Online: 29 May 2020 (03:41:50 CEST)
The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a global public health crisis. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 by contact is widely accepted, but the relative importance of aerosol transmission for the spread of COVID-19 is controversial. Here we characterize the distribution of SARA-CoV-2 in 123 aerosol samples, 63 masks, and 30 surface samples collected at various locations in Wuhan, China. The positive percentages of viral RNA included 21% of the aerosol samples from an intensive care unit and 39% of the masks from patients with a range of conditions. A viable virus was isolated from the surgical mask of one critically ill patient while all viral RNA positive aerosol samples were cultured negative. The SARS-CoV-2 detected in masks from patients, ambient air, and respirators from health workers compose a chain of emission, transport, and recipient of the virus. Our results indicate that masks are effective in protecting against the spread of viruses, and it is strongly recommended that people throughout the world wear masks to break the chain of virus transmission and thus protect themselves and others from SARS-CoV-2.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0523.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: airborne; coronavirus; aerosol; transmission; lifetime
Online: 30 April 2020 (09:01:26 CEST)
There is a lot of discussion underway with conflicting opinions examining the airborne nature of the SARS-CoV2 virus. Surprisingly, important phenomena prevalent with respect to aerosols (suspended droplets) have not been considered. In this Technical Note, we propose a methodology for the coupling of aerosol phenomena (such as evaporation, particle transport accounting for drag) to accurately establish the lifetimes of the droplets. A characteristic time analysis illustrates the time scales for evaporation and settling: for example, the characteristic time for evaporation of a 10 µm droplet is 0.036 s at a relative humidity of 25%; compared to a settling time of about 500 s. For any particle smaller than ~ 100 µm, the evaporation of the emitted or exhaled droplet has to be considered. Coupling evaporation of the droplet as it settles, we estimate the horizontal distance traversed. Trajectories of a 10 µm and 100 µm particle emitted with a typical initial velocity of release associated with coughing and sneezing indicates the greater spread in the horizontal direction when evaporation is accounted for. The life time of the 10 µm particle increases from 8.3 min to 12 hours (will be intercepted prior and the actual airborne time will then be shorter); and for a 100 µm particle from 4.9 s to 39.4 s.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0162.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Environmental Pollution; Airborne Carcinogens; Lung Cancer;
Online: 11 February 2022 (12:23:22 CET)
The risk of lung cancer continues to elevate for both smokers and never-smokers. With the increasing morbidities and mortalities related to lung cancer, there is much interest on establishing other confounding factors that lead to lung cancer, other than smoking which is the most common cause. Some of the environmental factors have been identified as potential lung cancer causes. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review is to assess the relationship of environmental factors and lung cancer incidences by investigating various carcinogenic risks exposures that predispose an individual to lung cancer. The objective of this systematic review is thus to assess the evidence of relationship between environmental carcinogens and lung cancer incidence by systematically reviewing relevant studies. A standard criterion for the review methodology was formulated to guide the review process and data extraction. Online databases like PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus (EMBASE), Google Scholar, Web of Science, and CINAHL were systematically searched for articles published between 2000 and 2021 that explored potential environmental carcinogens that were believed to expose occupational workers and individuals within the environment with lung cancer risks. 25 studies were eligible based on the selection criteria, and were finally included in the systematic review among which four were case-control studies, seven were cohorts, five was prospective, four were previous systematic reviews and four were systematic analysis. Chemical exposures like pesticides were analyzed for their carcinogenesis. Air pollution was also discussed with particulate and coal being the core of evidence of association with lung cancer. Second hand smoke, Asbestos, metal compounds like copper, PVC dust particles and ionizing radiations also provided evidence of environmental carcinogenesis associating to lung cancer cases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0086.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: airborne microplastics; urban pollution; microplastic pollution monitoring
Online: 3 August 2022 (11:01:45 CEST)
Airborne microplastic (MP) is an emerging pollutant, still under-characterised and insufficiently understood. Detailed description of MP air pollution is crucial as it has been identified in human lungs and remote locations, highlighting atmosphere as medium of MP dispersion and transportation. The lack of standardization of methods for measuring and further monitoring of the MP pollution is an obstacle towards the assessment of health risks. Since the first recognition of MP presence in the atmosphere of Krakow in 2019, this research was conducted to further characterise and develop the methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis of airborne MP (ATR-FTIR, Pyr-GC-MS, SEM-EDS) and pre-treatment of samples.The data was gathered in seven cycles, from June 2019 to February 2020. Methods used in the study allowed the identification and analysis of the changing ratio of the different types of synthetic polymers identified in the atmospheric fallout (LDPE, Nyl-66, PE, PET, PP, PUR). Observations of interactions between MP particles and environment were made with analyses of surface changes due to the degradation. Mineral phases attached to the MPs’ surfaces, with some of the inorganic contaminants transported on these surfaces, determined to also be of anthropogenic origin.Methodology proposed in this study, allows further characterisation of MP from multiple locations to provide highly comparable data, leading to the identification of the sources of this phenomenon, as well as seasonal changes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0018.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control & Systems Engineering Keywords: airborne wind energy; optimal control; open-source software
Online: 1 December 2022 (08:54:28 CET)
In this paper we present AWEbox, a Python toolbox for modeling and optimal control of multi-aircraft systems for airborne wind energy (AWE). AWEbox provides an implementation of optimization-friendly multi-aircraft AWE dynamics for a wide range of system architectures and modeling options. It automatically formulates typical AWE optimal control problems based on these models, and finds a numerical solution in a reliable and efficient fashion. To obtain a high level of reliability and efficiency, the toolbox implements different homotopy methods for initial guess refinement. The first type of methods produces a feasible initial guess from an analytic initial guess based on user-provided parameters. The second type implements a warmstart procedure for parametric sweeps. We investigate the software performance in two different case studies. In the first case study we solve a single-aircraft reference problem for a large number of different initial guesses. The homotopy methods reduce the expected computation time by a factor of 1.7 and and the peak computation time by a factor of 8, compared to when no homotopy is applied. Overall, the CPU timings are competitive to timings reported in the literature. When the user initialization draws on expert a priori knowledge, homotopies do not increase expected performance, but the peak CPU time is still reduced by a factor of 5.5. In the second case study, a power curve for a dual-aircraft lift-mode AWE system is computed using the two different homotopy types for initial guess refinement. On average, the second homotopy type, which is tailored for parametric sweeps, outperforms the first type in terms of CPU time by a factor of 3. In conclusion, AWEbox provides an open-source implementation of efficient and reliable optimal control methods that both control experts and non-expert AWE developers can benefit from.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0126.v1
Online: 7 May 2020 (13:20:42 CEST)
Evidence for the potential for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-19 continues to accumulate, with important implications for healthcare workers, as well as the general public. Three lines of evidence support this conclusion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0449.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: surface water extent; satellite earth observation; unmanned airborne systems
Online: 28 October 2022 (09:39:43 CEST)
Mapping and prediction of inundated areas is increasingly important for climate change adaptation and emergency preparedness. Flood forecasting tools and flood risk models have to be compared to observed flooding patterns for training, calibration, validation and benchmarking. At regional to continental scale, satellite earth observation is the established method for surface water extent (SWE) mapping and several operational global-scale data products are available. However, the spatial resolution of satellite-derived SWE maps remains a limiting factor, especially in low-lying areas with complex hydrography, such as Denmark. We collected thermal imagery using an unmanned airborne system (UAS) for three areas in Denmark shortly after major flooding events. We combined the thermal imagery with an airborne lidar-derived high-resolution digital surface model of the country to retrieve high-resolution (40 cm) SWE maps. The resulting SWE maps were compared to low-resolution SWE maps derived from satellite earth observation (EO). We conclude that UAS have significant potential for SWE mapping at intermediate scales, can bridge the scale gap between ground observations and satellite EO and can be used to benchmark and validate SWE mapping products derived from satellite EO as well as models predicting inundation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0085.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: coast; erosion; urbanisation; airborne imagery; spaceborne imagery; French Polynesia
Online: 3 November 2021 (14:23:15 CET)
Coastal urbanisation is a widespread phenomenon throughout the world and is often linked to increased erosion. Small Pacific islands are not spared from this issue, which is of great importance in the context of climate change. The French Polynesian island of Bora Bora was used as a case study to investigate the historical evolution of its coastline classification and position from 1955 to 2019. A time series of very-high-resolution aerial imagery was processed to highlight the changes of the island’s coastline. The overall length of natural shores, including beaches, decreased by 46% from 1955 to 2019 while man-made shores such as seawalls increased by 476%, and as of 2019 represented 61% of the coastline. This evolution alters sedimentary processes: the time series of aerial images highlights increased erosion in the vicinity of seawalls and embankments, leading to the incremental need to construct additional walls. In addition, the gradual removal of natural shoreline types modifies landscapes and may negatively impact marine biodiversity. Through documenting coastal changes on Bora Bora through time, this study highlights the impacts of man-made structures on erosional processes and underscores the need for sustainable coastal management plans in French Polynesia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0530.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: airborne LiDAR; forest attributes; multivariate power model; sample size
Online: 22 June 2021 (13:03:33 CEST)
Exploring the effect of the sample size on the estimation accuracy of airborne LiDAR forest attributes in a large-scale area can help in optimizing the technical application scheme of operational ALS-based large-scale forest stand inventories. In our study, sample datasets composed of different sample plots were constructed by repeated sampling from 1003 sample plots in a subtropical study area covering 2376 × 103 km2. Sixteen multiplicative power models were built in each forest type consisting of four forest attributes. Through these models, the variations of standard deviation (SD) and coefficient of variation (CV) of R2 and rRMSE of forest attribute estimation models for different quantity levels of sample plots were also analyzed. The results showed that, first, when the sample size increased from 30 to the top limit, the SD of the forest attributes and LiDAR variables showed a decreasing trend. Second, as the sample size increased, the rRMSE of the 16 forest attribute estimation models gradually decreased, while the R2 gradually increased. Third, when the sample size was small, both the SD of R2 and rRMSE of the models were large, and the SD of R2 and rRMSE gradually decreased as the sample size increased. In 50 models conducted for each attribute at the same sample size, for the mean standard deviations of forest attributes, the ten best performing models were lower than those of the total 50 models, and the worst ten models were the opposite. When the sample size increased, the accuracy of each forest attribute estimation model for each forest type gradually improved. The variation of forest attributes and the LiDAR variable of the construction model are critical factors that affect the model’s accuracy. To efficiently apply airborne LiDAR in order to survey large-scale subtropical forest resources, the sample size of the Chinese fir forest, pine forest, eucalyptus forest, and broad-leaved forest should be 110, 80, 85, and 70, respectively.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0332.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: nucleic acids; airborne microorganisms; far infrared radiation; RNA virus
Online: 23 February 2020 (15:51:12 CET)
Emergence of zoonotic-human pathogens is proven to be a lethal threat to public health, and RNA virus including influenza viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus, Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), plays a pivotal role. As those viruses as airborne microorganisms spread mainly by tiny airborne particles, it is important to de-active those airborne particles before their entry into human bodies. In this study, we investigated the effect of far infrared (FIR) radiation on inhibition of airborne microorganisms. The result confirmed that double stand DNA from airborne microorganisms were stable under mild FIR radiation. However, single strand RNA from them was found to be sensitive to FIR radiation, indicating that RNA virus in airborne particles is instable under FIR radiation. Based on this observation, two models on usage of FIR radiation to prevent RNA virus transmission and cure RNA virus infection were proposed, implying that FIR radiation might be a cheap, convenient, and efficient method in clinic to treat RNA virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0341.v1
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; airborne transmission; environmental virology; bioaerosol; wastewater samples
Online: 16 October 2020 (08:26:10 CEST)
Since the beginning of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, large attention has been focused on the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 diffusion and environment. As a matter of fact, clear evidence of the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via respiratory aerosol would be of primary importance; at the same time, checking the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater can be extremely useful to control the diffusion of the disease. Up to now, many studies report SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in indoor/outdoor air samples or water/wastewater samples that can differ by order of magnitude. Unfortunately, complete information about the scientific approach of many studies is still missing, relating to: samplers and sampling materials performances, recovery tests, measurement uncertainty, robustness, detection and quantification limits, infectivity of captured virus, virus degradation during sampling, influence of sample pre-treatments (included freezing) on results, effects of inhibitors, sample alterations due to manipulation, validation of methods and processes, quality assurance according to ISO/IEC 17025 requirements.Based on the first experiences focused on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental samples such as air quality filters, air-liquid impingers and wastewater samples, the present study describes a coherent preliminary approach to SARS-CoV-2 environmental sampling in order to overcome the evident lack of standardization. Three aspects are highlighted here: the first solution to assure quality and consistency to environmental sampling relies on the development of recovery tests using standard materials and investigating sampling materials, sampling techniques, sampling durations, sample conservation and pre-treatments; secondly, in order to overcome the shortcomings of every single sampling technique, coupling different samplers in parallel sampling could be an efficient strategy to collect more information and make data more reliable, in particular for air samples; finally, with regards to airborne virus sampling, the results could be confirmed by simplified emission and dilution models.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0182.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Airborne aerosols; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); health effects; oxidative potential
Online: 9 July 2020 (11:29:50 CEST)
The mass concentration of particulate matter (PM) has been systematically used in epidemiological studies as exposure indicator, to relate airborne concentrations with a wide variety of human health effects, which can be hardly explained by using this single parameter. In fact, PM is a “particle cocktail” that includes a complex mixture of compounds with a wide range of sizes, chemical compositions and emission sources. Current research hypothesizes that many of the adverse health effects are derived from oxidative stress in biological systems caused by the deposition of PM into the lungs. This emerging hypothesis is called the oxidative stress paradigm. In this commentary article we analize how this new paradigm could help to answer the as-of-yet unanswered questions related to the mechanism of action of PM pollution on human health. Acellular oxidative potential (OP) assays have been emerged as a promising approach to quantify the PM potential to induce oxidative stress and to relate it with the chemical composition and size distribution of PM. Recent researches have shown that the OP is related to the presence of metals, organic carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and quinones. However, the association between PM and particle-induced toxicity is still largely unknown. Therefore, additional research is needed to identify the specific PM characteristic(s), such as its specific size, emission source or chemical content, which contribute the most to its redox activity. Thus, the OP measurements provide information that allows us to evaluate and integrate the toxic potential of PM in a unique parameter, whose relationships with emission sources, size distribution and/or chemical composition should be faced in the near future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0238.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: Multiple object tracking; Airborne video; Tracklet confidence; Hierarchical association framework
Online: 13 July 2018 (14:27:22 CEST)
Multi-object tracking (MOT) in airborne videos is a challenging problem due to the uncertain airborne vehicle motion, vibrations of the mounted camera, unreliable detections, size, appearance and motion of the moving objects as well as occlusions due to the interaction between the moving objects and with other static objects in the scene.To deal with these problems, this work proposes a four-stage Hierarchical Association framework for multiple object Tracking in Airborne video (HATA). The proposed framework combines data association-based tracking (DAT) methods and target tracking using a Compressive Tracking approach, to robustly track objects in complex airborne surveillance scenes. In each association stage, different sets of tracklets and detections are associated to efficiently handle local tracklet generation, local trajectory construction, global drifting tracklet correction and global fragmented tracklet linking. Experiments with challenging airborne video datasets show significant tracking improvement compared to existing state-of-art methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0134.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: airborne laser scanning; geospatial database; data retrieval; road median; attributes
Online: 11 April 2018 (04:27:42 CEST)
Laser scanning systems make use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to acquire accurately georeferenced sets of dense 3D point cloud data. The information acquired using these systems produces better knowledge about the terrain objects which are inherently 3D in nature. The LiDAR data acquired from mobile, airborne or terrestrial platforms provides several benefit over conventional sources of data acquisition in terms of accuracy, resolution and attributes. However, the large volume and scale of LiDAR data have inhibited the development of automated feature extraction algorithms due to the extensive computational cost involved in it. Moreover, the heterogeneously distributed point cloud, which represents objects with varying size, point density, holes and complicated structures pose a great challenge for data processing. Currently, geospatial database systems do not provide a robust solution for efficient storage and accessibility of raw data in a way that data processing could be applied based on optimal spatial extent. In this paper, we present Global LiDAR and Imagery Mobile Processing Spatial Environment (GLIMPSE) system that provides a framework for storage, management and integration of 3D LiDAR data acquired from multiple platforms. The system facilitates an efficient accessibility to the raw dataset, which is hierarchically represented in a geographically meaningful way. We utilise the GLIMPSE system to automatically extract road median from Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) point cloud. In the first part of this paper, we detail an approach to efficiently retrieve the point cloud data from the GLIMPSE system for a particular geographic area based on user requirements. In the second part, we present an algorithm to automatically extract road median from the retrieved LiDAR data. The developed road median extraction algorithm utilises the LiDAR elevation and intensity attributes to distinguish the median from the road surface. We successfully tested our algorithms on two road sections consisting of distinct road median types based on concrete and grass-hedge barriers. The use of GLIMPSE improved the efficiency of the road median extraction in terms of fast accessibility to ALS point cloud data for the required road sections. The developed system and its associated algorithms provide a comprehensive solution to the user's requirement for an efficient storage, integration, retrieval and processing of large volumes of LiDAR point cloud data. These findings and knowledge contribute to a more rapid, cost-effective and comprehensive approach to surveying road networks.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0120.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: airborne wind energy; renewable energy; public response; perception; acceptance; acceptability; opposition
Online: 5 November 2021 (12:21:18 CET)
Airborne wind energy (AWE) systems use tethered flying devices to harvest higher-altitude winds to produce electricity. For a successful deployment of these systems, it is crucial to understand how the public perceives them. If public concerns about the technology are not taken seriously, implementation could be delayed or, in some cases, prevented, resulting in increased costs for project developers and a lower contribution of the sector to renewable energy targets. This literature review assessed the current state of knowledge on public responses to AWE. An exhaustive literature search led to the identification of 40 relevant publications that were reviewed. The literature assumed that the safety, visibility, acoustic emissions, ecological impacts, and the siting of AWE systems shape public responses to the technology. The reviewed literature views people’s responses to AWE very optimistically but lacks scientific evidence to back up its claims. It seems to overlook that the influence of AWE’s characteristics (e.g., visibility) on public responses will also depend on a range of situational and psychological factors (e.g., people’s general attitude towards AWE, the public’s trust in project developers). Therefore, empirical social scientific research is needed to increase the field’s understanding of public responses to AWE and thereby facilitate deployment.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0334.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: scoring opportunity identification; proprioceptive shooting volume; 0 possession shot; airborne; anthropometry
Online: 14 December 2020 (13:12:20 CET)
From a scientific standpoint, both temporal and spatial variables must be examined when developing programs for training various soccer scoring techniques (SSTs), but a review of current literature reveals that existing scientific studies have overlooked this combinatory influence. Consequently, there is no reliable theory on temporal-spatial identification when evaluating scoring opportunities. Quantified by using biomechanical modeling, anthropometry, and SSTs found in FIFA Puskás Award (121 nominated goals between 2009 and 2020), it is found that players’ proprioceptive/effective shooting volume (i.e. players’ attack space) could be sevenfold the currently-practiced shooting volume. The ignorance of some SSTs’ training leads to the underuse of the potential shooting volume. These overlooked SSTs are airborne and/or acrobatic techniques, perceived as high-risk and low-reward. Relying on the talent of an athlete to improvise on the fly can hardly be considered as a viable coaching strategy. Therefore, for developing science-based SST training regimes, groundbreaking studies are needed to: 1) expand the perception of shooting volume, and 2) entrain one-touch-shot techniques (airborne/acrobatic) within this volume, in short, Focusing-on-Time-in-Space. Whence, the new temporal-spatial theory could guide future researches and develop novel training programs. An increase of airborne/acrobatic goals would ultimately further enhance the excitement of the game.
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: airborne wind energy; kite system; system identification; adaptive algorithms; pole placement
Online: 11 January 2020 (14:32:48 CET)
This paper presents a comparison between a kite model with a constant-length tether and a model based on a system identification algorithm. The concept of system identification is applied to predict the uncertainties related to the variation of the wind speed and the shape deformation of the tethered membrane wing during flight. A pole-placement controller is used to ensure that the kite follows the planned flight path. Thus, we can determine the required locations of the closed loop poles, and then enforce them by changing the controller's gains in real-time. The capability of the system identification algorithm to recognize sudden changes in the dynamic model, and the ability of the controller to stabilize the system in the presence of such changes are confirmed. Furthermore, the system identification algorithm is applied to determine the parameters of a kite with variable-length tether used in a flight test of the 20 kW kite power system of TU Delft. Experimental data of this test were compared with the system identification results in real-time and significant changes were observed in the parameters of the dynamic model which heavily affect the resulting response.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0098.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: airborne LiDAR; composite estimators; forest inventory; SPOT-5 HRG; TanDEM-X
Online: 16 October 2017 (04:30:26 CEST)
Today, non-expensive remote sensing (RS) data from different sensors and platforms can be obtained at short intervals and be used for assessing several kinds of forest characteristics at the level of plots, stands and landscapes. Methods such as composite estimation and data assimilation can be used for combining the different sources of information to obtain up-to-date and precise estimates of the characteristics of interest. In composite estimation a standard procedure is to assign weights to the different individual estimates inversely proportional to their variance. However, in case the estimates are correlated, the correlations must be considered in assigning weights or otherwise a composite estimator may be inefficient and its variance be underestimated. In this study we assessed the correlation of plot level estimates of forest characteristics from different RS datasets, between assessments using the same type of sensor as well as across different sensors. The RS data evaluated were SPOT-5 multispectral data, 3D airborne laser scanning data, and TanDEM-X interferometric radar data. Studies were made for plot level mean diameter, mean height, and growing stock volume. All data were acquired from a test site dominated by coniferous forest in southern Sweden. We found that the correlation between plot level estimates based on the same type of RS data were positive and strong, whereas the correlations between estimates using different sources of RS data were not as strong, and weaker for mean height than for mean diameter and volume. The implications of such correlations in composite estimation are demonstrated and it is discussed how correlations may affect results from data assimilation procedures.
REVIEW | doi:10.3390/sci1020043
Subject: Keywords: airborne wind turbines; climate change; EROI; microalgae; photolysis; renewable energy; technology introduction
Online: 7 August 2019 (00:00:00 CEST)
Because of the near-term risk of extreme weather events and other adverse consequences from climate change, and, at least in the longer term, global fossil fuel depletion, there is world-wide interest in shifting to noncarbon energy sources, especially renewable energy (RE). Because of possible limitations on conventional renewable energy sources, researchers have looked for ways of overcoming these shortcomings by introducing radically new energy technologies. The largest RE source today is bioenergy, while solar energy and wind energy are regarded as having the largest technical potential. This paper reviews the literature on proposed new technologies for each of these three RE sources: microalgae for bioenergy, photolysis and airborne wind turbines. The main finding is that their proponents have underestimated the difficulties facing their introduction on a very large scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0041.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: airborne sensor networks; media access control; fairness; neighbor-channel-aware; back-off
Online: 7 March 2017 (18:06:38 CET)
In airborne sensor networks (ASNs), the media access control (MAC) protocol is facing with serious unfairness problem due to the traditional protection mechanism of air-to-air communications among aircrafts. Actually by using the binary exponential back-off algorithm at high traffic loads to minimize collisions among users, the latest successful node can always benefit from this kind of MAC to obtain channel resources. Moreover, when taking the existence of the hidden nodes in ASNs into account, the inaccurate traffic load information will further aggravate the system’s unfairness. In this paper, a neighbor-channel-aware (NCA) protocol is proposed to improve the fairness of MAC protocol in ASNs. In the proposal, the NCA frame is firstly added and exchanged between neighbor nodes periodically, which helps to resolve the inaccurate traffic load information, so as to avoid reducing the probability of successful message transmission. Then a traffic-loading based back-off algorithm is involved to make the neighbor nodes cooperatively adjust the inter-frame space (IFS) interval to further reduce the unfairness. The simulation results show that, the proposed MAC protocol can guarantee the satisfied fairness, simultaneously avoiding heavy network overloads to protect key messages’ successful transmissions in ASNs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0056.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: Airborne wind energy; crosswind kite; induction factor; wake model; aerodynamic performance; CFD; analytical model
Online: 3 March 2022 (07:50:24 CET)
This paper presents some results from a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a multi-megawatt crosswind kite spinning on a circular path in a straight downwind configuration. The unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations closed by the k−ω SST turbulence model are solved in the three-dimensional space using ANSYS Fluent. The flow behaviour is examined at the rotation plane, and the overall (or global) induction factor is obtained by getting the weighted average of induction factors on multiple annuli over the swept area. The wake flow behaviour is also discussed in some details using velocity and pressure contour plots. In addition to the CFD model, an analytical model for calculating the average flow velocity and radii of the annular wake downstream of the kite is developed. The model is formulated based on the widely-used Jensen’s model (Technical Report Risø-M; No. 2411, 1983), which was developed for conventional wind turbines, and thus has a simple form. Expressions for the dimensionless wake flow velocity and wake radii are obtained by assuming self-similarity of flow velocity and linear wake expansion. Comparisons are made between numerical results from the analytical model and those from the CFD simulation. The level of agreement was found to be reasonably good. Such computational and analytical models are indispensable for kite farm layout design and optimization, where aerodynamic interactions between kites should be considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0133.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: airborne wind energy; leading-edge inflatable wing; RANS; side-slip flow; struts; aerodynamic performance
Online: 8 November 2021 (12:14:40 CET)
Steady-state Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations are performed for a leading-edge inflatable wing for airborne wind energy applications. Expanding on previous work where only the inflatable leading edge tube was considered, eight additional inflatable strut tubes that support the wing canopy are now included. The shape of the wing is considered to be constant. The influence of the strut tubes on the aerodynamic performance of the wing and the local flow field is assessed, considering flow configurations with and without side-slip. The simulations show that the aerodynamic performance of the wing decreases with increasing side-slip component of the inflow. On the other hand, the chordwise struts have little influence on the integral lift and drag of the wing, irrespective of the side-slip component. The overall flow characteristics are in good agreement with previous studies. In particular, it is confirmed that at a low Reynolds number of Re=10^5, a laminar separation bubble exists on the suction side of this hypothetical rigid wing shape with perfectly smooth surface. The destruction of this bubble at low angles of attack impacts negatively on the aerodynamic performance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0015.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: airborne radar; radar clutter; radar signal processing; stochastic systems; time-varying systems; maximum entropy
Online: 2 September 2019 (02:54:19 CEST)
Bello's stochastic linear time-varying system theory has been widely used in the wireless communications literature to characterize multipath fading channel statistics. In the context of radar backscatter, this formulation allows for statistical characterization of distributed radar targets in range and Doppler using wide-sense stationary uncorrelated scattering (WSSUS) models. WSSUS models separate the channel from the effect of the waveform and receive filter, making it an ideal formulation for waveform design problems. Of particular interest in the radar waveform design community is the ability to suppress unwanted backscatter from the earth's surface, known as clutter. Various methods for estimating WSSUS system functions have been studied in the literature, but to date, no analytic expressions for radar surface clutter range-Doppler scattering functions exist. In this work we derive a wideband generalization of the Jakes Doppler spectrum model, which is widely used in the wireless communications literature, adapt it for use in radar problems, and show how the maximum entropy method can be used to extend this model to account for internal clutter motion. Validation of the spectral and stationarity properties of the proposed model against a subset of the Australian Ingara sea clutter database is performed, and good agreement is shown.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0264.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: airborne gamma-ray spectroscopy; non-linear machine learning; potassium; clay; thorium; sand; soil texture; paleo-hydrography
Online: 15 August 2022 (12:01:44 CEST)
Soil texture is key information in agriculture for improving soil knowledge and crop performance, so the accurate mapping of this crucial feature is imperative for rationally planning cultivations and for targeting interventions. We studied the relationship between radioelements and soil texture in the Mezzano Lowland (Italy), a 189 km2 agricultural plain investigated through a dedicated airborne gamma-ray spectroscopy survey. The K and Th abundances were used to retrieve the clay and sand content by means of a multi-approach method. Linear (simple and multiple) and non-linear (machine learning algorithms with deep neural networks) predictive models were trained and tested adopting a 1:50,000 scale soil texture map. The comparison of these approaches highlighted that the non-linear model introduces significant improvements in the prediction of soil texture fractions. The predicted maps of the clay and of the sand content were compared with the regional soil maps. Although the macro-structures were equally present, the airborne gamma-ray data permits us shedding light on finer features. Map areas with higher clay content were coincident with paleo-channels crossing the Mezzano Lowland in Etruscan and Roman periods, confirmed by the hydrographic setting of historical maps and by the geo-morphological features of the study area.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0194.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID19; Airborne transmission; Droplet transmission; Aerosol transmission; SARS-CoV-2; Heat Inactivation; Infection Prevention; Ventilation system
Online: 9 July 2020 (12:32:42 CEST)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has been confirmed in over 10,000,000 individuals worldwide and has resulted in more than 500,000 deaths in a few months since it first surfaced. With such a rapid spread it is no surprise that there has been a massive effort around the world to collectively elucidate the mechanism by which the virus is transmitted. Despite this, there is still no definitive consensus regarding droplet versus airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Public health officials around the world have introduced guidelines within the scope of droplet transmission. However, increasing evidence and comparative analysis with similar coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-1) and middle eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS), suggest that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 cannot be effectively ruled out. As the data supporting COVID-19 airborne transmission grows, there needs to be an increased effort in terms of technical and policy measures to mitigate the spread of viral aerosols. These measures can be in the form of broader social distancing and facial covering guidelines, exploration of thermal inactivation in clinical settings, low-dose UV-C light implementation, and greater attention to ventilation and airflow control systems. This review summarizes the current evidence available about airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, available literature about airborne transmission of similar viruses, and finally the methods that are already available or can be easily adapted to deal with a virus capable of airborne transmission.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0253.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: airborne pathogens; animal production; infectious animal disease; livestock health; mass balance; swine diseases; viral aerosol; virus isolation
Online: 10 February 2021 (11:41:43 CET)
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infections cause significant economic losses to swine producers every year. Aerosols containing infectious PRRSV are an important route of transmission, and proper treatment of air could mitigate the airborne spread of the virus within and between barns. Previous bioaerosol studies focused on the microbiology of PRRSV aerosols; thus, the current study addressed the engineering aspects of virus aerosolization and collection. Specific objectives were to (1) build and test a virus aerosolization system, (2) achieve a uniform and repeatable aerosol generation and collection throughout all replicates, (3) identify and minimize sources of variation, (4) verify that the collection system (impingers) performed similarly. The system for virus aerosolization was built and tested (Obj. 1). The uniform airflow distribution was confirmed using a physical tracer (<12% relative standard deviation) for all treatments and sound engineering control of flow rates (Obj. 2). Theoretical uncertainty analyses and mass balance calculations showed <3% loss of air mass flow rate between the inlet and outlet (Obj. 3). A comparison of TCID50 values among impinger fluids showed no statistical difference between any two of the three trials (p-value = 0.148, 0.357, 0.846) (Obj. 4). These results showed that the readiness of the system for research on virus aerosolization and treatment (e.g., by ultraviolet light), as well as its potential use for research on other types of airborne pathogens and their mitigation on a laboratory scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0158.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Airborne wind energy; Direct interconnection technique; Load sharing control; Active power; Reactive power exchange; Non-reversing pumping mode
Online: 7 November 2018 (09:56:23 CET)
In this paper, an offshore airborne wind energy (AWE) farm consisting of three non-reversing pumping mode AWE systems is modelled and simulated. The AWE systems employ permanent magnet synchronous generators (PMSG). A direct interconnection technique is developed and implemented for AWE systems. This method is a new approach invented for interconnecting offshore wind turbines with the least number of required offshore-based power electronic converters. The direct interconnection technique can be beneficial in improving the economy and reliability of marine airborne wind energy systems. The performance and interactions of the directly interconnected generators inside the energy farm internal power grid are investigated. The results of the study conducted in this paper, show the directly interconnected AWE systems can exhibit a poor load balance and significant reactive power exchange which must be addressed. Power control strategies for controlling the active and reactive power of the AWE farm are designed, implemented, and promising results are discussed in this paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0035.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: Airborne wind energy, crosswind kite, induction factor, actuator disc, lift mode, drag mode, pumping kite, on-board generation
Online: 5 February 2018 (13:50:33 CET)
This paper generalizes the actuator disc theory to the application of crosswind kite power systems. For simplicity, it is assumed that the kite sweeps an annulus in the air, perpendicular to the wind direction (i.e. straight downwind configuration with tether parallel to the wind). It is further assumed that the wind flow has a uniform distribution. Expressions for power harvested by the kite is obtained, where the effect of the kite on slowing down the wind (i.e. the induction factor) is taken into account. It is shown that although the induction factor may be small for a crosswind kite (of the order of a few percentage points), neglecting it in calculations may result in noticeable overestimation of the amount of power harvestable by a crosswind kite system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0275.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: forest biomass; aboveground biomass; airborne lidar; monitoring; regional forest inventory; variable selection; Bayesian model averaging; multiple linear regression
Online: 30 January 2018 (04:05:36 CET)
Historical forest management practices in the southwestern US have left forests prone to high intensity, stand-replacement fires. Effective management to reduce the cost and impact of forest-fire management and allow fires to burn freely without negative impact depends on detailed knowledge of stand composition, in particular, above-ground biomass (AGB). Lidar-based modeling techniques provide opportunities to reduce costs and increase ability of managers to monitor AGB and other forest metrics. Using Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA), we develop a regionally applicable lidar-based statistical model for Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forest systems of the southwestern USA, using previously collected field data. The selected regional model includes a mid and low canopy height metric, a canopy cover, and height distribution term. It explains 72% of the variability in field estimates of AGB, and the RMSE of the two independent validation data sets are 23.25 and 32.82 Mg/ha. The regional model developed is structured in accordance with previously described models fit to local data, and performs equivalently to models designed for smaller scale application. Developing regional models for broad scale application provides a cost-effective, robust approach for managers to monitor and plan adaptively at the landscape scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0552.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Nanoparticles; metallic compounds; airborne particulate; occupational environment; in vitro exposure; alternative testing strategies; EpiAirway™; 3D tissue models; respiratory epithelial tissues
Online: 22 December 2020 (10:40:26 CET)
Inhalation is the main route of exposure to airborne pollutants. To evaluate the safety and assess the risks of occupational hazards different testing approaches are used. 3D airway epithelial tissues allow to mimic exposure conditions in vitro, generates human-relevant toxicology data, allows to elucidate mode of action of pollutants. Gilian 3500 pumps equipped with Standard Midget Impingers were used to collect the airborne particulate from woodworking and metalworking environments. EpiAirway™ tissues were used to model half working day (4 h), full working day (8 h), and 3 working day exposures to occupational pollutants. Tissue viability was assessed using MTT assay. RT-qPCR analyses performed to analyze the expression of gelsolin, caspase-3, and IL-6. Tissue morphology was assessed by hematoxylin/eosin staining. Acute exposure to workspace pollutants slightly affected tissue viability and did not change the morphology. Both types of particles suppressed expression of gelsolin, with metalworking samples showing the most pronounced effect. A slight reduction in caspase-3 expression was observed. Particles from metalworking suppressed IL-6 expression. 3D Epithelial tissues can be used to model exposures to airborne pollutants. Exposure to particles from woodworking and metalworking had a minor effect on tissue viability but affected the expression of inflammation and apoptosis-related genes.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0133.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: ACE2, airborne; coronavirus; COV-2; COVID-19; food chain; intestinal infection; Kepler conjecture; rebound epidemic; packaging; particle size; SARS; surgical masks.
Online: 13 April 2020 (10:12:52 CEST)
Since there is not a clear consensus about the possibility for COVID-19 to be an airborne disease, exists a controversy regarding the need to use surgical masks to prevent its spread. Here, using the Kepler conjecture for ideal packaging, the number of virions of different sizes that can be accommodated inside droplets was calculated and are proportional to the 3rd potency of the droplet/virion diameter. The differences between particles of 5 um and 100 μm are around four orders of magnitude, explaining why the airborne spread is much more difficult but still possible. There is no solid evidence yet that the airborne coronaviruses may reach enough concentration to infect, but this may be the case under certain circumstances. The WHO partially recognizes now this fact in a warning to health workers (from my point of view too late, as it was the declaration of a pandemic). Another issue is whether the virus stays infective in aerosols generated from patients. This has not been directly proved yet except with artificial aerosols, but there are no reasons why the virus cannot remain in the air and be infective if the viral charge and time of exposure are enough. We must also consider whether the virus can infect the intestine; there are some signs in this sense. Finally, and most importantly, we need to reduce interactions by using surgical masks to flatten the curve, leave the quarantine and avoid a rebound. For cultural reasons, a social distance of 2 meters (2M) is extremely hard to manage. Surgical masks do reduce the interactions in conditions of proximity and, therefore, help to “flatten the curve”. The WHO and CDC “laissez-faire” on this matter do not help and we are running out of time. Anticipated actions, such as the use of surgical masks for the general population, are critical.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0122.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: ICESat-2; Laser Altimetry; Kinematic GPS Experiments; Glaciology; Surge Glaciers; Svalbard; Density Dimension Algorithm for Ice Surfaces; Airborne Validation of Satellite Data
Online: 13 October 2021 (10:45:21 CEST)
The topic of this paper is the airborne evaluation of ICESat-2 Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measurement capabilities and surface-height-determination over crevassed glacial terrain, with a focus on the geodetical accuracy of geophysical data collected from a helicopter. To obtain surface heights over crevassed and otherwise complex ice surface, ICESat-2 data are analyzed using the density-dimension algorithm for ice surfaces (DDA-ice), which yields surface heights at the nominal 0.7~m along-track spacing of ATLAS data. As the result of an ongoing surge, Negribreen, Svalbard, provided an ideal situation for the validation objectives in 2018 and 2019, because many different crevasse types and morphologically complex ice surfaces existed in close proximity. Airborne geophysical data, including laser altimeter data (profilometer data at 905~nm frequency), differential Global Positioning System (GPS), Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) data, on-board-time-lapse imagery and photographs, were collected during two campaigns in summers of 2018 and 2019. Airborne experiment setup, geodetical correction and data processing steps are described here. To date, there is relatively little knowledge of the geodetical accuracy that can be obtained from kinematic data collection from a helicopter. Our study finds that (1)~Kinematic GPS data collection with correction in post-processing yields higher accuracies than Real-Time-Kinematic (RTK) data collection. (2)~Processing of only the rover data using the Natural Resources Canada Spatial Reference System Precise Point Positioning (CSRS-PPP) software is sufficiently accurate for the sub-satellite validation purpose. (3)~Distances between ICESat-2 ground tracks and airborne ground tracks were generally better than 25~m, while distance between predicted and actual ICESat-2 ground track was on the order of 9~m, which allows direct comparison of ice-surface heights and spatial statistical characteristics of crevasses from the satellite and airborne measurements. (4)~The Lasertech Universal Laser System (ULS), operated at up to 300~m above ground level, yields full return frequency (400~Hz) and 0.06-0.08~m on-ice along-track spacing of height measurements. (5)~Cross-over differences of airborne laser altimeter data are 0.1918 $\pm$ 2.385~m along straight paths over generally crevassed terrain, which implies a precision of approximately 2.4~m for ICESat-2 validation experiments. (6)~In summary, the comparatively light-weight experiment setup of a suite of small survey equipment mounted on a Eurocopter (Helicopter AS-350) and kinematic GPS data analyzed in post-processing using CSRS-PPP leads to high accuracy repeats of the ICESat-2 tracks. The technical results (1)-(6) indicate that direct comparison of ice-surface heights and crevasse depths from the ICESat-2 and airborne laser altimeter data is warranted. The final result of the validation is that ICESat-2 ATLAS data, analyzed with the DDA-ice, facilitate surface-height determination over crevassed terrain, in good agreement with airborne data, including spatial characteristics, such as surface roughness, crevasse spacing and depth, which are key informants on the deformation and dynamics of a glacier during surge.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0234.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; virions mass balance; spatial modelling of toxics concentrations; human exposure to airborne substances; Substance Flow Analysis (SFA); environmental routes of toxic viruses; primary production of SARS-2 virions
Online: 17 May 2022 (14:19:43 CEST)
Measures in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic were based on rough ideas regarding transmission routes of pathogens. Quantified models of physical transmission routes are mostly lacking, a gap to be filled. Vaccines and medicines, important, are not studied here. We first survey main routes, from primary production in the alveoli and intestines to emissions, environmental routes, to exposure and alveolar infection. Next, specific routes are modelled, mostly at a preliminary state, open to systematic improvement. Starting from a standardized emitter, modelling results show extreme differences in potential exposure, in a range covering up to 4 orders of magnitude. The outcomes are pathogen-specific, already different between SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. Extreme exposures may result in smaller spaces; with lower ventilation rates; with a high density of emitting persons per m3; who stay there for several hours; and visitors staying more than a few minutes. In spaces where a build-up of concentrations is low, exposures are low, lowest in open air situations. A main conclusion for the next pandemic is that a quantified model can give strong guidance on where measures are primarily due. For SARS-CoV-2, ventilation can be improved short-term. Longer-term, effective ventilation rules and adaptation of buildings may reduce high exposures substantially.