EF), Fisherface (FF), and Local binary pattern histogram (LBPH)—were evaluated considering two other face datasets, AT&T and 5_Celebrity, along with LUDB in term of accuracy, precision, recall, and F1 score with 95% confidence interval (CI). Computational results show a significant difference among the three FR techniques in terms of overall time complexity and accuracy. LBPH outperforms the other two FR algorithms on both LUDB and 5_Celebrity datasets by achieving 40% and 95% accuracy, respectively. On the other hand, with minimum execution time of 1.37, 1.37, and 1.44 s per image on AT&T,5_Celebrity, and LUDB, respectively, Fisherface achieved the best result. Full article
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Article
Respiration Measurement in a Simulated Setting Incorporating the Internet of Things
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020030 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 737
Abstract
The Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare has gained significant attention in recent years. This study demonstrates an adaptation of IoT in healthcare by illustrating a method of respiration rate measurement from a platform that simulates breathing. Respiration rate is a crucial physiological [...] Read more.
The Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare has gained significant attention in recent years. This study demonstrates an adaptation of IoT in healthcare by illustrating a method of respiration rate measurement from a platform that simulates breathing. Respiration rate is a crucial physiological measure in monitoring critically ill patients. The devised approach, with further development, may be suitable for integration into neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) to measure infants’ respiration rate. A potential advantage of this method is that it monitors respiration using a wireless non-contact method and could add benefits such as preservation of skin integrity. The paper aimed to assess the accuracy of an IoT-integrated ultrasound (US)-based method for measuring respiration rate. Chest movement due to respiration was simulated by a platform with a controllable moving surface. The magnitude and frequency of the movements were accurately controlled by a signal generator. The surface movements were tracked using US as a reliable and cost-effective technology. ESP8266 NodeMCU was used to wirelessly record the US signal and ThingSpeak and Matlab© were used to analyze and visualize the data in the cloud. A close relationship between the measured rate of the simulated respiration and the actual frequency was observed. The study demonstrated a possible adaption of IoT for respiration rate measurement, however further work will be needed to ensure security and reliability of data handling before use of the system in medical environments. Full article
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Article
Infill Designs for 3D-Printed Shape-Memory Objects
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020029 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
Shape-memory polymers (SMPs) can be deformed, cooled down, keeping their new shape for a long time, and recovered into their original shape after being heated above the glass or melting temperature again. Some SMPs, such as poly(lactic acid) (PLA), can be 3D printed, [...] Read more.
Shape-memory polymers (SMPs) can be deformed, cooled down, keeping their new shape for a long time, and recovered into their original shape after being heated above the glass or melting temperature again. Some SMPs, such as poly(lactic acid) (PLA), can be 3D printed, enabling a combination of 3D-printed shapes and 2D-printed, 3D-deformed ones. While deformation at high temperatures can be used, e.g., to fit orthoses to patients, SMPs used in protective equipment, bumpers, etc., are deformed at low temperatures, possibly causing irreversible breaks. Here, we compare different typical infill patterns, offered by common slicing software, with self-designed infill structures. Three-point bending tests were performed until maximum deflection as well as until the maximum force was reached, and then the samples were recovered in a warm water bath and tested again. The results show a severe influence of the infill pattern as well as the printing orientation on the amount of broken bonds and thus the mechanical properties after up to ten test/recovery cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing Technologies)
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Review
Review of Battery Management Systems (BMS) Development and Industrial Standards
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020028 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1689
Abstract
The evolving global landscape for electrical distribution and use created a need area for energy storage systems (ESS), making them among the fastest growing electrical power system products. A key element in any energy storage system is the capability to monitor, control, and [...] Read more.
The evolving global landscape for electrical distribution and use created a need area for energy storage systems (ESS), making them among the fastest growing electrical power system products. A key element in any energy storage system is the capability to monitor, control, and optimize performance of an individual or multiple battery modules in an energy storage system and the ability to control the disconnection of the module(s) from the system in the event of abnormal conditions. This management scheme is known as “battery management system (BMS)”, which is one of the essential units in electrical equipment. BMS reacts with external events, as well with as an internal event. It is used to improve the battery performance with proper safety measures within a system. Therefore, a safe BMS is the prerequisite for operating an electrical system. This report analyzes the details of BMS for electric transportation and large-scale (stationary) energy storage. The analysis includes different aspects of BMS covering testing, component, functionalities, topology, operation, architecture, and BMS safety aspects. Additionally, current related standards and codes related to BMS are also reviewed. The report investigates BMS safety aspects, battery technology, regulation needs, and offer recommendations. It further studies current gaps in respect to the safety requirements and performance requirements of BMS by focusing mainly on the electric transportation and stationary application. The report further provides a framework for developing a new standard on BMS, especially on BMS safety and operational risk. In conclusion, four main areas of (1) BMS construction, (2) Operation Parameters, (3) BMS Integration, and (4) Installation for improvement of BMS safety and performance are identified, and detailed recommendations were provided for each area. It is recommended that a technical review of the BMS be performed for transportation electrification and large-scale (stationary) applications. A comprehensive evaluation of the components, architectures, and safety risks applicable to BMS operation is also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technologies Reviews)
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Review
Surface Quality of Metal Parts Produced by Laser Powder Bed Fusion: Ion Polishing in Gas-Discharge Plasma Proposal
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020027 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Additive manufacturing has evolved over the past decades into a technology that provides freedom of design through the ability to produce complex-shaped solid structures, reducing the operational time and material volumes in manufacturing significantly. However, the surface of parts manufactured by the additive [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing has evolved over the past decades into a technology that provides freedom of design through the ability to produce complex-shaped solid structures, reducing the operational time and material volumes in manufacturing significantly. However, the surface of parts manufactured by the additive method remains now extremely rough. The current trend of expanding the industrial application of additive manufacturing is researching surface roughness and finishing. Moreover, the limited choice of materials suitable for additive manufacturing does not satisfy the diverse design requirements, necessitating additional coatings deposition. Requirements for surface treatment and coating deposition technology depend on the intended use of the parts, their material, and technology. In most cases, they cannot be determined based on existing knowledge and experience. It determines the scientific relevance of the analytical research and development of scientific and technological principles of finishing parts obtained by laser additive manufacturing and functional coating deposition. There is a scientific novelty of analytical research that proposes gas-discharge plasma processing for finishing laser additive manufactured parts and technological principles development including three processing stages—explosive ablation, polishing with a concentrated beam of fast neutral argon atoms, and coating deposition—for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing: Fundamentals and Practice)
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Article
RSSI Probability Density Functions Comparison Using Jensen-Shannon Divergence and Pearson Distribution
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020026 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 574
Abstract
The performance of a free-space optical (FSO) communications link suffers from the deleterious effects of weather conditions and atmospheric turbulence. In order to better estimate the reliability and availability of an FSO link, a suitable distribution needs to be employed. The accuracy of [...] Read more.
The performance of a free-space optical (FSO) communications link suffers from the deleterious effects of weather conditions and atmospheric turbulence. In order to better estimate the reliability and availability of an FSO link, a suitable distribution needs to be employed. The accuracy of this model depends strongly on the atmospheric turbulence strength which causes the scintillation effect. To this end, a variety of probability density functions were utilized to model the optical channel according to the strength of the refractive index structure parameter. Although many theoretical models have shown satisfactory performance, in reality they can significantly differ. This work employs an information theoretic method, namely the so-called Jensen–Shannon divergence, a symmetrization of the Kullback–Leibler divergence, to measure the similarity between different probability distributions. In doing so, a large experimental dataset of received signal strength measurements from a real FSO link is utilized. Additionally, the Pearson family of continuous probability distributions is also employed to determine the best fit according to the mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis of the modeled data. Full article
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Article
Comparison of iPad Pro®’s LiDAR and TrueDepth Capabilities with an Industrial 3D Scanning Solution
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020025 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Today’s smart devices come equipped with powerful hard- and software-enabling professional use cases. The latest hardware by Apple utilizes LiDAR and TrueDepth, which offer the capability of 3D scanning. Devices equipped with these camera systems allow manufacturers to obtain 3D data from their [...] Read more.
Today’s smart devices come equipped with powerful hard- and software-enabling professional use cases. The latest hardware by Apple utilizes LiDAR and TrueDepth, which offer the capability of 3D scanning. Devices equipped with these camera systems allow manufacturers to obtain 3D data from their customers at low costs, which potentially enables time-efficient mass customization and product differentiation strategies. However, the utilization is limited by the scanning accuracy. To determine the potential application of LiDAR and TrueDepth as a 3D scanning solution, in this paper an evaluation was performed. For this purpose, different Lego bricks were scanned with the technologies and an industrial 3D scanner. The results were compared according to shape and position tolerances. Even though the industrial 3D scanner consistently delivered more accurate results, the accuracy of the smart device technologies may already be sufficient, depending on the application. Full article
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Article
Open Source 3D-Printable Planetary Roller Screw for Food Processing Applications
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020024 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 809
Abstract
Historically, open source agriculture (OSA) was based on grassroots technology generally manufactured by hand tools or with manual machining. The rise of distributed digital manufacturing provides an opportunity for much more rapid lateral scaling of open source appropriate technologies for agriculture. However, the [...] Read more.
Historically, open source agriculture (OSA) was based on grassroots technology generally manufactured by hand tools or with manual machining. The rise of distributed digital manufacturing provides an opportunity for much more rapid lateral scaling of open source appropriate technologies for agriculture. However, the most mature distributed manufacturing area is plastic, which has limited use for many OSA applications. To overcome this limitation with design, this study reports on of a completely 3D-printable planetary roller screw linear actuator. The device is designed as a parametric script-based computer aided design (CAD) package to allow for the easy adaption for a number of applications such as food processing at different scales. The planetary roller screw is fabricated in dishwasher-safe polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) on an open source machine and tested using an open source testing platform to determine if it could maintain a constant load without slipping and the maximum force. Then, this output is compared to a direct screw press using the same materials. The results found that the maximum force is more than doubled for the roller screw actuator using the same materials, making them adequate for some food processing techniques. Future work is outlined to improve the performance and ease of assembly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Source Agriculture Technology)
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Article
A Novel Ensemble Machine Learning Approach for Bioarchaeological Sex Prediction
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies9020023 - 01 Apr 2021
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Abstract
I present a novel machine learning approach to predict sex in the bioarchaeological record. Eighteen cranial interlandmark distances and five maxillary dental metric distances were recorded from n = 420 human skeletons from the necropolises at Alfedena (600–400 BCE) and Campovalano (750–200 BCE [...] Read more.
I present a novel machine learning approach to predict sex in the bioarchaeological record. Eighteen cranial interlandmark distances and five maxillary dental metric distances were recorded from n = 420 human skeletons from the necropolises at Alfedena (600–400 BCE) and Campovalano (750–200 BCE and 9–11th Centuries CE) in central Italy. A generalized low rank model (GLRM) was used to impute missing data and Area under the Curve—Receiver Operating Characteristic (AUC-ROC) with 20-fold stratified cross-validation was used to evaluate predictive performance of eight machine learning algorithms on different subsets of the data. Additional perspectives such as this one show strong potential for sex prediction in bioarchaeological and forensic anthropological contexts. Furthermore, GLRMs have the potential to handle missing data in ways previously unexplored in the discipline. Although results of this study look promising (highest AUC-ROC = 0.9722 for predicting binary male/female sex), the main limitation is that the sexes of the individuals included were not known but were estimated using standard macroscopic bioarchaeological methods. However, future research should apply this machine learning approach to known-sex reference samples in order to better understand its value, along with the more general contributions that machine learning can make to the reconstruction of past human lifeways. Full article
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