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See detailSmart cloud collocation: a unified workflow from CAD to enhanced solutions
Jacquemin, Thibault Augustin Marie UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

Computer Aided Design (CAD) software packages are used in the industry to design mechanical systems. Then, calculations are often performed using simulation software packages to improve the quality of the ... [more ▼]

Computer Aided Design (CAD) software packages are used in the industry to design mechanical systems. Then, calculations are often performed using simulation software packages to improve the quality of the design. To speed up the development costs, companies and research centers have been trying to ease the integration of the computation phase in the design phase. The collocation methods have the potential of easing such integration thanks to their meshless nature. The geometry discretization step which is a key element of all computational method is simplified compared to mesh-based methods such as the finite element method. We propose in this thesis a unified workflow that allows the solution of engineering problems defined by partial differential equations (PDEs) directly from input CAD files. The scheme is based on point collocation methods and proposed techniques to enhance the solution. We introduce the idea of “smart clouds”. Smart clouds refer to point cloud discretizations that are aware of the exact CAD geometry, appropriate to solve a defined problem using a point collocation method and that contain information used to improve locally the solution. We introduce a unified node selection algorithm based on a generalization of the visibility criterion. The proposed algorithm leads to a significant reduction of the error for concave problems and does not have any drawback for convex problems. The point collocation methods rely on many parameters. We select in this thesis parameters for the Generalized Finite Difference (GFD) method and the Discretization-Corrected Particle Strength Exchange (DC PSE) method that we deem appropriate for most problems from the field of linear elasticity. We also show that solution improvement techniques, based on the use of Voronoi diagrams or on a stabilization of the PDE, do not lead to a reduction of the error for all of the considered benchmark problems. These methods shall therefore be used with care. We propose two types of a posteriori error indicators that both succeed in identifying the areas of the domain where the error is the greatest: a ZZ-type and a residual-type error indicator. We couple these indicators to a h-adaptive refinement scheme and show that the approach is effective. Finally, we show the performance of Algebraic Multigrid (AMG) preconditions on the solution of linear systems compared to other preconditioning/solution methods. This family of preconditioners necessitates the selection of a large number of parameters. We assess the impact of some of them on the solution time for a 3D problem from the field of linear elasticity. Despite the performance of AMG preconditions, ILU preconditioners may be preferred thanks to their ease of usage and robustness to lead to a convergence of the solution. [less ▲]

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See detailOptical measurement under space conditions
Bremer, Mats UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

The growing interest in space by governmental and private institutions has increased significantly in recent years. The issue of quality control plays an extremely important role in space travel, as ... [more ▼]

The growing interest in space by governmental and private institutions has increased significantly in recent years. The issue of quality control plays an extremely important role in space travel, as possible defects can cause enormous damage. The present work deals with a possible method to improve already existing quality control procedures for space flight. With the help of a 3D scanner, different components are measured and evaluated under space conditions. In particular, the linear thermal expansions are analyzed. The work has shown that the elaborated procedure works for metallic materials. For composites or joints between different materials, positive approaches were shown, which, however, could not be validated within the scope of this work. Components made of pure carbon fiber material cannot be evaluated with the technical equipment used. [less ▲]

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See detailA posteriori error estimation for finite element approximations of fractional Laplacian problems and applications to poro–elasticity
Bulle, Raphaël UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

This manuscript is concerned with a posteriori error estimation for the finite element discretization of standard and fractional partial differential equations as well as an application of fractional ... [more ▼]

This manuscript is concerned with a posteriori error estimation for the finite element discretization of standard and fractional partial differential equations as well as an application of fractional calculus to the modeling of the human meniscus by poro-elasticity equations. In the introduction, we give an overview of the literature of a posteriori error estimation in finite element methods and of adaptive refine- ment methods. We emphasize the state–of–the–art of the Bank–Weiser a posteriori error estimation method and of the adaptive refinement methods convergence results. Then, we move to fractional partial differential equations. We give some of the most common discretization methods of fractional Laplacian operator based equations. We review some results of a priori error estimation for the finite element discretization of these equations and give the state–of–the–art of a posteriori error estimation. Finally, we review the literature on the use of the Caputo’s fractional derivative in applications, focusing on anomalous diffusion and poro-elasticity applications. The rest of the manuscript is organized as follow. Chapter 1 is concerned with a proof of the reliability of the Bank–Weiser estimator for three–dimensional problems, extending a result from the literature. In Chapter 2 we present a numerical study of the Bank–Weiser estimator, provide a novel implementation of the estimator in the FEniCS finite element software and apply it to a variety of elliptic equations as well as goal-oriented error estimation. In Chapter 3 we derive a novel a posteriori estimator for the L2 error induced by the finite element discretization of fractional Laplacian operator based equations. In Chapter 4 we present new theoretical results on the convergence of a rational approximation method with consequences on the approximation of fractional norms as well as a priori error estimation results for the finite element discretization of fractional equations. Finally, in Chapter 5 we provide an application of fractional calculus to the study of the human meniscus via poro-elasticity equations. [less ▲]

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See detailComplex Networks in Manufacturing - Suitability and Interpretation
Omar, Yamila UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

The fourth industrial revolution, and the associated digitization of the manufacturing industry, has resulted in increased data generation. Industry leaders aim to leverage this data to enhance ... [more ▼]

The fourth industrial revolution, and the associated digitization of the manufacturing industry, has resulted in increased data generation. Industry leaders aim to leverage this data to enhance productivity, boost innovation and generate new manners of competition. In this work, out of the many domains within the manufacturing sector, production will be explored. To this end, the mathematical tools of network science are utilized to characterize and evaluate production networks in terms of complex networks. In a manufacturing complex network, nodes represent workstations, and directed edges abstract the material flow that occurs among pairs of workstations. These types of complex networks are known as "material flow networks" and are used to study issues associated with manufacturing systems in the domain of production at the intra-enterprise level. While some research on the subject exists, this work will demonstrate that the use of complex networks to describe and evaluate manufacturing systems constitutes a nascent research field. In fact, the limited existing literature tackles a vast number of issues raising more questions than providing answers. This work aims to answer a number of those open questions. Firstly, which complex network metrics are suitable in the context of manufacturing networks will be determined. As a consequence, unsuitable metrics will be identified as well. To accomplish this, the flow underlying assumptions of popular complex network metrics is studied and compared to those of manufacturing networks. Furthermore, other existing complex network metrics with more appropriate underlying assumptions, but not yet explored in the context of manufacturing, are proposed and evaluated. Then, the appropriate interpretation of suitable complex network metrics in terms of Operations Research is provided. Finally, shortcomings of these metrics are highlighted to caution practitioners regarding their use in industrial settings. [less ▲]

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See detailRobust Real-time Sense-and-Avoid Solutions for Remotely Piloted Quadrotor UAVs in Complex Environments
Wang, Min UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

UAV teleoperation is a demanding task: to successfully accomplish the mission without collision requires skills and experience. In real-life environments, current commercial UAVs are to a large extent ... [more ▼]

UAV teleoperation is a demanding task: to successfully accomplish the mission without collision requires skills and experience. In real-life environments, current commercial UAVs are to a large extent remotely piloted by amateur human pilots. Due to lack of teleoperation experience or skills, they often drive UAVs into collision. Therefore, in order to ensure safety of the UAV as well as its surroundings, it is necessary for the UAV to boast the capability of detecting emergency situation and acting on its own when facing imminent threat. However, the majority of UAVs currently available in the market are not equipped with such capability. To fill in the gap, in this work we present 2D LIDAR based Sense-and-Avoid solutions which are able to actively assist unskilled human operator in obstacle avoidance, so that the operator can focus on high-level decisions and global objectives in UAV applications such as search and rescue, farming etc. Specifically, with our novel 2D LIDAR based obstacle detection and tracking algorithm, perception-assistive flight control design, progressive emergency evaluation policies and optimization based and adaptive virtual cushion force field (AVCFF) based avoidance strategies, our proposed UAV teleoperation assistance systems are capable of obstacle detection and tracking, as well as automatic obstacle avoidance in complex environment where both static and dynamic objects are present. Additionally, while the optimization based solution is validated in Matlab, the AVCFF based avoidance system has been fully integrated with sensing system, perception-assistive flight controller on the basis of the Hector Quadrotor open source framework, and the effectiveness of the complete Sense-and-Avoid solution has been demonstrated and validated on a realistic simulated UAV platform in Gazebo simulations, where the UAV is operated at a high speed. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamical Modeling Techniques for Biological Time Series Data
Mombaerts, Laurent UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

The present thesis is articulated over two main topics which have in common the modeling of the dynamical properties of complex biological systems from large-scale time-series data. On one hand, this ... [more ▼]

The present thesis is articulated over two main topics which have in common the modeling of the dynamical properties of complex biological systems from large-scale time-series data. On one hand, this thesis analyzes the inverse problem of reconstructing Gene Regulatory Networks (GRN) from gene expression data. This first topic seeks to reverse-engineer the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms involved in few biological systems of interest, vital to understand the specificities of their different responses. In the light of recent mathematical developments, a novel, flexible and interpretable modeling strategy is proposed to reconstruct the dynamical dependencies between genes from short-time series data. In addition, experimental trade-offs and optimal modeling strategies are investigated for given data availability. Consistent literature on these topics was previously surprisingly lacking. The proposed methodology is applied to the study of circadian rhythms, which consists in complex GRN driving most of daily biological activity across many species. On the other hand, this manuscript covers the characterization of dynamically differentiable brain states in Zebrafish in the context of epilepsy and epileptogenesis. Zebrafish larvae represent a valuable animal model for the study of epilepsy due to both their genetic and dynamical resemblance with humans. The fundamental premise of this research is the early apparition of subtle functional changes preceding the clinical symptoms of seizures. More generally, this idea, based on bifurcation theory, can be described by a progressive loss of resilience of the brain and ultimately, its transition from a healthy state to another characterizing the disease. First, the morphological signatures of seizures generated by distinct pathological mechanisms are investigated. For this purpose, a range of mathematical biomarkers that characterizes relevant dynamical aspects of the neurophysiological signals are considered. Such mathematical markers are later used to address the subtle manifestations of early epileptogenic activity. Finally, the feasibility of a probabilistic prediction model that indicates the susceptibility of seizure emergence over time is investigated. The existence of alternative stable system states and their sudden and dramatic changes have notably been observed in a wide range of complex systems such as in ecosystems, climate or financial markets. [less ▲]

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See detailRobotic Trajectory Tracking: Position- and Force-Control
Klecker, Sophie UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

This thesis employs a bottom-up approach to develop robust and adaptive learning algorithms for trajectory tracking: position and torque control. In a first phase, the focus is put on the following of a ... [more ▼]

This thesis employs a bottom-up approach to develop robust and adaptive learning algorithms for trajectory tracking: position and torque control. In a first phase, the focus is put on the following of a freeform surface in a discontinuous manner. Next to resulting switching constraints, disturbances and uncertainties, the case of unknown robot models is addressed. In a second phase, once contact has been established between surface and end effector and the freeform path is followed, a desired force is applied. In order to react to changing circumstances, the manipulator needs to show the features of an intelligent agent, i.e. it needs to learn and adapt its behaviour based on a combination of a constant interaction with its environment and preprogramed goals or preferences. The robotic manipulator mimics the human behaviour based on bio-inspired algorithms. In this way it is taken advantage of the know-how and experience of human operators as their knowledge is translated in robot skills. A selection of promising concepts is explored, developed and combined to extend the application areas of robotic manipulators from monotonous, basic tasks in stiff environments to complex constrained processes. Conventional concepts (Sliding Mode Control, PID) are combined with bio-inspired learning (BELBIC, reinforcement based learning) for robust and adaptive control. Independence of robot parameters is guaranteed through approximated robot functions using a Neural Network with online update laws and model-free algorithms. The performance of the concepts is evaluated through simulations and experiments. In complex freeform trajectory tracking applications, excellent absolute mean position errors (<0.3 rad) are achieved. Position and torque control are combined in a parallel concept with minimized absolute mean torque errors (<0.1 Nm). [less ▲]

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See detailExtracting the spatio-temporal variations in the gravity field recovered from GRACE spatial mission: methods and geophysical applications
Prevost, Paoline Fleur UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

Measurements of the spatio-temporal variations of Earth’s gravity field recovered from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission have led to unprecedented insights into large spatial ... [more ▼]

Measurements of the spatio-temporal variations of Earth’s gravity field recovered from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission have led to unprecedented insights into large spatial mass redistribution at secular, seasonal, and sub-seasonal time scales. GRACE solutions from various processing centers, while adopting different processing strategies, result in rather coherent estimates. However, these solutions also exhibit random as well as systematic errors, with specific spatial and temporal patterns in the latter. In order to dampen the noise and enhance the geophysical signals in the GRACE data, several methods have been proposed. Among these, methods based on filtering techniques require a priori assumptions regarding the spatio-temporal structure of the errors. Despite the large effort to improve the quality of GRACE data for always finer geophysical applications, removing noise remains a problematic question as discussed in Chapter 1. In this thesis, we explore an alternative approach, using a spatio-temporal filter, namely the Multichannel Singular Spectrum Analysis (M-SSA) described in Chapter 2. M-SSA is a data-adaptive, multivariate, and non-parametric method that simultaneously exploits the spatial and temporal correlations of geophysical fields to extract common modes of variability. We perform an M-SSA simultaneously on 13 years of GRACE spherical harmonics solutions from five different processing centers. We show that the method allows for the extraction of common modes of variability between solutions, and removal of the solution-specific spatio-temporal errors arising from each processing strategies. In particular, the method filters out efficiently the spurious North-South stripes, most likely caused by aliasing of the imperfect geophysical correction models of known phenomena. In Chapter 3, we compare our GRACE solution to other spherical harmonics solutions and to mass concentration (mascon) solutions which use a priori information on the spatio-temporal pattern of geophysical signals. We also compare performance of our M-SSA GRACE solution with respect to others by predicting surface displacements induced by GRACE-derived mass loading and comparing results with independent displacement data from stations of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Finally, in Chapter 4 we discuss the possible application of a refined GRACE solution to answer debated post-glacial rebound questions. More precisely, we focus on separating the post-glacial rebound signal related to past ice melting and the present ice melting in the region of South Georgia. [less ▲]

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See detailAutomated optimisation of stem cell-derived neuronal cell culture in three dimensional microfluidic device
Kane, Khalid UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

This dissertation is a compilation of publications and manuscripts that aim 1) to integrate an automated platform optimised for long term in vitro cell culture maintenance for Parkinson’s disease, long ... [more ▼]

This dissertation is a compilation of publications and manuscripts that aim 1) to integrate an automated platform optimised for long term in vitro cell culture maintenance for Parkinson’s disease, long term live cell imaging and the handling of many cell lines, 2) to combine physics principles with imaging techniques to optimise the seeding of Matrigel embedded human neuroepithelial stem cells into a three-dimensional microfluidic device, and 3) to combine engineering principles with cell biology to optimise the design of a three-dimensional microfluidic system based on phaseguide technology. In the first publication manuscript, we investigated Matrigel as a surrogate extracellular matrix in three-dimensional cell culture systems, including microfluidic cell culture. The study aimed at understanding and characterising the properties of Matrigel. Using classical rheological measurements of Matrigel (viscosity versus shear rate) in combination with fluorescence microscopy and fluorescent beads for particle image velocimetry measurements (velocity profiles), the shear rates experienced by cells in a microfluidic device for three-dimensional cell culture was characterised. We discussed how the result of which helped to mechanically optimise the use of Matrigel in microfluidic systems to minimise the shear stress experienced by cells during seeding in a microchannel. The second manuscript proposes a methodology to passively control the flow of media in a three-dimensional microfluidic channel. We used the fluid dynamic concept of similitude to dynamically replicate cerebral blood flow in a rectangular cross-sectional microchannel. This similarity model of a target cell type and a simple fluid flow mathematical prediction model was used to iterate the most optimum dimensions within some manufacturing constraints to adapt the design of the OrganoPlate, a cell culture plate fully compatible with laboratory automation, which allowed its re-dimension to achieve over 24h of flow for the culture of human neuroepithelial stem cells into midbrain specific dopaminergic neurons. In the third publication manuscript, we propose an automated cell culture platform optimised for long-term maintenance and monitoring of different cells in three-dimensional microfluidic cell culture devices. The system uses Standard in Laboratory Automation or SiLA, an open source standardisation which allows rapid software integration of laboratory automation hardware. The automation platform can be flexibly adapted to various experimental protocols and features time-lapse imaging microscopy for quality control and electrophysiology monitoring to assess cellular activity. It was biologically validated by differentiating Parkinson’s disease patient derived human neuroepithelial stem cells into midbrain specific dopaminergic neurons. This system is the first example of an automated Organ-on-a-Chip culture and has the potential to enable a versatile array of in vitro experiments for patient-specific disease modelling. Finally, the fourth manuscript initiates the assessment of the neuronal activity of induced pluripotent stem cell derived neurons from Parkinson’s Disease patients with LRRK2-G2019S mutations and isogenic controls. A novel image analysis pipeline that combined semi-automated neuronal segmentation and quantification of calcium transient properties was developed and used to analyse neuronal firing activity. It was found that LRRK2-G2019S mutants have shortened inter-spike intervals and an increased rate of spontaneous calcium transient induction than control cell lines. [less ▲]

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See detailNonlinear Observation and Control of a Lightweight Robotic Manipulator Actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Wires
Quintanar Guzman, Serket UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

In the last decade, the industry of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has gone through immense growth and diversification. Nowadays, we find drone based applications in a wide range of industries, such as ... [more ▼]

In the last decade, the industry of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has gone through immense growth and diversification. Nowadays, we find drone based applications in a wide range of industries, such as infrastructure, agriculture, transport, among others. This phenomenon has generated an increasing interest in the field of aerial manipulation. The implementation of aerial manipulators in the UAV industry could generate a significant increase in possible applications. However, the restriction on the available payload is one of the main setbacks of this approach. The impossibility to equip UAVs with heavy dexterous industrial robotic arms has driven the interest in the development of lightweight manipulators suitable for these applications. In the pursuit of providing an alternative lightweight solution for the aerial manipulators, this thesis proposes a lightweight robotic arm actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) wires. Although SMA wires represent a great alternative to conventional actuators for lightweight applications, they also imply highly nonlinear dynamics, which makes them difficult to control. Seeking to present a solution for the challenging task of controlling SMA wires, this work investigates the implications and advantages of the implementation of state feedback control techniques. The final aim of this study is the experimental implementation of a state feedback control for position regulation of the proposed lightweight robotic arm. Firstly, a mathematical model based on a constitutive model of the SMA wire is developed and experimentally validated. This model describes the dynamics of the proposed lightweight robotic arm from a mechatronics perspective. The proposed robotic arm is tested with three output feedback controllers for angular position control, namely a PID, a Sliding Mode and an Adaptive Controller. The controllers are tested in a MATLAB simulation and finally implemented and experimentally tested in various different scenarios. Following, in order to perform the experimental implementation of a state feedback control technique, a state and unknown input observer is developed. First, a non-switching observable model with unknown input of the proposed robotic arm is derived from the model previously presented. This model takes the martensite fraction rate of the original model as an unknown input, making it possible to eliminate the switching terms in the model. Then, a state and unknown input observer is proposed. This observer is based on the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) for state estimation and sliding mode approach for unknown input estimation. Sufficient conditions for stability and convergence are established. The observer is tested in a MATLAB simulation and experimentally validated in various different scenarios. Finally, a state feedback control technique is tested in simulation and experimentally implemented for angular position control of the proposed lightweight robotic arm. Specifically, continuous and discrete-time State-Dependent Riccati Equation (SDRE) control laws are derived and implemented. To conclude, a quantitative and qualitative comparative analysis between an output feedback control approach and the implemented state feedback control is carried out under multiple scenarios, including position regulation, position tracking and tracking with changing payloads. [less ▲]

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See detailConfined in a Fiber: Realizing Flexible Gas Sensors by Electrospinning Liquid Crystals
Reyes, Catherine UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

Liquid crystalline phases (LCs) readily exhibit optical responsivity to small fluctuations in their immediate environment. By encapsulating LC phase forming compounds within polymer fibers through the ... [more ▼]

Liquid crystalline phases (LCs) readily exhibit optical responsivity to small fluctuations in their immediate environment. By encapsulating LC phase forming compounds within polymer fibers through the electrospinning process (a fiber spinning method known for being a fast way of forming chemically diverse non-woven mats), it is possible to create functionalized LC-polymer fiber mats that are responsive as well. As these fiber mats can be handled macroscopically, a usercan observe the responses of the mats macroscopically without the need for bulky electronics. This thesis presents several non-woven fiber mats that were coaxially electrospun to contain LC within their individual polymer fibers cores for use as novel volatile organic compound (VOC) sensors. The mats are flexible, lightweight, and shown to both macroscopically and microscopically respond to toluene gas. Such gas responsive mats may be incorporated into garments for visually alerting the wearer when they are exposed to harmful levels of VOCs for example. Additionally, the interaction and re-prioritization of several electrospinning variables (from the chemistry based to the processing based) for forming the LC-mats are also discussed. The balance of these variables determines whether a wide range of phenomena occur during fiber formation. For instance, unexpected phase separation between the polymer sheath solution and the LC core can mean the difference between forming fully dried fibrous mats and wet/meshed films. A chapter is devoted to discussing the impact that solvent miscibility with an LC can have on fiber production, including also the effect that water can have when condensed into the electrospinning coaxial jet. The fiber shapes that the polymer fiber sheaths adopt (beaded versus non-beaded), as well as the continuity of the LC core, will influence the visual app earance of the mats. These optical properties, in turn, influence the mats’ responsivity to gases and whether the responses can be macroscopically observed with or without additional polarizers. During two types of gas sensing experiments --mats exposed to gas when contained in a cell, and mats exposed to gas diffused in ambient air without containment, we see that not all fibers within a mat respond at the same time. Moreover, different segments of the fibers within the same non-woven mat also show slightly different rates of response due to variations in fiber thickness, LC content, and whether the fiber cores had variations in LC filling (i.e. LC director twists, and gaps). [less ▲]

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See detailLink Optimization in Future Generation Satellite Systems
Mengali, Alberto UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

In recent years, communication networks have seen a huge growth in the amount of requested throughput, pushed from the combination of two main drivers: the introduction of new services and the improvement ... [more ▼]

In recent years, communication networks have seen a huge growth in the amount of requested throughput, pushed from the combination of two main drivers: the introduction of new services and the improvement of existing ones, requiring increased amount of traffic (e.g. higher quality of video content). These effects mandate the constant evolution of current systems in order to cope with the growing user demand and should be tackled from multiple angles. On the one hand, better utilization of available resources might help in the short term to keep up with the market and has always been an important priority for operators of terrestrial and satellite networks alike. On the other hand, acquisition and exploitation of currently unused resources might fuel the growth for a significantly longer period of time, ensuring longevity and thus enabling future-proofing of current systems. Both these topics are addressed in this thesis with specific applications relevant to satellite communication networks. In the first part, this thesis focuses on maximization of the user capacity by better exploiting the available radio resources. Motivated by the substantial capacity gains enabled by a higher bandwidth allocation, we investigate the optimization of satellite systems employing full-frequency reuse on the user downlink. Unlike most of the literature on the subject, usually resorting to precoding techniques to mitigate the interference, we propose a combination of predistortion and precoding to jointly counteract on-board non-linear distortions and multi-user interference. First, a flexible framework for the optimization of transmit processing schemes in communication chains is presented. This framework expands on the application of the well known gradient descent technique by applying it to the maximization of the received Signal to Noise plus Interference ratio in complex communication systems. To do so, it identifies a suitable mathematical representation of various key blocks of the system and exploits the chain rule of the derivative to compute the overall gradient as a cascade of the single components. Afterwards, this framework is validated by optimizating the coefficients of the proposed predistortion architecture for the satellite system in analysis. The obtained results highlight the flexibility of the developed optimization framework and the benefits of the suggested predistortion strategy compared to existing state of the art solutions. In the second part of the thesis, the focus is shifted towards investigating the exploitation of novel resources by looking at the use of optical frequencies for ground-to-space feeder links. The topic is introduced by a survey of existing benefits and limitations of free space optical communications. Subsequently, the implications of employing optical frequencies in long distance ground-to-space feeder links with transparent satellites are addressed. Furthermore, a powerful and flexible simulation tool was developed and exploited during the course of this thesis to model and assess the Physical (PHY) layer performance of hybrid optical/Radio Frequencies (RF) satellite networks. This tool is presented together with the scenarios and results obtained as part of the project ONSET (Optical Feeder Links Study for Satellite Networks - ESA Contract No. 40000113462/15/NL/NDe). Finally, the thesis investigates a scenario that combines the transmit processing techniques analyzed in the first part and the context of optical feeder links evaluated in the second part. A hybrid optical/RF system is considered with an electrical predistorter in place to counteract the impairments induced by the combined effects of electrical and optical non-linearities encountered along the end-to-end chain. The developed mathematical framework is exploited to jointly optimize the predistortion coefficients and the working point for the electro-optical modulator. The performance results obtained after the optimization procedure demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach for hybrid optical/RF systems with analog modulations. [less ▲]

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See detailCollision-Free Navigation of Small UAVs in Complex Urban Environment
Annaiyan, Arun UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are expected to become highly innovative solutions for all kind of tasks such as transport, surveillance, inspection or guidance, and many commercial ideas already ... [more ▼]

Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are expected to become highly innovative solutions for all kind of tasks such as transport, surveillance, inspection or guidance, and many commercial ideas already exist. Herein, small multi rotor UAVs are preferred since they are easy to construct and to fly, at least in wide open spaces. However, many UAV business cases are foreseen in complex urban environments which are very challenging from the perspective of UAV flight. Our work focuses on the autonomous flight and collision-free navigation in an urban environment, where GPS is still considered for localization but where variations in the accuracy or temporary unavailability of GPS position data is explicitly considered. Herein, urban environments are challenging because they require flight nearby large structures and also nearby moving obstacles such as humans and other moving objects, at low altitudes or in very narrow spaces and thus also in areas where GPS (global positioning system) position data might temporarily be very inaccurate or even not available. Therefore we designed a custom stereo camera with adjustable base length for the perception of the possible potential obstacles in the unknown outdoor environment. In this context the optimal design and sensitivity parameters are investigated in outdoor experiments. Using the stereo images, graph based SLAM approach is used for online three dimensional mapping of the static and dynamic environment. For the memory efficiency incremental online loop closure detection using bag of words method is implemented here. By having the three dimensional map, the cost of the cell and its transition calculated in real time by the modified D* lite which will search and generate three dimensional collision free path planning. Experiments of the 3D mapping and collision free path planning are conducted using small UAV in outdoor scenario. The combined experimental results of real time mapping and path planning demonstrated that the three dimensional collision free path planning is able to handle the real time computational constraints while maintaining safety distance. [less ▲]

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See detailA Dual-Grid Multiscale Approach to CFD-DEM Couplings for Multiphase Flow
Pozzetti, Gabriele UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

This thesis focuses on a novel dual-grid multiscale approach to CFD- DEM1 couplings, proposes its advantages in terms of numerical proper- ties and performance, and provides examples of engineering ... [more ▼]

This thesis focuses on a novel dual-grid multiscale approach to CFD- DEM1 couplings, proposes its advantages in terms of numerical proper- ties and performance, and provides examples of engineering applications that can benefit from it. In recent years, CFD-DEM couplings are be- coming a more and more adopted solution for the numerical simulation of particle-laden flows. In particular, couplings based on the volume av- eraging technique have become a standard for numerical simulations in chemical and process engineering. Furthermore, they are rapidly spread- ing to civil, geotechnical and mechanical applications due to their ability in dealing with arbitrarily complex mixtures of continuum and granular media. Despite the several advantages that these Eulerian-Lagrangian cou- plings provide, their rigorous application to complex scenarios is currently limited by two main factors. First, the computational traceability of the solutions can become problematic due to the lack of a general theory on the subject. In particular, grid-convergence studies for the solution of the continuous phases are often not feasible due to the averaging procedure that imposes limitations on the grid structure and refinement. Second, the parallel implementation of these numerical schemes holds important disadvantages in terms of memory consumption and inter-physics com- munication load. These disadvantages are significantly limiting the ex- tension of these approaches to large-scale scenarios. This thesis collects some of the most significant works published in the last years on a novel approach that allows solving the two above- mentioned problems, and, therefore, tackling more complex and expen- sive scenarios. I refer to this approach as dual-grid multiscale approach for CFD-DEM couplings. It consists in using two different computational grids, one for the coupling between continuum and discrete entities and one for the solution of the so-obtained continuum equations. The two grids, i.e. the two problems, are in this way resolved on two different scales. The first scale or “bulk” scale is chosen to optimize the averag- ing operation. At this length-scale, the discrete entities are considered as zero-dimensional, and interact with the fluid with local exchanges of momentum, mass, and energy. The second scale or “fluid-fine” scale is identified as the one at which a unique solution for the averaged equa- tions can be provided. In practice, this is chosen as the one at which the solution of the fluid equations becomes grid-independent. An inter-scale communication is adopted by interpolating fields from the fluid-fine scale to the bulk one and vice-versa. The theoretical description of the method is first provided with par- ticular reference to the DEM-VOF coupling. Even in its simplest version, the multiscale approach is shown to generate grid-convergent solutions and significantly higher accuracy than a standard CFD-DEM coupling. This shows how the new approach is able to overcome the first main limitation described above. Then, an optimized parallel implementation of the method is pro- posed to show how this multiscale approach can provide significant ben- efits also for what concerns the execution time. Technically, this is made possible by moving the communication cost of the coupling from the inter-physics communication that characterized the standard CFD-DEM couplings to an optimized inter-scale communication routine. This en- ables the method to overcome a major bottleneck of the parallel execution of CFD-DEM couplings and therefore the second main limitation of those schemes. Finally, the dual-grid multiscale method is applied to approach in- dustrially relevant problems that were till now out-of-reach for standard CFD-DEM couplings, proving how this technique can have direct real- case application and produce immediate benefits for practitioners willing to adopt it. [less ▲]

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See detailModel and parameter identification through Bayesian inference in solid mechanics
Rappel, Hussein UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

Predicting the behaviour of various engineering systems is commonly performed using mathematical models. These mathematical models include application-specific parameters that must be identified from ... [more ▼]

Predicting the behaviour of various engineering systems is commonly performed using mathematical models. These mathematical models include application-specific parameters that must be identified from measured data. The identification of model parameters usually comes with uncertainties due to model simplifications and errors in the experimental measurements. Quantifying these uncertainties can effectively improve the predictions as well as the performance of the engineering systems. Bayesian inference provides a probabilistic framework for quantifying these uncertainties in parameter identification problems. In a Bayesian framework, the user's initial knowledge, which is represented by a probability distribution, is updated by measurement data through Bayes' theorem. In the first two chapters of this thesis, Bayesian inference is developed for the identification of material parameters in elastoplasticity and viscoelasticity. The effect of the user's prior knowledge is systematically studied with respect to the number of measurements available. In addition, the influence of different types of experiments on the uncertainty is studied. Since all mathematical models are simplifications of reality, uncertainties of the model itself may also be incorporated. The third chapter of this thesis presents a Bayesian framework for parameter identification in elastoplasticity in which not only the uncertainty of the experimental output is included (i.e. stress measurements), but also the uncertainty of the model and the uncertainty of the experimental input (i.e. strain). Three different formulations for describing the model uncertainty are considered: (1) a random variable which is taken from a normal distribution with constant parameters, (2) a random variable which is taken from a normal distribution with an input-dependent mean, and (3) a Gaussian random process with a stationary covariance function. In the fourth chapter of this thesis, a Bayesian scheme is proposed to identify material parameter distributions, instead of material parameters. The application in this chapter are random fibre networks, in which the set of material parameters of each fibre is assumed to be a realisation from a material parameter distribution. The fibres behave either elastoplastically or in a perfectly brittle manner. The goal of the identification scheme is to avoid the experimentally demanding task of testing hundreds of constituents. Instead, only 20 fibres are considered. In addition to their material randomness, the macroscale behaviours of these fibre networks are also governed by their geometrical randomness. Another question aimed to be answered in this chapter is therefore is `how precise the material randomness needs to be identified, if the geometrical randomness will also influence the macroscale behaviour of these discrete networks'. [less ▲]

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See detailReal-time Model Predictive Control for Aerial Manipulation
Dentler, Jan Eric UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

The rapid development in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is driven by new applications in agriculture, logistics, inspection and smart manufacturing. The future keys in these domains are the ... [more ▼]

The rapid development in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is driven by new applications in agriculture, logistics, inspection and smart manufacturing. The future keys in these domains are the abilities to autonomously interact with the environment and with other robotic systems. This thesis is providing control engineering solutions to contribute to these key capabilities. The first step of this thesis is to develop an understanding of the dynamic behavior of UAVs. For this purpose, dynamic and kinematic models are presented to describe a UAV's motion. This includes a kinematic model which is suitable for off-the-shelf UAVs and combines full 360° heading operation with a low computational complexity. The presented models are subsequently used to develop a nonlinear model predictive control NMPC strategy. In this context, the performance of several NMPC solvers and inequality constraint handling techniques is evaluated. The real-time capability and NMPC performance are validated with real AR.Drone 2.0 and DJI M100 quadrotors. This includes collision avoidance and advanced tracking scenarios. The design work-flow for the related control objectives and constraints is presented accordingly. As a next step, this UAV NMPC strategy is extended for a UAV with attached robotic arm. For this purpose, the forward kinematics of the robotic arm are developed and combined with the kinematic model of the UAV. The resulting NMPC strategy is validated in a grasping scenario with a real aerial manipulator. The final step of this thesis is the NMPC of cooperating UAVs. The computational complexity of such scenarios conflicts directly with the fast UAV dynamics. In addition, control objectives and system topologies can dynamically change. To address these challenges, this thesis presents the DENMPC software framework. DENMPC provides a computationally efficient central NMPC strategy that allows changing the control scenario at runtime. This is finally stated in the control of a real cooperative aerial manipulation scenario. [less ▲]

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See detailMULTI-GNSS ERROR CHARACTERISTICS AND BENEFITS TO LONG-TERM MONITORING APPLICATIONS IN GEOSCIENCES
Abraha, Kibrom Ebuy UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-derived position solutions are used for crustal deformations for long-term monitoring studies such as correcting sea-level records for vertical land movements and ... [more ▼]

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-derived position solutions are used for crustal deformations for long-term monitoring studies such as correcting sea-level records for vertical land movements and to determine present-day surface-mass changes. In all these studies scientists rely heavily on precise International GNSS Service (IGS) products. In recent years the IGS products have partly been generated from a rigorous combination of GNSS, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) and Globalnaya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS) observations. Although combined solutions from two or more GNSS benefit from the diversity and redundancy of having more than one GNSS, the solutions are also subjected to system-specific systematic errors. Applications which demand high-accuracy products, therefore, would profit from evaluations of the benefits and error characteristics of combined GNSS solutions. In response to the increased availability of multi-GNSS observations from a truly global ground network of receivers, the goal of this thesis is to investigate their overall impacts on the derived products. Primarily, the impacts of combined GNSS data processing for stations in a constrained environment with a potential for signal obstructions, is investigated. The effects of signal obstructions on derived parameter time series and station velocity estimates are assessed. The benefits of combined solutions are evaluated for stations in constrained environments. Moreover, the study of the impacts of combined solutions on satellite orbits and station parameters contributes to the understanding of the error characteristics of combined GNSS data processing on derived products. The consistency of the parameters, noise analysis and system-specific periodic errors are assessed. Dominant system specific periodic errors and the impact of combined solutions on reducing the effects are addressed. Unmodelled or insufficiently modelled (sub-)daily errors propagate to longer periods and appear in high-end products coinciding with other longer periods, which in turn may lead to misleading interpretations of the latter. The propagation mechanism mainly depends, among other factors, on data sampling deficiencies and GNSS ground repeat periods. Here, the results of this study show that combined solutions not only reduce system-specific effects but also provide a means to identifying the sources from other compatible elements. [less ▲]

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See detailStochastic Model Predictive Control for Eco-Driving Assistance Systems in Electric Vehicles
Sajadi Alamdari, Seyed Amin UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

Electric vehicles are expected to become one of the key elements of future sustainable transportation systems. The first generation of electric cars are already commercially available but still, suffer ... [more ▼]

Electric vehicles are expected to become one of the key elements of future sustainable transportation systems. The first generation of electric cars are already commercially available but still, suffer from problems and constraints that have to be solved before a mass market might be created. Key aspects that will play an important role in modern electric vehicles are range extension, energy efficiency, safety, comfort as well as communication. An overall solution approach to integrating all these aspects is the development of advanced driver assistance systems to make electric vehicles more intelligent. Driver assistance systems are based on the integration of suitable sensors and actuators as well as electronic devices and software-enabled control functionality to automatically support the human driver. Driver assistance for electric vehicles will differ from the already used systems in fuel-powered cars such as electronic stability programs, adaptive cruise control etc. in a way that they must support energy efficiency while the system itself must also have a low power consumption. In this work, an eco-driving functionality as the first step towards those new driver assistance systems for electric vehicles will be investigated. Using information about the internal state of the car, navigation information as well as advanced information about the environment coming from sensors and network connections, an algorithm will be developed that will adapt the speed of the vehicle automatically to minimize energy consumption. From an algorithmic point of view, a stochastic model predictive control approach will be applied and adapted to the special constraints of the problem. Finally, the solution will be tested in simulations as well as in first experiments with a commercial electric vehicle in the SnT Automation & Robotics Research Group (SnT ARG). [less ▲]

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See detailACTIVITY-TRAVEL BEHAVIOUR IN THE CONTEXT OF WORKPLACE RELOCATION
Sprumont, François UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Travel behaviour analysis is a complex task because of the myriad of determinants influencing decision makers. The commuting trip constitutes an important travel purpose, but is not the dominant one ... [more ▼]

Travel behaviour analysis is a complex task because of the myriad of determinants influencing decision makers. The commuting trip constitutes an important travel purpose, but is not the dominant one. Because of its spatial and temporal concentration, the commuting flow is an ideal target for mobility management measures aiming at decreasing its negative externalities. Nevertheless, commuting travels are done in the frame of a more complex activity-travel chain, and some choices, whether on the short term (e.g. commuting mode choice) or in the longer term (e.g. where to live, buy a car) are done considering an ensemble of trips. Our research hypothesis is that workplace relocation, or more generally an event that strongly affects travellers’ trip chains, induces different and interrelated responses. Our research aim is to gain insight into this complex decision-making process, in order to better understand its relation with transport policy measures. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of an integrated omics in silico workflow and its application for studying bacteria-phage interactions in a model microbial community
Narayanasamy, Shaman UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Microbial communities are ubiquitous and dynamic systems that inhabit a multitude of environments. They underpin natural as well as biotechnological processes, and are also implicated in human health. The ... [more ▼]

Microbial communities are ubiquitous and dynamic systems that inhabit a multitude of environments. They underpin natural as well as biotechnological processes, and are also implicated in human health. The elucidation and understanding of these structurally and functionally complex microbial systems using a broad spectrum of toolkits ranging from in situ sampling, high-throughput data generation ("omics"), bioinformatic analyses, computational modelling and laboratory experiments is the aim of the emerging discipline of Eco-Systems Biology. Integrated workflows which allow the systematic investigation of microbial consortia are being developed. However, in silico methods for analysing multi-omic data sets are so far typically lab-specific, applied ad hoc, limited in terms of their reproducibility by different research groups and suboptimal in the amount of data actually being exploited. To address these limitations, the present work initially focused on the development of the Integrated Meta-omic Pipeline (IMP), a large-scale reference-independent bioinformatic analyses pipeline for the integrated analysis of coupled metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data. IMP is an elaborate pipeline that incorporates robust read preprocessing, iterative co-assembly, analyses of microbial community structure and function, automated binning as well as genomic signature-based visualizations. The IMP-based data integration strategy greatly enhances overall data usage, output volume and quality as demonstrated using relevant use-cases. Finally, IMP is encapsulated within a user-friendly implementation using Python while relying on Docker for reproducibility. The IMP pipeline was then applied to a longitudinal multi-omic dataset derived from a model microbial community from an activated sludge biological wastewater treatment plant with the explicit aim of following bacteria-phage interaction dynamics using information from the CRISPR-Cas system. This work provides a multi-omic perspective of community-level CRISPR dynamics, namely changes in CRISPR repeat and spacer complements over time, demonstrating that these are heterogeneous, dynamic and transcribed genomic regions. Population-level analysis of two lipid accumulating bacterial species associated with 158 putative bacteriophage sequences enabled the observation of phage-host population dynamics. Several putatively identified bacteriophages were found to occur at much higher abundances compared to other phages and these specific peaks usually do not overlap with other putative phages. In addition, there were several RNA-based CRISPR targets that were found to occur in high abundances. In summary, the present work describes the development of a new bioinformatic pipeline for the analysis of coupled metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets derived from microbial communities and its application to a study focused on the dynamics of bacteria-virus interactions. Finally, this work demonstrates the power of integrated multi-omic investigation of microbial consortia towards the conversion of high-throughput next-generation sequencing data into new insights. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis of the impact of ROS in networks describing neurodegenerative diseases
Ignatenko, Andrew UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

In the current thesis the model of the ROS management network is built using the domino principle. The model offers insight into the design principles underlying the ROS management network and enlightens ... [more ▼]

In the current thesis the model of the ROS management network is built using the domino principle. The model offers insight into the design principles underlying the ROS management network and enlightens its functionality in the diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is validated using experimental data. The model is used for in silico study of the ROS management dynamics under the stress conditions (oxidative stress). This highlights the phenomena of both adaptation to stress and the stress accumulation effect in case of repeated stress. This study also helps to discover the potential ways to a personalized treatment of the insufficient ROS management. The different ways of a control of the ROS management network are shown using the optimal control approach. Obtained results could be used for a seeking of the treatment strategies to fix the ROS management failures caused by an oxidative stress, neurodegenerative diseases, etc. Or, in vice versa, to develop the ways of a controllable cell death that might be used in cancer research. [less ▲]

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See detailMitarbeiterführung und Social-Media-Nutzung im Führungsalltag von Generation-Y-Führungskräften - Eine explorative Analyse mittels Mixed-Methods-Ansatz
Feltes, Florian UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The topic of this thesis is the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of leadership behaviour and therefore the leadership style of Generation Y (GenY) considering the use of social media in day-to-day ... [more ▼]

The topic of this thesis is the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of leadership behaviour and therefore the leadership style of Generation Y (GenY) considering the use of social media in day-to-day management. It examines the question of how GenY leaders lead and how they use social media in this context. It explores the topic based on a sequential mixed methods approach of qualitative interviews and a quantitative online questionnaire. Using the qualitative content analysis, it examines 25 qualitative interviews concerning the following aspects: leadership behaviour of generation Y, generation-based differences in the leadership and different strength of leadership styles, influence of contextual factors like hierarchies, sector and company size on the leadership style and use of social media, use of social media on day-to-day management, and, finally, connections between applied leadership styles and social media usage of GenY leaders. The findings and tendencies were then verified in an online questionnaire. The results of the online questionnaire [self-evaluation of leaders (N=406), bottom-up evaluation by employees (N=622)] show a significant discrepancy between the leaders’ statements and those of the employees. However, there are clear results and tendencies that confirm the findings of the qualitative study. It was established that GenY leaders show characteristics of task-oriented, person-oriented, transactional and transformational leadership. GenY leadership is characterised by clear outcome orientation, flat hierarchies and feedback. The use of social media varies considerably, depending for example on the context in which the leader works, e. g. sector and level of management. In summary, it can be stated that there is a connection between the strength of the leadership style and the usage of social media in day-to-day management. [less ▲]

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See detailEnergy minimising multi-crack growth in linear-elastic materials using the extended finite element method with application to Smart-CutTM silicon wafer splitting
Sutula, Danas UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

We investigate multiple crack evolution under quasi-static conditions in an isotropic linear-elastic solid based on the principle of minimum total energy, i.e. the sum of the potential and fracture ... [more ▼]

We investigate multiple crack evolution under quasi-static conditions in an isotropic linear-elastic solid based on the principle of minimum total energy, i.e. the sum of the potential and fracture energies, which stems directly from the Griffith’s theory of cracks. The technique, which has been implemented within the extended finite element method, enables minimisation of the total energy of the mechanical system with respect to the crack extension directions. This is achieved by finding the orientations of the discrete crack-tip extensions that yield vanishing rotational energy release rates about their roots. In addition, the proposed energy minimisation technique can be used to resolve competing crack growth problems. Comparisons of the fracture paths obtained by the maximum tension (hoop-stress) criterion and the energy minimisation approach via a multitude of numerical case studies show that both criteria converge to virtually the same fracture solutions albeit from opposite directions. In other words, it is found that the converged fracture path lies in between those obtained by each criterion on coarser numerical discretisations. Upon further investigation of the energy minimisation approach within the discrete framework, a modified crack growth direction criterion is proposed that assumes the average direction of the directions obtained by the maximum hoop stress and the minimum energy criteria. The numerical results show significant improvements in accuracy (especially on coarse discretisations) and convergence rates of the fracture paths. The XFEM implementation is subsequently applied to model an industry relevant problem of silicon wafer cutting based on the physical process of Smart-CutTM technology where wafer splitting is the result of the coalescence of multiple pressure-driven micro-crack growth within a narrow layer of the prevailing micro-crack distribution. A parametric study is carried out to assess the influence of some of the Smart-CutTM process parameters on the post-split fracture surface roughness. The parameters that have been investigated, include: mean depth of micro-crack distribution, distribution of micro-cracks about the mean depth, damage (isotropic) in the region of micro-crack distribution, and the influence of the depth of the buried-oxide layer (a layer of reduced stiffness) beneath the micro-crack distribution. Numerical results agree acceptably well with experimental observations. [less ▲]

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See detailLegal Ontology for Nexus: Water, Energy and Food in EU Regulations
Rahman, Md Mizanur UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Objectives of the thesis are – (a) to identify the problems in water-energy-food nexus from ICT and Law point of view and to propose theoretically a legal knowledge framework for water-energy-food nexus ... [more ▼]

Objectives of the thesis are – (a) to identify the problems in water-energy-food nexus from ICT and Law point of view and to propose theoretically a legal knowledge framework for water-energy-food nexus in order to reduce those problems technologically, (b) to construct and implement legal ontology for nexus extracted from EU water, energy and food Regulations in OWL 2 language, which is a part of the grater work of implementing legal knowledge framework for water-energy-food nexus pro-posed through the compilation of objective (a). Considering these objectives, this thesis presents total five chapters. Chapter 1 is dedicated to fulfill the requirement of objective (a) and the rest chapters are devoted for objective (b). More particularly chapter four presents technical descriptions of the legal ontology for nexus, while chapter two and three articulate methodological aspect of it. Chapter five evaluates legal ontology for nexus. Additionally, besides the list of references, annex 1 delivers all asserted restrictions used in this ontology and annex 2 provides the links of all modules and documentations of legal ontology for nexus. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude biomécanique comparative de cinq différents systèmes de fixation utilisés dans les cas d'ostéotomies tibiales valgisantes: Essais expérimentaux et simulations numériques incluant les forces musculaires
Diffo Kaze, Arnaud UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This research project was carried out in partnership with the Orthopaedic and Traumatology service of the “clinique d’Eich” of the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg. The main objective consisted in a ... [more ▼]

This research project was carried out in partnership with the Orthopaedic and Traumatology service of the “clinique d’Eich” of the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg. The main objective consisted in a comparative biomechanical study of the stability of five different currently used implants for open-wedge high tibial osteotomy (HTO). The following implants were tested in the comparative biomechanical study: Contour Lock HTO, PEEKPower HTO, iBalance HTO, TomoFix standard and TomoFix small stature. The implants were chosen freely from the market and there has not been any funding or link to any of the manufacturers. The comparison was first made experimentally using static compression loading to failure and dynamic loading to failure tests, then computationally using simulations by mean of the finite element method. Muscle forces were predicted using musculoskeletal modeling and applied to the finite element models of the lower limb that simulated the stance phase of the gait cycle. The finite element models created included all the bones of the lower limb, except those of the foot, as well as the menisci, the articular cartilage layers of the knee and the patellar tendon which was modelled by springs. The comparative study using numerical simulations was done considering two separate loadings: (1) application of a compressive load on the tibial plateau and (2) consideration of muscle forces. The comparison of the two types of loading (1) and (2) showed that loading (1) used during the mechanical tests is compatible with a realistic loading of the tibia with the leg at 15 % of the gait cycle during slow walking. Observations from numerical simulations considering loading (2) emphasized the necessity to take into account the muscle forces in the testing protocols and implant design process. The results of the numerical simulations considering loading (1) were in line with the findings of the experimental study. All the implants tested showed sufficient stability during static loading. All the specimens failed due to fracture of the opposite cortical bone. In regards to the results of this study, the implant iBalance offered the best mechanical stability to the operated tibia, and the PEEKPower plate the worst. Simplifications were made to reduce the complexity of the different physical and numerical models; hence the transposition of the obtained results to clinical settings should be done with precaution. There is no conflict of interest in relation to this work. [less ▲]

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See detailA Geographical Analysis of Bicycle Sharing Systems
Médard de Chardon, Cyrille UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This thesis evaluates the performance of bicycle sharing systems (BSS), autonomous systems of accessible bicycles that can be easily used for one way trips, and determines whether they are successful at ... [more ▼]

This thesis evaluates the performance of bicycle sharing systems (BSS), autonomous systems of accessible bicycles that can be easily used for one way trips, and determines whether they are successful at achieving promoted social and environmental outcomes through quantitative and qualitative methods. Such systems are typically surrounded by positive narratives of success, health, environmental and social benefits. This work challenges these notions. This thesis begins with the formalisation of BSS station level and trip data revealing alternative data contained within. Combined with spatiotemporal data analysis, this allows the estimation of trips, a potential measure of success. Due to most operators not providing consistent or comparable metrics of usage this work opens this heavily promoted technological transport innovation’s performance for public scrutiny. Performance estimates of 75 case studies show a majority having less than two trips per day per bicycle, suggesting a poor investment, regardless of existing social justice issues and exaggerated environmental benefits. Using this metric this work determines which attributes impact performance. While station density and cycling infrastructure, among others, are found to impact performance, results challenge promoted practice. Formalisation yielded rebalancing, the moving of bicycles to adjust to demand exceeding supply. Spatiotemporal data analysis and interviews with operators provides the first description of applied rebalancing, providing an alternative perspective to the many theoretical optimisation models. Results show rebalancing is spatially selective and influencing BSS outcomes, potentially contrary to its purpose. Finally, this thesis, through a critical urban sustainability perspective, presents darker aspects of BSS, beyond the golden narratives, showing conflicts of interest, controversy and the commercialisation of an initially environmental and anti-consumerism concept. Existential questions are raised due to BSS, mostly privately operated, providing benefits to an already advantaged class while public space is privatised and urban advertising increased. This work concludes by suggesting that alternative investment to bicycle sharing systems, such as cycling infrastructure, may be more beneficial and just. [less ▲]

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See detailBiopharm - the Influence of Macro-substrates & Conditioning on Pharmaceutical Removal Rates by Moving Bed Biofilm Reactors
Köhler, Christian UL

Doctoral thesis (2015)

Organic micropollutants with endocrine disruptive properties are present in the aquatic environment. A major part of their emission is caused by municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). For this ... [more ▼]

Organic micropollutants with endocrine disruptive properties are present in the aquatic environment. A major part of their emission is caused by municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). For this reason, a vast amount of research has been undertaken to remove xenobiotics from municipal wastewater by developing post-treatment technologies with some success. However, these technologies cause considerable environmental costs due their high demand for electrical energy implicating an increase in CO2 emissions. Consequently, existing biological treatments need first to be better understood and subsequently optimized regarding xenobiotic removal before post-treatments are employed. The study focused on the fate of xenobiotics during biological wastewater treatment. In particular, metabolic strategies of bacteria degrading pharmaceuticals were investigated within moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) processes. Two main objectives were tracked. On the one hand, it was to unfold the impact of macro-substrates in terms of type and molecular complexity on the activity of microorganisms and consequently pharmaceutical degradation performance. On the other hand, the study was set out to explore the adaptation of metabolic means regarding exoenzymes and consortia structure during continuous (long-term) exposure to pharmaceuticals. Accordingly, the ability to increase microbial competences during pharmaceutical short-term pulses was the general target of investigation. Both conditions continuous substance flow and short-term peak loads of xenobiotics are believed to occur in urban WWTPs. A pilot MBBR was set up next to a domestic WWTP. The pilot treated municipal sewage and served as inoculation reservoir for biofilm carriers used for in-depth laboratory experiments. The latter comprised six lab-scale MBBRs featuring flow through operation under controlled conditions regarding temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, influent flow and influent load. The reactors were conditioned over four weeks with a synthetic sewage providing substrates and micro-nutrients in a similar manner as expected under real conditions. Biofilm was monitored by respirometry and a series of enzyme assays using fluorogenic substrates to capture esterase, phosphatase, alpha- and beta-glucosidase and aminopeptidase activity. All enzymes are essential during organic carbon metabolism. An array of macro-substrates with different molecular complexity was triggering individual enzyme activity profiles. After conditioning, 12 pharmaceuticals being subject to a range of anticipated metabolic pathways and degradation rates were spiked into the MBBRs. Their degradation kinetics were measured by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS). Pseudo first-order kinetics revealed substrate related fingerprints and showed that readily biodegradable substrate leads generally to good pharmaceutical degradation performance compared to synthetic sewage with a mixture of several high molecular organic substrates. The latter was designed to induce the greatest metabolic effort of tested substrates before microbial uptake occurs. However, single substrates triggering exoenzyme activity in a more targeted manner such as maltose and cellobiose showed positive impact on the pseudo first-order rate coefficients of particular pharmaceuticals such as atenolol and diclofenac. Accordingly, alpha-glucosidase activity was found to be directly proportional to atenolol degradation kinetics. Phylogenetic characterisation of DNA and RNA involving state-of-the-art 16S ribosomal rRNA gene amplification and sequencing techniques was used to explore community structures. Prokaryote diversity in lab-scale MBBRs was in agreement to previous studies which investigated microbial consortia in full-scale systems. Multivariate analysis revealed that bacteria are adapting their active gene pool when the beta-blocker atenolol is continuously present with a concentration in ug/L range. Differential analysis unfolded that the prokaryotic genera Delftia and Lysobacter were thereby exclusively benefiting from the exposure to atenolol. Yet, compared to the influence of macro-substrates, biomass conditioning (training) with atenolol and diclofenac had no notable impact on the degradation performance of pharmaceutical short-term pulses. The outstanding comprehensive character of the study which encompassed sophisticated experimental design and powerful analytical tools from different scientific domains uncovered some interesting insights in xenobiotic degradation processes. The results finally show how biomass is reacting towards the presence of primary carbon sources and organic micro-pollutants. The outcomes highlight the importance of WWTP influent characterization being indicative of metabolic activity and therefore degradation capacity of xenobiotics. The study further suggests that xenobiotic metabolism and co-metabolism co-exist during biological treatment processes. Co-metabolism is the decisive actor when adaption time is relatively short as it was the case during the lab-scale experiments compared to real conditions. Further, the study indicates some potential of process enhancement of WWTPs ranging from straightforward implementations such as external carbon sources to more elaborated processes of bioaugmentation. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards consolidated methods for the design and evaluation of user experience
Lallemand, Carine UL

Doctoral thesis (2015)

In the “third wave” of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), the emergence of User Experience (UX) as a key concept has opened up both exciting perspectives and hard challenges. The conceptual shift to a more ... [more ▼]

In the “third wave” of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), the emergence of User Experience (UX) as a key concept has opened up both exciting perspectives and hard challenges. The conceptual shift to a more comprehensive and emotional view of human-computer interactions has been accompanied by the development of numerous methods and tools for the design and evaluation of interactive systems. UX research has thus been mainly driven by novelty and innovation and to date a majority of the developed tools lack validation and consolidation. UX research undoubtedly raises new concerns and challenges common conceptual and methodological practice. Thus the primary objective of this thesis is to contribute to UX consolidation. We addressed this objective by relying on a mixed-methods approach for the empirical part of this thesis, involving comparatively large and representative samples. This part encompasses six studies, representing a variety of perspectives related to UX research consolidation. More specifically, this dissertation includes a replication study (Paper A, N = 758), the translation and validation of a tool (Paper B, N = 381), the development of new design and evaluation methods (Paper C and D, N = 137 and 33), the empirical assessment of the relevance of established HCI methods for the evaluation of UX (Paper E, N = 103) and finally an investigation on how to bridge UX research and practice through a design approach (Paper F). The contributions of this thesis to UX research and practice regard both UX as a concept and its methodologies. Main findings inform about the benefits, challenges, and limitations of UX consolidation strategies as derived from our respective studies (papers A to F). Each study provides advances to both research and practice, while the combination of our studies pushes forward consolidation of UX. This is an essential step with regards to an emerging concept and informs an overarching research agenda aiming at a continuous interdisciplinary fostering of the UX field. [less ▲]

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See detailSUPPORTING INTERDISCIPLINARY SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT THROUGH INTEGRATED FUNCTION MODELLING
Eisenbart, Boris UL

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Industry is confronted with ever-changing and increasing demand of customers on global markets for integration of diverse functions into newly developed products and systems. As a consequence, companies ... [more ▼]

Industry is confronted with ever-changing and increasing demand of customers on global markets for integration of diverse functions into newly developed products and systems. As a consequence, companies increasingly often combine different engineering technologies into their products necessitating close collaboration of experts from various disciplines. New types of products, such as Product-Service Systems (PSS), which have become increasingly important in the recent past and combine (multi-disciplinary) products with associated services, extend interdisciplinary system development by including further disciplines. Problems in the (cross-disciplinary) exchange of information between the involved designers are considered one of the central risks posed to the success of interdisciplinary system development. Function modelling is expected to provide suitable means for the integration of different disciplines, as it addresses solution finding early in the design process and results in a first abstract representation of the system under consideration. However, a large variety of different and often incompatible function models can be found in the different disciplines, which hampers shared, cross-disciplinary function modelling. The research project presented in this thesis provides comprehensive insights into central barriers and enablers for cross-disciplinary function modelling in the development of mechatronic systems and PSS. Conducted research comprises comprehensive literature reviews of diverse function models and function modelling approaches proposed in disciplinary and interdisciplinary design approaches. The derived insights are complemented by empirical studies in ten companies active in diverse market areas, such as machine design, automotive, aerospace, and consumer product development. The empirical studies provide compelling insights into the actual application of function modelling in different disciplines and design departments, as well as into specific needs and preferences of practicing designers from different disciplines. A central contribution resulting from this research is the ”Integrated Function Modelling framework”, which is intended to address the identified needs and provide practicing designers with a flexible and generic modelling approach supporting interdisciplinary conceptual design. The project is concluded with an initial evaluation of the developed framework in industry and academia. [less ▲]

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See detailConsensus and Pursuit-Evasion in Nonlinear Multi-Agent Systems
Thunberg, Johan UL

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Within the field of multi-agent systems theory, we study the problems of consensus and pursuit-evasion. In our study of the consensus problem, we first provide some theoretical results and then consider ... [more ▼]

Within the field of multi-agent systems theory, we study the problems of consensus and pursuit-evasion. In our study of the consensus problem, we first provide some theoretical results and then consider the problem of consensus on SO(3) or attitude synchronization. In Chapter 2, for agents with states in Rm, we present two theorems along the lines of Lyapunov’s second method that, under different conditions, guarantee asymptotic state consensus in multi-agent systems where the interconnection topologies are switching. The first theorem is formulated by using the states of the agents in the multiagent system, whereas the second theorem is formulated by using the pairwise states for pairs of agents in the multi-agent system. In Chapter 3, the problem of consensus on SO(3) for a multi-agent system with directed and switching interconnection topologies is addressed. We provide two different types of kinematic control laws for a broad class of local representations of SO(3). The first control law consists of a weighted sum of pairwise differences between positions of neighboring agents, expressed as coordinates in a local representation. The structure of the control law is well known in the consensus community for being used in systems of agents in the Euclidean space, and here we show that the same type of control law can be used in the context of consensus on SO(3). In a later part of this chapter, based on the kinematic control laws, we introduce torque control laws for a system of rigid bodies in space and show that the system reaches consensus when these control laws are used. Chapter 4 addresses the problem of consensus on SO(3) for networks of uncalibrated cameras. Under the assumption that each agent uses a camera in order to measure its rotation, we prove convergence to the consensus set for two types of kinematic control laws, where only conjugate rotation matrices are available for the agents. In these conjugate rotations, the rotation matrix can be seen as distorted by the (unknown) intrinsic parameters of the camera. For the conjugate rotations we introduce distorted versions of well known local parameterizations of SO(3) and show consensus by using control laws that are similar to the ones in Chapter 3, with the difference that the distorted local representations are used instead. In Chapter 5, we study the output consensus problem for homogeneous systems of agents with linear continuous time-invariant dynamics. We derive control laws that solve the problem, while minimizing a cost functional of the control signal. Instead of considering a fixed communication topology for the system, we derive the optimal control law without any restrictions on the topology. We show that for all linear output controllable homogeneous systems, the optimal control law uses only relative information but requires the connectivity graph to be complete and in general requires measurements of the state errors. We identify cases where the optimal control law is only based on output errors. In Chapter 6, we address the multi-pursuer version of the visibility pursuit-evasion problem in polygonal environments. By discretizing the problem and applying a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) framework, we are able to address problems requiring so-called recontamination and also impose additional constraints, such as connectivity between the pursuers. The proposed MILP formulation is less conservative than solutions based on graph discretizations of the environment, but still somewhat more conservative than the original underlying problem. It is well known that MILPs, as well as multi-pursuer pursuit-evasion problems, are NP-hard. Therefore we apply an iterative Receding Horizon Control (RHC) scheme, where a number of smaller MILPs are solved over shorter planning horizons. The proposed approach is illustrated by a number of solved examples. [less ▲]

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See detailErmüdungseigenschaften des Wabenkerns von sandwichpaneelen aus Aluminium
Wahl, Laurent UL

Doctoral thesis (2013)

In comparison to their weight, honeycomb composite structures have a high bending stiffness, which makes them very suited for every application where little weight is important, like airplanes, railway ... [more ▼]

In comparison to their weight, honeycomb composite structures have a high bending stiffness, which makes them very suited for every application where little weight is important, like airplanes, railway-cars and vehicles. These structures are subjected to cyclic loading. The sandwich panels consist of two thin and stiff aluminium face sheets, which are bonded to a thick and lightweight aluminium honeycomb core. The shear stresses in the core of these structures depend strongly on the angle of the load application, because the core is not homogeneous. The distribution and the level of the shear stresses are investigated using analytical calculations. The load direction which induces highest stresses in the honeycomb core is derived. This direction is not the W-direction, which is the most compliant one. In literature, there are few fatigue properties of the honeycomb core described. The fatigue properties of the core are investigated in this work using the finite element method and experiments. The experimental investigations consist of three-point bending tests, pulsating roller tests, Food-Cart Roller tests and several tests on real components. Depending on the load application, the honeycomb core fails either through core indentation or shear failure. Several fatigue tests were carried out at constant load amplitude and the failure mode is investigated. The sandwich structures were modeled with the ANSYS finite element software. The number of elements is reduced by replacing the honeycomb core with a homogeneous core with orthotropic properties. In order to get the stresses in the honeycomb core at the critical location, a submodel was created. In this work, some equations are derived in order to calculate the real shear stresses from the shear stresses of the homogeneous core. In addition, imperfections are included in the model. Furthermore, buckling analyses were used to examine core indentation failure. Based on these simulations, both failure modes described above can be explained. Core indentation occurs, when the honeycomb cells are buckling due to the load application. The buckling of the cells can be avoided by using a smoother load application. In this case, the core fails in the three-point bending test by shear failure. The fatigue life of the examined specimens is successfully approximated in this manuscript, with the lifetime analysis being based on the FKM-guideline. Every simulation is validated by experimental results. [less ▲]

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See detailSystems Engineering, Systems Thinking, and Learning: a Case Study in Space Industry
Moser, Hubert UL

Doctoral thesis (2013)

Systems thinking is a prerequisite of systems engineering, which is performed in multi-disciplinary teams, i.e. software engineers, mechanical engineers, electronic engineers, and others, work together to ... [more ▼]

Systems thinking is a prerequisite of systems engineering, which is performed in multi-disciplinary teams, i.e. software engineers, mechanical engineers, electronic engineers, and others, work together to develop, build, and test technical systems such as space systems. The more team members consider a systems perspective the less rework is expected and the less effort of systems engineers is required. How systems thinking evolves in practice is not sufficiently understood. Therefore, work activity of multi-disciplinary teams has been studied in an empirical study. Data from multiple sources and of different temporal resolution has been collected over four years in four studies in space systems engineering. These studies are a concept exploration project in a summer school, two concept exploration projects in a concurrent design facility, and five projects in several lifecycle stages in a small space systems company. An analytical framework has been developed based on an activity-theoretical analysis and a theme-and-key-event analysis. Contradicting multiple roles, differences in parameter definition and impact, differences in work approaches and ways of interacting, contradicting work standards, trust and doubts in extra-disciplinary decisions, awareness of diversity and orientation towards extra-disciplinary interactors, and velocity and availability of information are identified contradictions with learning potential. These contradictions provoke initiators of multi-disciplinary interaction. These are proactive provision of extra-disciplinary advice and three types of questions: critical questioning across disciplinary boundaries, asking for extra-disciplinary advice, and questioning the current work approach. The contradictions prompt the selection of themes that comprise several key events. These themes and key events are analysed on three levels (macro, meso, and micro) with a focus on systems thinking content and discourse features. Systems thinking evolves in interaction within a broad temporal range, from minutes to years. It evolves vertically, i.e. within a discipline, and horizontally, i.e. across disciplines. The evolution of systems thinking is influenced by the multi-disciplinary quality of interaction. This quality is defined by the diversity or multi-disciplinarity of the interaction, the awareness of the diversity, the orientation towards extra-disciplinary interactors, the differences in interactional responsiveness, and the cohesion of interaction. Improving the multi-disciplinary quality of interaction to foster the evolution of systems thinking is the major goal of the developed WAVES (Work Activity for a Versatile Evolution of Systems engineering and thinking) strategy. The WAVES strategy comprises two paths. The first path focuses on the introduction of employees into professional life, (space) industry, a company, a team, and a task. The second path focuses on the continuous improvement of the work activity. The implementation and evaluation of WAVES in a small space system company is the basic contribution to industry. The implementation within systems engineering departments of large space organisations has been prepared. The developed analytical framework contributes a new approach to analyse work activity in practice. Finally, the answers to the first part of the main research question contribute to a better understanding of systems engineering, systems thinking, and its learning in practice. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and Application of an Asymptotic Level Transport Pollution Model for Luxembourg Energy Air Quality Project
Aleluia Da Silva Reis, Lara UL

Doctoral thesis (2013)

The connections between air pollution and the increase of respiratory diseases, are well known. In Europe, many efforts have been carried out towards the mitigation of the pollutants’ emissions over the ... [more ▼]

The connections between air pollution and the increase of respiratory diseases, are well known. In Europe, many efforts have been carried out towards the mitigation of the pollutants’ emissions over the last decades. The European Union supports the implementation of structural planning measures to control air pollution. The assessment and evaluation of these air quality policies must be carried out with the help of dedicated integrated assessment models. The use of integrated assessment models, which combine models from different fields, raises the need for developing specific modelling concepts in order to provide results to support policy decisions within a practical time frame. This work presents the methodology and the development of a dedicated air quality model for an integrated assessment model. This approach has been designed for the Luxembourg Energy and Air Quality, LEAQ, integrated assessment model. It combines an air quality model, AUSTAL2000-AYLTP, with a techno-economic model, ETEM, which computes ozone precursors emissions related to energy consumption. The models are coupled via an optimization engine, which minimizes the total energy cost for a given ozone level. AUSTAL2000, a Lagrangian transport model, has been adapted to receive a photochemical module, the AsYmptotic Level Transport Pollution, AYLTP. This module consists of a Look-Up Table of quasi-linear reaction rates. A balance has been found that gives an acceptable level of accuracy, given the reduction of computational time. The results of the air quality model have been compared with measurements, and with the regional model LOTOS-EUROS and are considered satisfactory for this type of approach. Regarding the LEAQ framework, two study cases have been simulated, one including only the national emissions from Luxembourg country, and a second one for the Luxembourg region, including the neighbouring countries emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailNumerical Investigation into the Primary Breakup of Liquid Jets and Sheets
Kannan, Kumar UL

Doctoral thesis (2012)

Detailed reference viewed: 155 (5 UL)
See detailGestural Interfaces for Elderly Users - Help or Hindrance?
Stossel, Christian UL

Doctoral thesis (2012)

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See detailLow-energy Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry: Investigation of buried interfaces in multi-layer organic thin films
Ngo, Khanh Quyen UL

Doctoral thesis (2012)

Recently, the application of conjugated organic compounds increases significantly in optoelectronic devices. The main performances of these devices such as charge and energy transport, operational ... [more ▼]

Recently, the application of conjugated organic compounds increases significantly in optoelectronic devices. The main performances of these devices such as charge and energy transport, operational lifetime and energy conversion efficiency depend strongly on the doping and the interface structure. Therefore, in this project we develop dynamic SIMS analysis conditions using low energy primary ion beam to analyse multi-layered samples used in organic optoelectronic devices. The objective of this thesis is to study the different artefacts and mechanisms, which may arise in the low-energy depth profiling of organic materials and to optimize the SIMS conditions for interface resolution. For the objectives, in chapter I and II, a general introduction about the organic molecules, the fabrication techniques as well as fundamental aspects of the SIMS technique and the analysis conditions are presented. In chapter III, a study of the fragmentation of different organic films during sub-keV bombardment is performed. The typical secondary ions of different organic molecule are identified and chosen for depth profiling. Chapter IV is a study about air-contact induced topography change on Cs+ sputtered surface. This is useful to avoid artefacts when characterizing the Cs+ sputtered surfaces by AFM or by other techniques. The ability of low-energy SIMS to characterize the metal/organics interfaces is investigated in chapter V and VI. Chapter V is about the SIMS depth resolution and sputter-induced surface roughness studied on a series of metal – organic layered samples. In chapter VI, the diffusion of metal into organic layer seen in SIMS depth profiles is characterized. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of implicit and explicit algorithms in numerical simulation of granular matter
Samiei, Kasra UL

Doctoral thesis (2012)

The objectives of this dissertation are to investigate and demonstrate the potentials of implicit integration methods in predicting the dynamics of granular media and to describe the granular dynamics on ... [more ▼]

The objectives of this dissertation are to investigate and demonstrate the potentials of implicit integration methods in predicting the dynamics of granular media and to describe the granular dynamics on forward and backward acting grates by discrete element method. Traditionally, explicit integration methods are employed within the context of Discrete Element Method. Generally, explicit equations are simpler to solve than the implicit ones but they require a small time step to be utilized. In this study, an implicit Numerov integration scheme is employed to integrate the equations of motion. The implicit method is verified in different test cases starting from simple cases to more complicated cases including hundreds of particles. Comparing the results with the results of the explicit method, it is shown that the implicit method exhibits a distinguished advantage only at very large time steps. Taking into account the overhead of solving non-linear equations at each time step, it is concluded that implicit methods are computationally too expensive for their limited gains. Addressing the second objective of this study, the residence time distribution of granular particles on forward and backward acting grates are numerically predicted. Very good agreement between the predictions and the available experimental results is achieved. It can be concluded that the Discrete Element Method is highly capable of predicting the dynamics of solid fuel particles on grate systems. Future work shall include coupling of the method with computational fluid dynamics in order to account for thermal conversion of the fuel particles. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign and Implementation of a Reliable Distributed Energy Management System
Hoben, Ralf UL

Doctoral thesis (2011)

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See detailEnergieeffizienz neuer Schul-und Bürogebäude in Luxemburg basierend auf Verbrauchsdaten und Simulationen
Thewes, Andreas UL

Doctoral thesis (2011)

In Luxemburg, energy consumption in the building and housing sector has been significantly increasing over the last years. An assessment of the energy saving potential of buildings requires a ... [more ▼]

In Luxemburg, energy consumption in the building and housing sector has been significantly increasing over the last years. An assessment of the energy saving potential of buildings requires a comprehensive data basis with real consumption figures that are not yet available. One focus of this study was to create a priori a detailed energy consumption database for new “School and Administrative Buildings” for Luxembourg. These are both groups cover a major part of the building and housing sector in Luxembourg besides residential buildings. Based on the samples collected, it was able to expand the figures to the entire country using mathematical methods and the medium heat and electricity consumption of these two types of buildings could determined. After collecting some details about each object, it was able to analyze the influence of different parameters, such as building age, size, type, glass fraction etc., on energy consumption using multivariate statistical methods. A posteriori, the results from the database were verified using parameter studies to existing objects and one object still under construction. Based on this, important key parameters relevant for both energy savings and thermal comfort could be found. This knowledge are necessary to understand energy flows within buildings better and, based on this, to be able meeting the nearly zero energy buildings requirements as set out by the EU Directive in the years to come. As conclusion, the central-European climatic zone provides opportunities to design energy-saving office and school buildings (primary energy consumption < 100 kWh/m2a) without mechanical cooling and ventilation systems that still guarantee appropriate degrees of thermal comfort. Unfortunately, the real average primary energy consumption figures of new school (187 kWh/m2a) and office buildings (677 kWh/m2a) in Luxemburg are still significantly higher. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamic modelling of ground antennas
Breyer, Laurent UL

Doctoral thesis (2011)

Detailed reference viewed: 121 (6 UL)
See detailGenetic Algorithm based roadmapping: A method for product innovation
Suzianti, Amalia UL

Doctoral thesis (2011)

Detailed reference viewed: 155 (3 UL)
See detailCondition assessment of concrete structures and bridges using vibration monitoring in comparison to changes in their static properties
Bungard, Volker UL

Doctoral thesis (2010)

The thesis deals with the non-destructive condition assessment of civil engineering structures made of reinforced and prestressed concrete as well as bridges and concentrates on a comparison of static and ... [more ▼]

The thesis deals with the non-destructive condition assessment of civil engineering structures made of reinforced and prestressed concrete as well as bridges and concentrates on a comparison of static and dynamic investigation methods. The main questions discuss the sensitivity of changes in static as well as in dynamic properties during the mechanical lifetime of those types of structures under laboratory conditions, the sensitivity of these changes when testing in-situ and the dimension of undesired environmental influences on the dynamic properties. Therefore, a gradually loaded laboratory reinforced concrete beam (cp. chapter 7) and a reinforced as well as a prestressed concrete slab (cp. chapter 8) are investigated for changes in their static and dynamic parameters until reaching their ultimate loads. Furthermore, a successively damaged and stepwise loaded laboratory reinforced concrete slab and a prestressed concrete slab (cp. also chapter 8) are under investigation and also compared in changes in their static as well as in dynamic properties during their lifetimes. By means of static and dynamic tests on a successively damaged and stepwise loaded prestressed concrete bridge (cp. chapter 9) it was possible to investigate the amount of changes in static and dynamic properties for a real in-situ object. A long-term measurement of a composite bridge (cp. chapter 10) demonstrates the environmental influences on the static and dynamic properties of a system which have to be considered when conducting comparative non-destructive condition assessment techniques on real objects. All tests are calculated respectively simulated by the method of the integration of stress (cp. chapter 6) or the finite element method by using the softwares ANSYS and SOFISTIK. Furthermore, measured eigenfrequencies and modeshapes are used to adapt finite element models with the aim to improve the model or to locate and quantify damaged areas. The work is a contribution to the application of non-destructive static and dynamic condition assessment methods on civil engineering structures made of concrete in the sector of civil engineering. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis and modelling of the noise generation during vibratory pile driving and determination of the optimization potential
Hanus, Vincent UL

Doctoral thesis (2010)

Impact driving, pressing and vibrodriving are the three main methods to drive sheet piles. The sound level generated during vibrodriving varies almost between the very high level of an impact driving and ... [more ▼]

Impact driving, pressing and vibrodriving are the three main methods to drive sheet piles. The sound level generated during vibrodriving varies almost between the very high level of an impact driving and the lowest sound level of a pressing. In the first part of this doctoral thesis, sound measurements feasibility is thoroughly studied. Particular attention is paid to the measurement conditions on construction sites and to the measurement methods (sound power level, beamforming and thermography). These methods are outlined and the provided results are compared. In addition, the different causes of noise are analysed and the influence of various parameters is quantified. In the second part, the acceleration measurements of the full-scale experiments are used to calibrate a Finite Element model. A parametric study analyses how the most important mechanical parameters influence the noise level. This research has shown that a decrease of the noise generation on construction sites can be obtained by two ways: by recommendations for installation of sheet piles at the construction site, and by requirement of constructive measures that significantly reduce the noise level. [less ▲]

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See detailCompatibilités et incompatibilités liants cimentaires / superplastifiants
Nicolas, Edwige UL

Doctoral thesis (2010)

Currently required concrete strength imposes a lower water/cement ratio and use of superplasticizer to make easier the fresh material implementation. Polycarboxylate type products are very effective in ... [more ▼]

Currently required concrete strength imposes a lower water/cement ratio and use of superplasticizer to make easier the fresh material implementation. Polycarboxylate type products are very effective in the short term but can lead to a fast loss of workability in case of binder/superplasticizer incompatibility. The object of this work is the identification of cementitous phases involved in these rheological variations. Initially, flow of various superplasticized pastes is evaluated by a rheometer fitted with a ball measuring system. Compatible combinations flow like a Bingham’s fluid. An incompatibility results in an increase of yield stress and plastic viscosity or rheological properties evolution into Herschel-Bulkley’s fluid. Then, cement/superplasticizer combinations are characterized by rheological tests. Stiffening assessment of pastes and chemical characterisation of hydrated cements show that consistency is associated with amount and microstructure of formed ettringite. These parameters depend on initially present aluminate phase and calcium sulphates. Finally, study of synthetic cementitous systems states that calcium sulphates solubility, in presence of superplasticizer, is increased probably because Ca2+ ions complexation by polycarboxylates. As for the orthorhombic variety of aluminate phase, more reactive than cubic variety, it leads to a large amount of needle-shaped ettringite. [less ▲]

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See detailMechanische und thermische Untersuchungen zur Entwicklung eines Wärmedämmsteines aus Leichtbeton
Leufgens, Nadine UL

Doctoral thesis (2010)

The current discussion about the necessity of sustainable reduction of primary energy for heating of housing structures and of CO2 – emissions led the University of Luxembourg to issue a project to ... [more ▼]

The current discussion about the necessity of sustainable reduction of primary energy for heating of housing structures and of CO2 – emissions led the University of Luxembourg to issue a project to develop hybrid light-weight concrete blocks with high heat-insulating properties. Therefore, the demand for wall constructions limiting the heat flow through the outer wall was steadily growing. Because of the progressing standard of national and European Energy Saving Regulations for housing structures and office buildings in the past years, most of the producers of bricks and concrete masonry blocks were forced to develop new, innovative wall materials and constructions. For assessing the real actual state of the art of masonry blocks, 15 different bricks and blocks were taken from European free market as samples. It was shown, that especially for highly-heat insulating masonry lightweight concrete blocks (e.g. Vbl SW 2) with dry densities below 800 kg/m3 an optimization potential still exists. A relevant aspect for a critical estimation of a wall construction is the knowledge of mechanical and thermal lightweight aggregate concrete (LAC) parameters. The present work describes investigations for determining design limit values of the thermal and mechanical properties of LAC. Based on this, a mathematical approach to describe the strength, the thermal conductivity and for e.g. the stress-strain-relationship linked to the dry density in a range between 500 and 2000 kg/m3 was derived. For studying the material behavior of LAC, specimens were produced in laboratory tests as well as in the production line by fabricating solid lightweight concrete blocks without inner air holes. Due to the unsatisfying results of the market study, further investigations had to be done to determine the influence of size and slenderness effects on the strength of solid specimen and masonry blocks with inner air holes made of LAC. Additionally, combined influencing factors were studied on block sections cut out of hollow and solid masonry blocks. In the following, the experimental results were verified by simulations with the Finite-Element-Method using the commercial software ANSYS© for modeling different LAC-specimen geometries and the influence of the kind of load applications by a contact zone between steel plates and specimen. Subsequently, the results of these investigations and the achieved knowledge of the influencing factors on the load carrying capacity of the block structures lead to an analytical model approach for design purpose of masonry blocks based on the elasticity theory. This model allows quantitative predictions of the load bearing strength of hollow and solid masonry blocks with inner air holes arranged in a grid system. The analytical model is verified by comparison of experimental results of different block geometries. Finally, the knowledge of the load carrying behavior of different LAC specimen geometries achieved by various experimental and numerical results contribute to the construction of new prototypes of heat insulating masonry blocks made of LAC. Based on the results of the market study and numerical parameter studies, it is revealed that it is suggestive to separate the load bearing from the thermal function of the block by developing 3-layered Sandwich and composite blocks made of an insulating and load bearing part. [less ▲]

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See detailAdaptive high-gain extended kalman filter and applications
Boizot, Nicolas UL

Doctoral thesis (2010)

The work concerns the ``observability problem” --- the reconstruction of a dynamic process's full state from a partially measured state--- for nonlinear dynamic systems. The Extended Kalman Filter (EKF ... [more ▼]

The work concerns the ``observability problem” --- the reconstruction of a dynamic process's full state from a partially measured state--- for nonlinear dynamic systems. The Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is a widely-used observer for such nonlinear systems. However it suffers from a lack of theoretical justifications and displays poor performance when the estimated state is far from the real state, e.g. due to large perturbations, a poor initial state estimate, etc… We propose a solution to these problems, the Adaptive High-Gain (EKF). Observability theory reveals the existence of special representations characterizing nonlinear systems having the observability property. Such representations are called observability normal forms. A EKF variant based on the usage of a single scalar parameter, combined with an observability normal form, leads to an observer, the High-Gain EKF, with improved performance when the estimated state is far from the actual state. Its convergence for any initial estimated state is proven. Unfortunately, and contrary to the EKF, this latter observer is very sensitive to measurement noise. Our observer combines the behaviors of the EKF and of the high-gain EKF. Our aim is to take advantage of both efficiency with respect to noise smoothing and reactivity to large estimation errors. In order to achieve this, the parameter that is the heart of the high-gain technique is made adaptive. \textit{Voila}, the Adaptive High-Gain EKF. A measure of the quality of the estimation is needed in order to drive the adaptation. We propose such an index and prove the relevance of its usage. We provide a proof of convergence for the resulting observer, and the final algorithm is demonstrated via both simulations and a real-time implementation. Finally, extensions to multiple output and to continuous-discrete systems are given. [less ▲]

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See detailBearing capacity of steel fiber reinforced concrete flat slabs
Michels, Julien UL

Doctoral thesis (2009)

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See detailZur Rotationskapazität von Verbundanschlüssen bei der Bemessung nach dem Fließgelenkverfahren
Hahn, Christoph UL

Doctoral thesis (2009)

The present work deals with the load bearing and rotational behaviour of composite connections in steel and concrete constructions. For typical buildings, composite connections are assumed to be rigid or ... [more ▼]

The present work deals with the load bearing and rotational behaviour of composite connections in steel and concrete constructions. For typical buildings, composite connections are assumed to be rigid or pinned. This assumption can lead to uneconomic structures. A design concept for the estimation of the available rotation capacity, the initial stiffness and the moment bearing capacity of semi-rigid connections is presented. On the basis of the plastic hinge theory diagrams were developed to prove the load carrying capacity and the serviceability of composite beams with semi-rigid connections. The presented design model is based on the evaluation of 9 self conducted tests and on the evaluation of 74 tests on composite connections from all over Europe. The availability of the model was proved by intensive nonlinear finite element simulations. [less ▲]

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See detailInterfence mitigation and synchronization for satellite communications
Grotz, Joel UL

Doctoral thesis (2008)

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See detailUse of commercial simulation software for analyzing the dynamics of an injection-molding clamp unit
Hostert, Claude UL

Doctoral thesis (2006)

Today, the interest in integrated dynamic analysis of mechatronic systems increases. Different approaches are possible depending on the nature of the system, on the required complexity of the model, or ... [more ▼]

Today, the interest in integrated dynamic analysis of mechatronic systems increases. Different approaches are possible depending on the nature of the system, on the required complexity of the model, or simply on the tools available to the engineer. During this work, the aim was to implement specialized commercial simulation software packages and to combine them in order to simulate the dynamic behavior of mechatronic systems as for example an injection molding machine. The multi-body simulation software is the backbone of the current analysis as it inherently models large non-linear motions. It is possible to account for the flexibility of components in the MBS model if necessary. Furthermore, other simulation codes were used to model the hydraulic and controls systems. The case studies show the interest and the potential of a combined analysis of mechatronic systems. Once the different sub-models, generated with the adequate simulation tool, have been successfully linked and validated by measurements, various scenarios can be simulated and analyzed. The model provides the engineer with an additional insight into the overall system and thus with a better understanding of its dynamic characteristics. The interactions between the subsystems, which may be of very distinctive nature, can be investigated. Generally, it is difficult to predict such relations intuitively. Finally, the model allows to simulate with different design parameters and to asses the effect of modifications to these on the overall performance of the machine. This helps to identify the significant parameters that are crucial for an optimized functioning. [less ▲]

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