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The basis of the virtual machine concept, which is commonly used in coordinate measuring machines, was implemented to determine more realistic uncertainties on the estimation of the elastic modulus obtained from nanoindentation tests. The methodology is based on a mathematical model applied to simulate the testing process and to evaluate the uncertainties through Monte Carlo simulations whose application depends on the studied system (instrument, material, scale, etc.). The methodology was applied to the study of fused silica (FQ) and steel samples tested in a nanoindentation system. The results revealed that the most relevant sources of uncertainty are related to the calibration procedure, particularly to the elastic modulus of the calibration material, and to the contact depth estimation; however, the relevance of the uncertainties is system dependent. This work represents a first insight for a deeper consideration of the uncertainties in instrumented indentation testing.
Pre-weaning animals exit a flock through death induced by various reasons, causing significant economic losses to the goat producers. In this study, we investigated the survival from birth to weaning of Sirohi goat kids within framework of the survival analysis. Kid records were accessed from 1997 to 2017, with the information on 4417 pre-weaning animals of farmed Sirohi goat native to the Rajasthan State of India. A multivariable Cox regression was fitted to the data after checking the assumptions of regression. The explanatory variables were sex, type of birth, season of birth, birthweight, doe weight at kidding and year of birth. Model selection eliminated doe weight from the model, and sex, type of birth, season of birth, birthweight and year of birth were retained in the model. With model calibration also, these five covariates were retained in the model. The mortality on the first day after birth was 0.3%, constituting 3.5% of all pre-weaning mortality. The mortality until the end of weaning period was 7.8%. Regression analysis revealed that the higher birthweight at kidding was associated with reduced hazard of death among the kids. Male kids had higher hazards of death compared with female kids. The single-born kids had lower risks of death compared with twin-born kids after accounting for heterogeneity. The winter season had a very high adverse effect on the survival of the kids. With each passing year, risks of death decreased. The results of this study indicate that better survival of kids can be achieved by controlling both environmental and animal-related factors.
Two tree-ring series, one from a high-latitude pine tree (located in northern Scandinavia) and one from a mid-latitude oak tree (located in eastern Germany) were analyzed for radiocarbon (14C) at annual resolution. The new records cover the calendar date ranges 290–460 AD and 382–486 AD, respectively, overlapping by 79 yr. The series show similar trends as IntCal13. However, some significant deviations around 400 AD are present with lower Δ14C (higher 14C ages). An average offset between the two new series and IntCal13 of about 20 years in conventional 14C age is observed. A latitudinal 14C offset between the tree sites in central and northern Europe, as would be expected due to the relatively large spatial distance, is not recorded, however. Periodic changes in the 14C records are resolved that can be attributed to the “11-year” solar cycle (Schwabe cycle) with cycle length from 9 to 11 years. The magnitude of changes in Δ14C due to the solar cycle is between 1.5 and 3‰. Since solar cyclicity is only partially synchronous between the two new series, reasons for asynchronicity are explored.
Consumption of marine protein in humans and animals can result in an apparent older radiocarbon (14C) age due to reservoir offsets. In order to correct for this, an estimate of the marine protein intake should be used to correct the 14C age for reservoir offsets, which is ordinarily done using δ13C or δ15N values. However, these two isotopic proxies can be influenced by a number of factors which can hamper estimation of the correct marine protein intake. A small dataset of 12 samples from the Limfjord, Denmark, ranging in age from Mesolithic to Viking Age, was used to test the use of δ2H values to quantify marine protein intake and determine the reservoir corrections. Each of the three stable isotopic values (δ2H, δ13C, δ15N) was used to estimate the percent marine protein intake, which produced three different calibrated 14C ages. The calculated percent marine protein intake differed between the use of the stable isotopic ratios with a maximum difference of 42.1% between the use of δ15N and δ13C, 23.8% between δ2H and δ13C, and 46.2% between δ2H and δ15N. In some cases the calculated percent marine protein intake changed the sample’s archaeological period, although there was generally still overlap in the archaeological periods for samples used in this study.
This paper presents and compares a set of calibration strategies useful to calibrate vision-based robotised work-cells for micromanipulation and microassembly. To grasp and release microparts precisely, robot calibration, camera calibration and robot-camera registration are needed. Conventional calibration methods are very onerous at the microscale, therefore, two alternative unconventional procedures, called virtual grid calibration and hybrid calibration, are developed for work-cells with high-performance robots, minimising necessary instrumentation. Moreover, an effective calibration of the robot end-effector is designed to compensate for misalignment and orientation errors with respect to the vertical rotational axis. This paper describes the calibration methods and their implementation, the results and the improvements achieved. A detailed comparison between the hybrid and the virtual grid calibrations is provided, demonstrating the higher performance of the latter strategy.
The assessment and calibration of representational bias in modern soil phytolith assemblages provide the basis for improving interpretation of fossil phytolith assemblages. We studied soil phytolith representation by comparing phytoliths from living plant communities with those from paired surface soils, representing 39 plant communities in Northeast China. Together with the use of representation indices, the 34 and 30 soil morphotypes observed in forest and grassland samples, respectively, were both classified into the following four groups: “Associated types” were similarly represented in soils and in the corresponding species inventory data; “Over-represented types” and “Under-represented types” were respectively over- and under-represented in soils compared to the inventory data; and, in the case of “Special types,” the relationship with the parent plants was unclear. In addition, the diagnostic types exhibited different degrees of representation, while the most common morphotypes were equally represented between grassland samples and forest samples. On this basis, a comparison between the original and corrected soil phytolith indices of the additional 29 soil samples was conducted. The soil phytoliths frequencies corrected by R-values differed between plots with differing plant compositions, and were moderately consistent with actual plant richness in the plot inventory data. We therefore confirmed that R-values are a promising means of correcting soil phytoliths for representational bias in temperate regions. The corrected soil phytoliths can be used to reliably reflect vegetation variability. Overall, our study provides an improved understanding of soil phytolith representation and offers a potential method for improving the accuracy of paleovegetation reconstruction.
We performed a new series of measurements on samples that were part of early measurements on radiocarbon (14C) dating made in 1948–1949. Our results show generally good agreement to the data published in 1949–1951, despite vast changes in technology, with only two exceptions where there was a discrepancy in the original studies. Our new measurements give calibrated ages that overlap with the known ages. We dated several samples at four different laboratories, and so we were also able to make a small intercomparison at the same time. In addition, new measurements on samples from other Egyptian materials used by Libby and co-workers were made at UC Irvine. Samples of tree rings used in the original studies (from Broken Flute Cave and Centennial Stump) were obtained from the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research archive and remeasured. New data were compared to the original studies and other records.
This study carried out accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) measurement of Japanese tree rings dating from the middle to early modern eras to investigate calibration curve fine structure. Tree-ring ages were determined by dendrochronology or δ18O chronology for Japanese trees. 14C ages from the 15th century to the middle of the 17th century followed the IntCal13 calibration curve within measurement error. Different patterns of fluctuations during the latter half of the 17th century to the early the 18th century were observed in different tree samples. In the 19th century, patterns of 14C ages of different samples appeared similar but did not exactly match each other.
Radiocarbon (14C) wiggle-match dating is a technique with a substantial potential to improve the precision of dating timbers in situations where dendrochronology is not tenable. However, one of the key reasons why obtaining a dendrochronological determination might be difficult is the short-lived nature of timbers on a range of archaeological sites, something that also affects the efficiency of the wiggle-match dating technique. Combined with the potential for high expense that the technique presents, it is paramount that wiggle-match dating research design has a good empirical basis. To this end we dated 50 consecutive, individual rings from a timber that grew during the Hallstatt radiocarbon calibration plateau (ca. 750–400 cal BC) in southwest Scotland. The results indicate that (1) the precision and accuracy of wiggle-match dates carried out on short-lived sequences during the Hallstatt plateau may suffer due to insufficient resolution of the calibration data, (2) sampling time-frames roughly equivalent to the underpinning calibration data are recommended (for the period in question this means decadal blocks), and (3) short-lived sequences are at risk of losing accuracy if the actual past trend of radiocarbon diverges from the mean of the radiocarbon calibration curve.
A regional offset (ΔR) from the marine radiocarbon calibration curve is widely used in calibration software (e.g. CALIB, OxCal) but often is not calculated correctly. While relatively straightforward for known-age samples, such as mollusks from museum collections or annually banded corals, it is more difficult to calculate ΔR and the uncertainty in ΔR for 14C dates on paired marine and terrestrial samples. Previous researchers have often utilized classical intercept methods that do not account for the full calibrated probability distribution function (pdf). Recently, Soulet (2015) provided R code for calculating reservoir ages using the pdfs, but did not address ΔR and the uncertainty in ΔR. We have developed an online application for performing these calculations for known-age, paired marine and terrestrial 14C dates and U-Th dated corals. This article briefly discusses methods that have been used for calculating ΔR and the uncertainty and describes the online program deltar, which is available free of charge.
The traditional Kalman filtering-based transfer alignment methods largely depend on prior information for initialisation. However, the initialisation process is hard to fulfil on a moving base. In this paper, a type of inertial measurement vector integration matching for optimisation-based transfer alignment and calibration is proposed to estimate the misalignment between the Master Inertial Navigation System (MINS) and Slave Inertial Navigation System (SINS), and main inertial sensor error parameters of SINS, including bias and scale factor error. In contrast to filter techniques, the proposed method has the capability of self-initialisation and provides a new idea to solve the alignment and calibration problem. No prior information is needed. Moreover, the integration time interval for the matching inertial measurement vector is selected by considering both the observation degree of inertial sensor error parameters and the noise effect. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed method has faster convergence and is more accurate than Kalman filter techniques.
In a waist-worn Pedestrian Navigation System (PNS) based on Dead-Reckoning (DR), heading drift caused by Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) gyro bias is an essential factor affecting DR accuracy. Considering the characteristics of pedestrian navigation and the poor bias repeatability of MEMS gyros, this paper presents a standing calibration method for MEMS gyro bias. The current gyro biases for each boot can be calibrated accurately in the initial stage before walking. Since the attitude angles calculated by the output data from magnetic sensor and accelerometers do not drift, this paper applies the reverse algorithm of attitude updating to calculate the angular velocities of human motion. Then the gyro biases at each moment can be acquired by subtraction operation between the measured angular velocities from gyros and the calculated angular velocities of human motion. Finally, in order to restrain the random error caused by sensor noise, the calculated biases in the initial stage are smoothed, and consequently the optimal estimate of current gyro biases after each boot can be obtained. Still and dynamic turntable experiments and a walking experiment are performed to compare and analyse the proposed method and the Zero Angular Rate Update (ZARU) method. Experimental results show that the proposed method can also calibrate the gyro bias accurately in the case of body swaying.
This study tested whether accurate dating by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon wiggle-matching of short tree-ring series (~30 annual rings) in the Medieval period could be achieved. Scientific dating plays a central role in the conservation of historic buildings in England. Precise dating helps assess the significance of particular buildings or elements of their fabric, thus allowing us to make informed decisions about their repair and protection. Consequently, considerable weight, both financial and legal, can be attached to the precision and accuracy of this dating. Dendrochronology is the method of choice, but in a proportion of cases this is unable to provide calendar dates. Hence, we would like to be able to use 14C wiggle-matching to provide a comparable level of precision and reliability, particularly on shorter tree-ring sequences (~30 annual growth rings) that up until now would not routinely be sampled. We present the results of AMS wiggle-matching five oak tree-ring sequences, spanning the period covered by the vast majority of surviving Medieval buildings in England (about AD 1180–1540) when currently we have only decadal and bidecadal calibration data.
Residual delay errors in VLBI data limit the image sensitivity and dynamic range attainable using current calibration techniques such as self-calibration. Applying phase corrections derived from regular observations of nearby calibrators (phase-referencing), the residual delay errors on a target source can be reduced, increasing coherent integration times. In this paper we present the results of a series of observations made with the VLBA to examine the effectiveness of phase-referencing for improving instrumental phase stability. Optimum observing strategies when studying weak (~ mJy) sources are discussed.
To evaluate the reliability and validity of the FFQ administered to participants in the follow-up of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS), and to provide calibration coefficients.
A random sample stratified by country of birth, age, sex and BMI was selected from MCCS participants. Participants completed two FFQ and three 24 h recalls over 1 year. Reliability was evaluated by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Validity coefficients (VC) were estimated from structural equation models and calibration coefficients obtained from regression calibration models.
Adults born in Australia, Greece or Italy.
Nine hundred and sixty-five participants consented to the study; of these, 459 participants were included in the reliability analyses and 615 in the validity and calibration analyses.
The FFQ showed good repeatability for twenty-three nutrients with ICC ranging from 0·66 to 0·80 for absolute nutrient intakes for Australian-born and from 0·51 to 0·74 for Greek/Italian-born. For Australian-born, VC ranged from 0·46 (monounsaturated fat) to 0·83 (Ca) for nutrient densities, comparing well with other studies. For Greek/Italian-born, VC were between 0·21 (Na) and 0·64 (riboflavin). Calibration coefficients for nutrient densities ranged from 0·39 (retinol) to 0·74 (Mg) for Australian-born and from 0·18 (Zn) to 0·54 (riboflavin) for Greek/Italian-born.
The FFQ used in the MCCS follow-up study is suitable for estimating energy-adjusted nutrients for Australian-born participants. However, its performance for estimating intakes is poorer for southern European migrants and alternative dietary assessment methods ought to be considered if dietary data are to be measured in similar demographic groups.
Radiocarbon calibration based on dendro-chronology and U-series dated corals yield a calibration curve (INTCAL98) well into the Late Glacial, back to ca. 15,600 calendar years ago. Beyond this limit, various calibration curves are produced, mainly based on laminated sediments and various carbonates dated by U-series isotopes. Such calibration curves now cover the complete 14C dating range of about 45,000 years, but are not consistent with each other. Each calibration method (other than dendro-chronology) has its own assumptions and pitfalls. Thus far, the calibration curve obtained from Lake Suigetsu laminated sediments is the only terrestrial (atmospheric) one.
We have developed two integrated thermocouple (TC) crucible systems that allow precise measurement of sample temperature when using a furnace associated with an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM). Sample temperatures measured with these systems are precise (±5°C) and reliable. The TC crucible systems allow working with solids and liquids (silicate melts or ionic liquids), independent of the gas composition and pressure. These sample holder designs will allow end users to perform experiments at high temperature in the ESEM chamber with high precision control of the sample temperature.
Quality assurance is an integrated part of any calibration facility. The calibration
facility as well as its customers are interested in the facility production outgoing
quality. In most calibration labs the inspection of calibrated items is performed
according to a suitable sampling inspection policy. Some of these policies are very good
in assuring the quality of the calibration services they offer, but do not provide a clear
assessment of the outgoing quality of the entire production of the facility. This paper
has developed two methods of calculating the average outgoing quality (AOQ) of a
calibration lab that uses a multistage sampling inspection policy. The policy structure is
presented first along with the exact procedure of how to perform it by the inspectors and
the methods to calculate the AOQ. The two methods differ from each another in the type of
data required to calculate the AOQ. The first method requires the technicians’ production,
the number of items subject to inspections and the number of failing items found. The
second method requires only the number of technicians at each level of the multistage
inspection policy. The verifications of the performances of two methods are accomplished
by building a simulation model on an Excel worksheet. The model simulates the calibration
facility with the right parameters, and then compares the two methods with the actual AOQ.
The paper further discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each method in a broader
context of quality assurance.
Deer populations are increasing throughout the northern hemisphere, and unregulated numbers can jeopardize biodiversity and the economy. These populations are difficult to monitor using visual counts. Estimating densities from surveys of faecal pellets is reliable but time-consuming and thus, if carried out by professionals, expensive. Utilizing volunteers has clear advantages. Based on research from the UK (6 years) and Nova Scotia, Canada (4 years), we investigated the methodological refinements and training required to achieve reliable data when using volunteers. For safety reasons volunteers worked in teams of 5–10 (n = 611) under supervision of scientists. We compared faecal accumulation rate and faecal standing crop surveys using 10 × 10 m quadrats. Both methods produced similar estimates of density, but because of significant time savings and greater volunteer enjoyment we favour faecal standing crop over faecal accumulation rate surveys. Volunteer teams surveyed quadrats significantly faster than a single professional but needed significantly longer to reach and stake out new quadrats. On average, teams found 68% of all droppings. Performance of individuals was affected by training, gender, and willingness and aptitude to survey. After five quadrats men scored significantly higher than women but this difference was reduced after 20 quadrats. Age did not affect performance but willingness and aptitude correlated with ability to find and identify droppings. We conclude that volunteers can monitor deer effectively but that techniques should be modified. The provision of context, training, supervision and verification by a professional are essential. Because of the drain on scientists’ time, cost-effective volunteer deployment is a question of scale.
To illustrate the impact of intake-related bias in FFQ and 24 h recall (24hR), and correlated errors between these methods, on intake–health associations.
Dietary intake was assessed by a 180-item semi-quantitative FFQ and two 24hR. Urinary N and urinary K were estimated from two 24 h urine samples. We compared four scenarios to correct associations for errors in an FFQ estimating protein and K intakes.
Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Fifty-nine men and fifty-eight women aged 45–65 years.
For this FFQ, measurement error weakened a true relative risk of 2·0 to 1·4 for protein and 1·5 for K. As compared with calibration to duplicate recovery biomarkers (i.e. the preferred scenario 1), estimating a validity coefficient using this duplicate biomarker resulted in overcorrected associations, caused by intake-related bias in the FFQ (scenario 2). The correction factor based on a triad using biomarkers and 24hR was hampered by this intake-related bias and by correlated errors between FFQ and 24hR, and in this population resulted in a nearly perfect correction for protein but an overcorrection for K (scenario 3). When the 24hR was used for calibration, only a small correction was done, due to correlated errors between the methods and intake-related bias in the 24hR (scenario 4).
Calibration to a gold standard reference method is the preferred approach to correct intake–health associations for FFQ measurement error. If it is not possible to do so, using the 24hR as reference method only partly removes the errors, but may result in improved intake–health associations.