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[en] Purpose: Portal field edge detection is an essential component of several postprocessing techniques used in on-line portal imaging, including field shape verification, selective contrast enhancement, and treatment setup error detection. Currently edge detection of successive fractions in a multifraction portal image series involves the repetitive application of the same algorithm. As the number of changes in the field is small compared to the total number of fractions, standard edge detection algorithms essentially recalculate the same field shape numerous times. A heuristic approach to portal edge detection has been developed that takes advantage of the relatively few changes in the portal field shape throughout a fractionation series. Methods and Materials: The routine applies a standard edge detection routine to calculate an initial field edge and saves the edge information. Subsequent fractions are processed by applying an edge detection operator over a small region about each point of the previously defined contour, to determine any shifts in the field shape in the new image. Failure of this edge check indicates that a significant change in the field edge has occurred, and the original edge detection routine is applied to the image. Otherwise the modified edge contour is used to define the new edge. Results: Two hundred and eighty-one portal images collected from an electronic portal imaging device were processed by the edge detection routine. The algorithm accurately calculated each portal field edge, as well as reducing processing time in subsequent fractions of an individual portal field by a factor of up to 14. Conclusions: The heuristic edge detection routine is an accurate and fast method for calculating portal field edges and determining field edge setup errors
[en] This study presents a series of 4-point bending tests performed to describe the delayed behavior of unreinforced pre-cracked beams under low, moderate and high sustained loading levels. The deflection creep rate, the failure time and the load level were assessed. A linear relation, in a semi-log scale, was found for the deflection creep rate at high load levels. In addition, a linear relation, in a log–log scale, between the secondary deflection creep rate and failure time was observed. Besides, it was shown that the secondary creep deflection rate increases with the sustained loading level and the macrocrack propagation rate when macrocrack propagation occurs during the sustained loading. Physical mechanisms are proposed to explain these results and may be summarized as follows: the delayed behavior of an unreinforced cracked concrete specimen under sustained loading is mainly due to the cracking evolution, thus the creation of microcracks and/or the propagation of a macrocrack
[en] Brazilian disk test is here analyzed as a test method to determine the strength of joined ceramics. The test specimen consisted of two silicon carbide half-disks diametrically bonded with a brittle adhesive (Araldite AV119 (TM)). Several tests were performed with different angles of the adhesive layer with respect to the diametral line of loading. An elastic finite element analysis is used to determine the maximum shear stress and the normal compressive stress within the joint. Assuming a failure criterion based on a shear stress condition, this procedure allows evaluating the shear strength of the epoxy adhesive. (authors)
[en] Hard x-ray contact microscopy provides images of dense samples at resolutions of tens of nanometers. However, the required beam intensity can only be delivered by synchrotron sources. We report on the use of a gold photoelectric conversion layer to lower the exposure dose by a factor of 40 to 50, allowing hard x-ray contact microscopy to be performed with a compact x-ray tube. We demonstrate the method in imaging the transmission pattern of a type of hard x-ray grating that cannot be fitted into conventional x-ray microscopes due to its size and shape. Generally the method is easy to implement and can record images of samples in the hard x-ray region over a large area in a single exposure, without some of the geometric constraints associated with x-ray microscopes based on zone-plate or other magnifying optics.
[en] The ClimSec project has studied the impact of climate change on drought and soil water over France by using a climatological reanalysis of the SAFRAN/ISBA/MODCOU suite (SIM) since 1958. Standardized drought indices for precipitation (SPI) and soil moisture (SSWI) have been defined for research purposes to characterize the various kinds of events. They were then adapted for operational hydrological monitoring and used to assess the exceptional drought of spring 2011. These indices were also calculated for future climate from the various regionalized climate projections available over France. Three particular experiments in socio-economic scenarios, climate models and down-scaling methods have been run to estimate the relative importance of the different uncertainties in drought evolution. The assessment of 21. century drought evolution shows a much earlier and more intense occurrence of changes for agricultural droughts linked to soil moisture deficits than for meteorological drought linked with precipitation deficits. Climate projections suggest that France could be affected on the second half of the 21. century by a quasi-continuous drought with a strong intensity, totally unknown in present climate. (authors)
[en] The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment aims at a measurement of the neutrino mass with a 90% confidence limit (CL) sensitivity of 0.2 eV/c2 by measuring the endpoint region of the tritium β decay spectrum from a windowless gaseous molecular tritium source using an integrating spectrometer of the magnetic adiabatic collimation with an electrostatic filter (MAC-E-Filter) type. We discuss the idea of using the MAC-E-Filter in a time-of-flight mode (MAC-E-TOF) in which the neutrino mass is determined by a measurement of the electron TOF spectrum that depends on the neutrino mass. MAC-E-TOF spectroscopy here is a very sensitive method since the β-electrons are slowed down to distinguishable velocities by the MAC-E-Filter. Their velocity depends strongly on their surplus energy above the electric retarding potential. Using MAC-E-TOF, a statistical sensitivity gain is expected. Because a small number of retarding-potential settings is sufficient for a complete measurement, in contrast to about 40 different retarding potentials used in the standard MAC-E-Filter mode, there is a gain in measurement time and hence statistical power. The improvement of the statistical uncertainty of the squared neutrino mass has been determined by Monte Carlo simulation to be a factor 5 for an ideal case neglecting background and timing uncertainty. Additionally, two scenarios to determine the TOF of the β-electrons are discussed, which use the KATRIN detector for creating the stop signal and different methods for obtaining a start signal. These comprise the hypothetical case of an ‘electron tagger’ which detects passing electrons with minimal interference and the more realistic case of ‘gated filtering’, where the electron flux is periodically cut off by pulsing the pre-spectrometer potential. (paper)
[en] Variable stars have been identified among the optical-wavelength light curves of guide stars used for pointing control of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We present a catalog of these variable stars along with their light curves and ancillary data. Variability was detected to a lower limit of 0.02 mag amplitude in the 4000-10000 A range using the photometrically stable Aspect Camera on board the Chandra spacecraft. The Chandra Variable Guide Star Catalog (VGUIDE) contains 827 stars, of which 586 are classified as definitely variable and 241 are identified as possibly variable. Of the 586 definite variable stars, we believe 319 are new variable star identifications. Types of variables in the catalog include eclipsing binaries, pulsating stars, and rotating stars. The variability was detected during the course of normal verification of each Chandra pointing and results from analysis of over 75,000 guide star light curves from the Chandra mission. The VGUIDE catalog represents data from only about 9 years of the Chandra mission. Future releases of VGUIDE will include newly identified variable guide stars as the mission proceeds. An important advantage of the use of space data to identify and analyze variable stars is the relatively long observations that are available. The Chandra orbit allows for observations up to 2 days in length. Also, guide stars were often used multiple times for Chandra observations, so many of the stars in the VGUIDE catalog have multiple light curves available from various times in the mission. The catalog is presented as both online data associated with this paper and as a public Web interface. Light curves with data at the instrumental time resolution of about 2 s, overplotted with the data binned at 1 ks, can be viewed on the public Web interface and downloaded for further analysis. VGUIDE is a unique project using data collected during the mission that would otherwise be ignored. The stars available for use as Chandra guide stars are generally 6-11 mag and are commonly spectral types A and later. Due to the selection of guide stars entirely for positional convenience, this catalog avoids the possible bias of searching for variability in objects where it is to be expected. Statistics of variability compared to spectral type indicate the expected dominance of A-F stars as pulsators. Eclipsing binaries are consistently 20%-30% of the detected variables across all spectral types.
[en] Axial and hoop tensile tests are performed at room temperature on SiC fiber CVI matrix tubular samples. A layer-to-layer interlock 3D braided preform is used. An elastic damageable mechanical behavior resulting from the development of matrix and delamination cracks is evidenced. A weaker behavior is observed in the hoop direction as a consequence of the geometry of the fibrous preform. It is shown that a numerical approach can be used to establish a link between the mechanical behavior and the microstructure of the composite
[en] Within the Explore 2070 project, an evaluation of the possible impacts of climate change on surface water between the 1961-1990 reference period and the 2046-2065 period was carried out in continental France and i n overseas departments on the basis of the A1B greenhouse gas emission scenario, seven general circulation models an d two hydrological models (Isba-Modcou and GR4J). In continental France, results indicate: (1) a possible increase in ai r temperature between +1.4 deg. C and +3 deg. C; (2) an uncertain evolution of precipitation, most models however agreeing on a decreasing trend in summer precipitation; (3) a significant decrease (10% to 40%) of mean annual flows at the country scale, especially pronounced in the Seine-Normandie and Adour-Garonne districts; (4) a strong decrease in summer lo w flows in most basins; (5) more heterogeneous and less significant evolutions for floods. A special care was given to the quantification of the uncertainties linked to these results. They provide an indication of the significance of projected changes. The evolutions calculated in the overseas zones can be considered non-significant given the level of uncertainty linked to the hydro-climatic modelling chain. These results urge to implement adaptation strategies based on a better management of water resources, among others. (authors)
[en] This article analyses the observed and projected impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, their vulnerability and adaptation options. It provides insight into the main results related to hydrology, agriculture, natural ecosystems, transport, energy, tourism, infrastructures, health and social aspects. This article presents the main results concerning Europe that were compiled in the contribution of Working Group II to the IPCC fifth assessment report published in 2014. Several studies focused on mainland France are also presented, without claiming to be exhaustive. (authors)