• Verification of calculation code THERM in accordance with BS EN ISO 10077-2

      Nammi, Sathish K.; Shirvani, Hassan; Shirvani, Ayoub; Edwards, Gerard; Whitty, Justin P. M.; Anglia Ruskin University, Anglia Ruskin University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Chester, University of Central Lancashire (Anglia Ruskin Research Online, 2014)
      Calculation codes are useful in predicting the heat transfer features in the fenestration industry. THERM is a finite element analysis based code, which can be used to compute thermal transmittance of windows, doors and shutters. It is important to verify results of THERM as per BS EN ISO 10077-2 to meet the compliance requirements. In this report, two-dimensional thermal conductance parameters were computed. Three versions of THERM, 5.2, 6.3 and 7.1, were used at two successive finite element mesh densities to assess their comparability. The results were all compliant with the aforementioned British Standard.
    • Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards interlaboratory study on intensity calibration for x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy instruments using low-density polyethylene

      Reed, Benjamin; Cant, David; Spencer, Steve; Carmona-Carmona, Abraham; Bushell, Adam; Herrera-Gomez, Alberto; Kurokawa, Akira; Thissen, Andreas; Thomas, Andrew; Britton, Andrew; et al.
      We report the results of a Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards interlaboratory study on the intensity scale calibration of x-ray photoelectron spectrometers using low-density polyethylene (LDPE) as an alternative material to gold, silver, and copper. An improved set of LDPE reference spectra, corrected for different instrument geometries using a quartz-monochromated Al Kα x-ray source, was developed using data provided by participants in this study. Using these new reference spectra, a transmission function was calculated for each dataset that participants provided. When compared to a similar calibration procedure using the NPL reference spectra for gold, the LDPE intensity calibration method achieves an absolute offset of ∼3.0% and a systematic deviation of ±6.5% on average across all participants. For spectra recorded at high pass energies (≥90 eV), values of absolute offset and systematic deviation are ∼5.8% and ±5.7%, respectively, whereas for spectra collected at lower pass energies (<90 eV), values of absolute offset and systematic deviation are ∼4.9% and ±8.8%, respectively; low pass energy spectra perform worse than the global average, in terms of systematic deviations, due to diminished count rates and signal-to-noise ratio. Differences in absolute offset are attributed to the surface roughness of the LDPE induced by sample preparation. We further assess the usability of LDPE as a secondary reference material and comment on its performance in the presence of issues such as variable dark noise, x-ray warm up times, inaccuracy at low count rates, and underlying spectrometer problems. In response to participant feedback and the results of the study, we provide an updated LDPE intensity calibration protocol to address the issues highlighted in the interlaboratory study. We also comment on the lack of implementation of a consistent and traceable intensity calibration method across the community of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) users and, therefore, propose a route to achieving this with the assistance of instrument manufacturers, metrology laboratories, and experts leading to an international standard for XPS intensity scale calibration.
    • Vibration Energy Harvesting of Multifunctional Carbon Fibre Composite Laminate Structures

      alsaadi, Ahmed; University of Chester
      A sustainable power supply for a wide range of applications, such as power- ing sensors for structural health monitoring and wireless sensor nodes for data transmission and communication used in unmanned air vehicles, automobiles, renewable energy sectors, and smart city technologies, is targeted. This pa- per presents an experimental and numerical study that describes an innovative technique to harvest energy resulted from environmental vibrations. A piezo- electric energy harvester was integrated onto a carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminate structure using the co-curing method. The integrated com- posite with the energy harvester was lightweight, flexible and provided robust and reliable energy outcomes, which can be used to power different low-powered wireless sensing nodes. A normalised power density of 97 μW cm −3 m −2 s 4 was obtained from resonance frequency of 46 Hz sinusoidal waves at amplitude of 0.2 g; while the representative environmental vibration waves in various appli- cations (aerospace, automotive, machine and bridge infrastructure) were ex- perimentally and numerically investigated to find out the energy that can be harvested by such a multifunctional composite structure. The results showed the energy harvested at different vibration input from various industrial sectors could be sufficient to power an autonomous structural health monitoring system and wireless communications by the designed composite structure.
    • Vibration energy harvesting of multifunctional carbon fibre composite laminate structures

      Alsaadi, Ahmed; Shi, Yu; Pan, Lei; Tao, Jie; Jia, Yu; University of Chester; Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
      A sustainable power supply for a wide range of applications, such as powering sensors for structural health monitoring and wireless sensoring nodes for data transmission and communication used in unmanned air vehicles, automobiles, renewable energy sectors, and smart city technologies, is targeted. This paper presents an experimental and numerical study that describes an innovative technique to harvest energy resulted from environmental vibrations. A piezoelectric energy harvester was integrated onto a carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminate structure using the co-curing method. The integrated composite with the energy harvester was lightweight, flexible and provided robust and reliable energy outcomes, which can be used to power different low-powered wireless sensing nodes. A normalised power density of 97  μW cm−3m−2s4 was obtained from resonance frequency of 46 Hz sinusoidal waves at amplitude of 0.2 g; while the representative environmental vibration waves in various applications (aerospace, automotive, machine and bridge infrastructure) were experimentally and numerically investigated to find out the energy that can be harvested by such a multifunctional composite structure. The results showed the energy harvested at different vibration input from various industrial sectors could be sufficient to power an autonomous structural health monitoring system and wireless communications by the designed composite structure.
    • A vibration powered wireless mote on the Forth Road Bridge

      Jia, Yu; Yan, Jize; Feng, Tao; Du, Sijun; Fidler, Paul; Soga, Kenichi; Middleton, Campbell; Seshia, Ashwin A.; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (IOP Publishing, 2015-12-01)
      The conventional resonant-approaches to scavenge kinetic energy are typically confined to narrow and single-band frequencies. The vibration energy harvester device reported here combines both direct resonance and parametric resonance in order to enhance the power responsiveness towards more efficient harnessing of real-world ambient vibration. A packaged electromagnetic harvester designed to operate in both of these resonant regimes was tested in situ on the Forth Road Bridge. In the field-site, the harvester, with an operational volume of ~126 cm3, was capable of recovering in excess of 1 mW average raw AC power from the traffic-induced vibrations in the lateral bracing structures underneath the bridge deck. The harvester was integrated off-board with a power conditioning circuit and a wireless mote. Duty- cycled wireless transmissions from the vibration-powered mote was successfully sustained by the recovered ambient energy. This limited duration field test provides the initial validation for realising vibration-powered wireless structural health monitoring systems in real world infrastructure, where the vibration profile is both broadband and intermittent.
    • Virtual and Mixed Reality Support for Activities of Daily Living

      John, Nigel; Day, Thomas W. (University of Chester, 2019-05-14)
      Rehabilitation and training are extremely important process that help people who have suffered some form of trauma to regain their ability to live independently and successfully complete activities of daily living. VR and MR have been used in rehabilitation and training, with examples in a range of areas such as physical and cognitive rehabilitation, and medical training. However, previous research has mainly used non-immersive VR such as using video games on a computer monitor or television. Immersive VR Head-Mounted Displays were first developed in 1965 but the devices were usually large, bulky and expensive. In 2016, the release of low-cost VR HMDs allowed for wider adoption of VR technology. This thesis investigates the impact of these devices in supporting activities of daily living through three novel applications: training driving skills for a powered wheelchair in both VR and MR; and using VR to help with the cognitive rehabilitation of stroke patients. Results from the acceptability study for VR in cognitive rehabilitation showed that patients would be likely to accept VR as a method of rehabilitation. However, factors such as visual issues need to be taken into consideration. The validation study for the Wheelchair-VR project showed promising results in terms of user improvement after the VR training session but the majority of the users experienced symptoms of cybersickness. Wheelchair-MR didn’t show statistically significant results in terms of improvements but did show a mean average improvement compared to the control group. The effects of cybersickness were also greatly reduced compared to VR. We conclude that VR and MR can be used in conjunction with modern games engines to develop virtual environments that can be adapted to accelerate the rehabilitation and training of patients coping with different aspects of daily life.
    • Virtual Reality Environment for the Cognitive Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients

      John, Nigel W.; Day, Thomas W.; Pop, Serban R.; Chatterjee, Kausik; Cottrell, Katy; Buchanan, Alastair; Roberts, Jonathan; University of Chester; Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Cadscan Ltd (IEEE, 2019-10-14)
      We present ongoing work to develop a virtual reality environment for the cognitive rehabilitation of patients as a part of their recovery from a stroke. A stroke causes damage to the brain and problem solving, memory and task sequencing are commonly affected. The brain can recover to some extent, however, and stroke patients have to relearn to carry out activities of daily learning. We have created an application called VIRTUE to enable such activities to be practiced using immersive virtual reality. Gamification techniques enhance the motivation of patients such as by making the level of difficulty of a task increase over time. The design and implementation of VIRTUE is presented together with the results of a small acceptability study.
    • Visual-Inertial 2D Feature Tracking based on an Affine Photometric Model

      Aufderheide, Dominik; Edwards, Gerard; Krybus, Werner; South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, University of Chester, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences (Springer, 2015-04-08)
      The robust tracking of point features throughout an image sequence is one fundamental stage in many different computer vision algorithms (e.g. visual modelling, object tracking, etc.). In most cases, this tracking is realised by means of a feature detection step and then a subsequent re-identification of the same feature point, based on some variant of a template matching algorithm. Without any auxiliary knowledge about the movement of the camera, actual tracking techniques are only robust for relatively moderate frame-to-frame feature displacements. This paper presents a framework for a visual-inertial feature tracking scheme, where images and measurements of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) are fused in order to allow a wider range of camera movements. The inertial measurements are used to estimate the visual appearance of a feature’s local neighbourhood based on a affine photometric warping model.
    • Visualization beyond the Desktop--the Next Big Thing

      Roberts, Jonathan C.; Ritsos, Panagiotis D.; Badam, Sriram Karthik; Brodbeck, Dominique; Kennedy, Jessie; Elmqvist, Niklas; University of Chester (IEEE, 2014-08-15)
      Visualization researchers need to develop and adapt to today’s new devices and tomorrow’s technology. Today, people interact with visual depictions through a mouse. Tomorrow, they’ll be touching, swiping, grasping, feeling, hearing, smelling, and even tasting data.
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in photochemically aged air from the Eastern and Western Mediterranean

      Derstroff, Bettina; Hueser, Imke; Sander, Rolf; Bourtsoukidis, Efstratios; Crowley, John N.; Fischer, Horst; Gromov, Sergey; Harder, Hartwig; Kesselmeier, Juergen; Lelieveld, Jos; et al. (Copernicus Publications, 2017-08-09)
      During the summertime CYPHEX campaign (CYprus PHotochemical EXperiment 2014) in the Eastern Mediterranean, multiple volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured from a 650 m hilltop site in western Cyprus (34°57' N/32°23' E). Periodic shifts in the northerly Etesian winds resulted in the site being alternately impacted by photochemically processed emissions from Western (Spain, France, Italy) and Eastern (Turkey, Greece) Europe. In this study we examine the temporal variation of VOCs at the site. The sparse Mediterranean scrub vegetation generated diel cycles in the reactive biogenic hydrocarbon isoprene, from below detection limit at night to 100 pptv by day on average. In contrast, the oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) methanol and acetone exhibited no diel cycle and were approximately an order of magnitude higher in mixing ratio (range: 1–8 ppbv) than the locally emitted isoprene (up to 320 pptv), total monoterpenes (up to 250 pptv) and aromatic compounds such as benzene and toluene (up to 100 pptv, spikes up to 400 pptv). Acetic acid was present at mixing ratios between 0.05 and 4 ppbv and followed a pronounced diel cycle in one specific period, which was related to local production and loss and local meteorological effects. During the rest of the campaign the impact of the free troposphere and long distance transport from source regions dominated over local processes and diel cycles were not observed. The Lagrangian model FLEXPART was used to determine transport patterns and photochemical processing times of air masses originating from Eastern and Western Europe. Eastern and Western European air masses showed distinct trace gas concentrations, with ca. 20 % higher ozone and ca. 30–50 % higher values for most of the OVOCs observed from the East. Using the FLEXPART calculated transport time, the contribution of photochemical processing, sea surface contact and dilution was estimated. Methanol, acetone and acetic acid all decreased with residence time in the marine boundary layer (MBL) with loss rates of 0.1 ± 0.01 ppbv/h, 0.06 ± 0.01 ppbv/h, 0.05 ± 0.01 ppbv/h from Eastern Europe and 0.06 ± 0.01 ppbv/h, 0.02 ± 0.004 ppbv/h and 0.03 ± 0.004 ppbv/h from Western Europe, respectively. The most soluble species, acetic acid, showed the lowest loss rates, indicating that solubility limited deposition to the ocean was not the only factor and that turbulent transport, plume dilution, microbial consumption within the surface of the ocean and especially entrainment from the free troposphere may also be important. Correlations between acetone, methanol and acetic acid were rather weak in western air masses (r2 = 0.52–0.62), but were stronger in air masses measured after the shorter transport time from the East (r2 = 0.53–0.81).
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in photochemically aged air from the Eastern and Western Mediterranean

      Derstroff, Bettina; Stoenner, Christof; Kluepfel, Thomas; Sauvage, Carina; Crowley, John N.; Phillips, Gavin J.; Parchatka, Uwe; Lelieveld, Jos; Williams, Jonathan; Max Planck Institute for Chemistry; University of Chester (Copernicus Publications, 2015-02-25)
      In summer 2014 a comprehensively instrumented measurement campaign (CYPHEX) was conducted in northwest Cyprus in order to investigate atmospheric oxidation chemistry in the Mediterranean region. The site was periodically influenced by the northerly Etesian winds advecting air from Eastern Europe (Turkey and Greece) and from westerly winds bringing more photochemically processed emissions from Western Europe (Spain and France). In this study the data from a Proton Transfer Reaction Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) are analyzed. Generally, oxidized volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) such as methanol and acetone were measured in high mixing ratios (max. 9.5 ppb, min. 1.3 ppb, average 3.2 ppb for methanol, max. 7.9 ppb, min. 1.3 ppb, average 2.4 ppb for acetone ) while precursors like propane showed low values (max. 500 ppt). This demonstrates that the air measured was oxidized to a high degree over the Mediterranean Sea. Low values of acetonitrile throughout the campaign indicated no significant influence of biomass burning on the data. Temporal variations in VOC mixing ratios and precursor/product ratios over the campaign can be explained by using the HYSPLIT backward trajectory model which delineated air masses originating from Eastern and Western Europe. Diel variations of reactive VOCs such as isoprene and terpenes were also observed at the site. A sharp increase in isoprene and monoterpenes at circa 9:00 local time indicated that the 600 m hilltop site was influenced by ascending boundary layer air at this time. In this study, particular emphasis is placed on acetic (ethanoic) acid measured by PTR- TOF-MS and calibrated by a permeation source. Acetic acid is an atmospheric oxidation product of multiple volatile organic compounds, emitted directly from vegetation, and found in abundance in the Mediterranean region (max. 2.7 ppb, min. 0.2 ppb, average 0.8 ppb). Acetic acid contributes to the acidity of precipitation in remote areas, can be incorporated into aerosols by adsorption on the surface and thereby alter the activity due to their high polarity. Correlations of acetic acid with peracetic acid, humidity and ozone have been investigated in order to better understand the sources influencing acetic acid at the site and to assess its potential as a marker for Criegee radical chemistry.
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in photochemically aged air from the eastern and western Mediterranean

      Derstroff, Bettina; Hueser, Imke; Bourtsoukidis, Efstratios; Crowley, John N.; Fischer, Horst; Gromov, Sergey; Harder, Hartwig; Janssen, Ruud; Kesselmeier, Juergen; Lelieveld, Jos; et al. (Copernicus Publications, 2017-08-09)
      During the summertime CYPHEX campaign (CYprus PHotochemical EXperiment 2014) in the eastern Mediterranean, multiple volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured from a 650 m hilltop site in western Cyprus (34° 57′ N/32° 23′ E). Periodic shifts in the northerly Etesian winds resulted in the site being alternately impacted by photochemically processed emissions from western (Spain, France, Italy) and eastern (Turkey, Greece) Europe. Furthermore, the site was situated within the residual layer/free troposphere during some nights which were characterized by high ozone and low relative humidity levels. In this study we examine the temporal variation of VOCs at the site. The sparse Mediterranean scrub vegetation generated diel cycles in the reactive biogenic hydrocarbon isoprene, from very low values at night to a diurnal median level of 80–100 pptv. In contrast, the oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) methanol and acetone exhibited weak diel cycles and were approximately an order of magnitude higher in mixing ratio (ca. 2.5–3 ppbv median level by day, range: ca. 1–8 ppbv) than the locally emitted isoprene and aromatic compounds such as benzene and toluene. Acetic acid was present at mixing ratios between 0.05 and 4 ppbv with a median level of ca. 1.2 ppbv during the daytime. When data points directly affected by the residual layer/free troposphere were excluded, the acid followed a pronounced diel cycle, which was influenced by various local effects including photochemical production and loss, direct emission, dry deposition and scavenging from advecting air in fog banks. The Lagrangian model FLEXPART was used to determine transport patterns and photochemical processing times (between 12 h and several days) of air masses originating from eastern and western Europe. Ozone and many OVOC levels were  ∼  20 and  ∼  30–60 % higher, respectively, in air arriving from the east. Using the FLEXPART calculated transport time, the contribution of photochemical processing, sea surface contact and dilution was estimated. Methanol and acetone decreased with residence time in the marine boundary layer (MBL) with loss rate constants of 0.74 and 0.53 day−1 from eastern Europe and 0.70 and 0.34 day−1 from western Europe, respectively. Simulations using the EMAC model underestimate these loss rates. The missing sink in the calculation is most probably an oceanic uptake enhanced by microbial consumption of methanol and acetone, although the temporal and spatial variability in the source strength on the continents might play a role as well. Correlations between acetone and methanol were weaker in western air masses (r2  =  0.68), but were stronger in air masses measured after the shorter transport time from the east (r2  =  0.73).
    • Volterra integral equations and fractional calculus: Do neighbouring solutions intersect?

      Diethelm, Kai; Ford, Neville J.; Technische Universität Braunschweig ; University of Chester (Rocky Mountain Mathematics Consortium, 2012-04-04)
      This journal article considers the question of whether or not the solutions to two Volterra integral equations which have the same kernel but different forcing terms may intersect at some future time.
    • VRIA - A Framework for Immersive Analytics on the Web

      Butcher, Peter; John, Nigel W.; Ritsos, Panagiotis D.; University of Chester and Bangor University (ACM, 2019-05)
      We report on the design, implementation and evaluation of <VRIA>, a framework for building immersive analytics (IA) solutions inWeb-based Virtual Reality (VR), built upon WebVR, A-Frame, React and D3. The recent emergence of affordable VR interfaces have reignited the interest of researchers and developers in exploring new, immersive ways to visualize data. In particular, the use of open-standards web-based technologies for implementing VR in a browser facilitates the ubiquitous and platform-independent adoption of IA systems. Moreover, such technologies work in synergy with established visualization libraries, through the HTML document object model (DOM). We discuss high-level features of <VRIA> and present a preliminary user experience evaluation of one of our use-cases.
    • VRIA: A Web-based Framework for Creating Immersive Analytics Experiences

      Butcher, Peter; John, Nigel W; Ritsos, Panagiotis D.; University of Chester and Bangor University (IEEE, 2020-01-09)
      We present<VRIA>, a Web-based framework for creating Immersive Analytics (IA) experiences in Virtual Reality.<VRIA>is built upon WebVR, A-Frame, React and D3.js, and offers a visualization creation workflow which enables users, of different levels of expertise, to rapidly develop Immersive Analytics experiences for the Web. The use of these open-standards Web-based technologies allows us to implement VR experiences in a browser and offers strong synergies with popular visualization libraries, through the HTMLDocument Object Model (DOM). This makes<VRIA>ubiquitous and platform-independent. Moreover, by using WebVR’s progressive enhancement, the experiences<VRIA>creates are accessible on a plethora of devices. We elaborate on our motivation for focusing on open-standards Web technologies, present the<VRIA>creation workflow and detail the underlying mechanics of our framework. We also report on techniques and optimizations necessary for implementing Immersive Analytics experiences on the Web, discuss scalability implications of our framework, and present a series of use case applications to demonstrate the various features of <VRIA>. Finally, we discuss current limitations of our framework, the lessons learned from its development, and outline further extensions.
    • Water quality and water-rock interaction in the Harz Mountains (Germany)

      Bozau, Elke; Staerk, Hans-Joachim; Strauch, Gerhard; Swanson, Claudia H.; Technische Universitaet Clausthal, University of Chester (European Federation of Geologists, 2015-11-01)
      The Harz Mountains, known for ancient silver and base metal mining, are an important drinking water supply region for northern Germany today. The water quality of the Harz Mountains is mainly influenced by atmospheric depositions, water-rock inter- actions and biological activities. Anthropogenic influences are minor. Springs, creeks, lakes and reservoirs have relatively low mineralisation. Measured as specific electrical conductivity, the mineralisation of the different water bodies ranges from about 15 to 650 µS/cm. Only deep springs and mine waters reach higher values. Despite dilution effects due to different rainwater amounts, water-rock interaction can be retraced by the chemical water composition, especially by trace metals and rare earth element concentrations. Examples of water-rock interaction are discussed for granite, greywacke and limestone.
    • Wheelchair-MR: A Mixed Reality Wheelchair Training Environment

      Day, Thomas W.; University of Chester (IEEE, 2017-09-20)
      In previous work we have demonstrated that Virtual Reality can be used to help train driving skills for users of a powered wheelchair. However, cybersickness was a particular problem. This work-in-progress paper presents a Mixed Reality alternative to our wheelchair training software, which overcomes this problem. The design and implementation of this application is discussed. Early results shows some promise and overcomes the cybersickness issue. More work is needed before a larger scale study can be undertaken.
    • Will Future Resource Demand Cause Significant and Unpredictable Dislocations for the UK Ministry of Defence?

      Antill, Peter; Powell-Turner, Julieanna; Cranfield University
      This paper focuses on the drivers which may affect future trends in material availability for defence, in particular, the availability of rare earth elements (REE). These drivers include resource concentration, tighter regulatory policy and its enforcement, export policies, their use in economic statecraft, increases in domestic demand, promoting greater efficiency in resource use, efforts to mitigate resource depletion and more efficient resource extraction while reducing its associated environmental impact. It looks at the effect these factors might have on global systems and supply chains, the impact on material insecurity and how this may exacerbate the issue of their use in UK military equipment. It finds that these drivers are likely to have an increasing impact on material availability (if measures are not taken to mitigate them), which will have consequences for the provision of military capability by the UK.
    • X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Analysis of Biochar

      Smith, Graham C.; University of Chester (CSIRO Publishing, 2017-03-01)
      The chapter describes the application of the XPS technique to the analysis of biochar.
    • The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of surface films formed during the ASTM D-130/ISO 2160 copper corrosion test

      Reid, David G.; Smith, Graham C.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2014-01)
      The surfaces of ISO 2160 copper strips tested in iso-octane with elemental sulfur, aliphatic, cyclic and aromatic thiols, diphenyl sulfide, and diphenyl disulfide individually or in combination were studied using XPS. Aliphatic thiols bonded through the sulfur, whereas elemental sulfur formed a cuprous sulfide layer. Aromatics bonded partially through the sulfur with the rings oriented horizontally due to π orbital interactions, accounting in part for their inhibitory effects in the test. The test rating was not directly related to the sulfur concentration in solution or on the surface, and certain combinations of species resulted in higher levels of sulfur at the surface than found individually.