Open Science Research Excellence





Directed Approach and Resolution of Practical Cases as a Motivation Tool for Self-Learning and Cooperation
The development of competences and practical capacities of students is getting an important incidence into the guidelines of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The methodology applied in this work is based on the education through directed resolution of practical cases. All cases are related to professional tasks that the students will have to develop in their future career. The method is intended to form the necessary competences of students of the Marine Engineering and Maritime Transport Degree in the matter of “Physics". The experience was applied in the course of 2011/2012. Students were grouped, and a practical task was assigned to them, that should be developed and solved within the team. The aim was to realize students learning by three ways: their own knowledge, the contribution of their teammates and the teacher's direction. The results of the evaluation were compared with those obtained previously by the traditional teaching method.
Cooperation, Marine Engineering, Self-learning skills.
Direct Measurements of Wind Data over 100 Meters above the Ground in the Site of Lendinara, Italy
The wind resource in the Italian site of Lendinara (RO) is analyzed through a systematic anemometric campaign performed on the top of the bell tower, at an altitude of over 100 m above the ground. Both the average wind speed and the Weibull distribution are computed. The resulting average wind velocity is in accordance with the numerical predictions of the Italian Wind Atlas, confirming the accuracy of the extrapolation of wind data adopted for the evaluation of wind potential at higher altitudes with respect to the commonly placed measurement stations.
Anemometric campaign, wind resource, Weibull distribution, wind atlas
In silico Simulations for DNA Shuffling Experiments
DNA shuffling is a powerful method used for in vitro evolute molecules with specific functions and has application in areas such as, for example, pharmaceutical, medical and agricultural research. The success of such experiments is dependent on a variety of parameters and conditions that, sometimes, can not be properly pre-established. Here, two computational models predicting DNA shuffling results is presented and their use and results are evaluated against an empirical experiment. The in silico and in vitro results show agreement indicating the importance of these two models and motivating the study and development of new models.
Computer simulation, DNA shuffling, in silico andin vitro comparison.
Bandwidth Estimation Algorithms for the Dynamic Adaptation of Voice Codec
In the recent years multimedia traffic and in particular VoIP services are growing dramatically. We present a new algorithm to control the resource utilization and to optimize the voice codec selection during SIP call setup on behalf of the traffic condition estimated on the network path. The most suitable methodologies and the tools that perform realtime evaluation of the available bandwidth on a network path have been integrated with our proposed algorithm: this selects the best codec for a VoIP call in function of the instantaneous available bandwidth on the path. The algorithm does not require any explicit feedback from the network, and this makes it easily deployable over the Internet. We have also performed intensive tests on real network scenarios with a software prototype, verifying the algorithm efficiency with different network topologies and traffic patterns between two SIP PBXs. The promising results obtained during the experimental validation of the algorithm are now the basis for the extension towards a larger set of multimedia services and the integration of our methodology with existing PBX appliances.
Integrated voice-data communication, computernetwork performance, resource optimization.
Balanced Scorecard in SMEs – A Proposal for Small Gas Stations in Portugal
As current business environment is demanding a constant adaptation of companies, the planning and strategic management should be an ongoing and natural process in all kind of organizations. The use of management and monitoring strategic performance tools such as the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) have been popular; even to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. This paper aims to investigate whether the BSC is being used in monitoring the performance of small businesses, particularly in small fuel retailers companies, which are competing in co-branding; and if not, it aims to identify its strategic orientation in order to recommend a possible strategy map for those managers that are willing to adopt this model as an alternative to traditional ones for organizational performance evaluation, which often focus only on evaluation of the organizational financial performance.
Balanced Scorecard, Performance Management and Evaluation, SMEs, Strategy Maps
Comparison of Alternative Models to Predict Lean Meat Percentage of Lamb Carcasses

The objective of this study was to develop and compare alternative prediction equations of lean meat proportion (LMP) of lamb carcasses. Forty (40) male lambs, 22 of Churra Galega Bragançana Portuguese local breed and 18 of Suffolk breed were used. Lambs were slaughtered, and carcasses weighed approximately 30 min later in order to obtain hot carcass weight (HCW). After cooling at 4º C for 24-h a set of seventeen carcass measurements was recorded. The left side of carcasses was dissected into muscle, subcutaneous fat, inter-muscular fat, bone, and remainder (major blood vessels, ligaments, tendons, and thick connective tissue sheets associated with muscles), and the LMP was evaluated as the dissected muscle percentage. Prediction equations of LMP were developed, and fitting quality was evaluated through the coefficient of determination of estimation (R2 e) and standard error of estimate (SEE). Models validation was performed by k-fold crossvalidation and the coefficient of determination of prediction (R2 p) and standard error of prediction (SEP) were computed. The BT2 measurement was the best single predictor and accounted for 37.8% of the LMP variation with a SEP of 2.30%. The prediction of LMP of lamb carcasses can be based simple models, using as predictors the HCW and one fat thickness measurement.

Bootstrap, Carcass, Lambs, Lean meat
Rhetorical Communication in the CogSci Discourse Community: The Cognitive Neurosciences (2004) in the Context of Scientific Dissemination
In recent years linguistic research has turned increasing attention to covert/overt strategies to modulate authorial stance and positioning in scientific texts, and to the recipients' response. This study discussed some theoretical implications of the use of rhetoric in scientific communication and analysed qualitative data from the authoritative The Cognitive Neurosciences III (2004) volume. Its genre-identity, status and readability were considered, in the social interactive context of contemporary disciplinary discourses – in their polyphony of traditional and new, emerging genres. Evidence was given of the ways its famous authors negotiate and shape knowledge and research results – explicitly appraising team work and promoting faith in the fast-paced progress of Cognitive Neuroscience, also through experiential metaphors – by presenting a set of examples, ordered according to their dominant rhetorical quality.
Appraisal, disciplinary discourses, experientialmetaphors, genre, identity, knowledge, readability, rhetoric,strategies, theoretical implications.
CSR of top Portuguese Companies: Relation between Social Performance and Economic Performance
Modern times call organizations to have an active role in the social arena, through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The objective of this research was to test the hypothesis that there is a positive relation between social performance and economic performance, and if there is a positive correlation between social performance and financial-economic performance. To test these theories a measure of social performance, based on the Green Book of Commission of the European Community, was used in a group of nineteen Portuguese top companies, listed on the PSI 20 index, through a period of five years, since 2005 to 2009. A clusters analysis was applied to group companies by their social performance and to compare and correlate their economic performance. Results indicate that companies that had a better social performance are not the ones who had a better economic performance, and suggest that the middle path might provide a good relation CSR-Economic performance, as a basis to a sustainable development.
Corporate Social Responsibility, Economic Performance, Win-Win relationship
Mix Goat and Sheep Yogurt: Development and Product Characterization

Yogurts are prepared by fermenting milk with bacterial cultures consisting of a mixture of Streptococcus ssp. thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus. The main aim of this investigation was to develop a majority goat yogurt, with the addition of sheep milk in order to have a final product with good physicochemical quality properties and sensorial attributes. Four types of yogurts were prepared presenting the following proportion of goat and sheep milk respectively: C100 – 100%; C80 – 80%/20%; C60 – 60%/40%; C50 – 50%/50%. The goat milk was from the Serrana Jarmelista breed and the sheep milk from the Serra da Estrela breed. The inclusion of sheep milk improved attractiveness to consumers, and it also improved the nutritional value of the product, mainly the fatty acid and mineral contents. The C50 yogurt was preferred by 28% of the panellists, followed by the C100 with 16%  and the commercial cow yogurt was 40% of preferences.

Goat, sheep, yogurt.
Regret, Choice, and Outcome
In two studies we challenged the well consolidated position in regret literature according to which the necessary condition for the emergence of regret is a bad outcome ensuing from free decisions. Without free choice, and, consequently, personal responsibility, other emotions, such as disappointment, but not regret, are supposed to be elicited. In our opinion, a main source of regret is being obliged by circumstance out of our control to chose an undesired option. We tested the hypothesis that regret resulting from a forced choice is more intense than regret derived from a free choice and that the outcome affects the latter, not the former. Besides, we investigated whether two other variables – the perception of the level of freedom of the choice and the choice justifiability – mediated the relationships between choice and regret, as well as the other four emotions we examined: satisfaction, anger toward oneself, disappointment, anger towards circumstances. The two studies were based on the scenario methodology and implied a 2 x 2 (choice x outcome) between design. In the first study the foreseen short-term effects of the choice were assessed; in the second study the experienced long-term effects of the choice were assessed. In each study 160 students of the Second University of Naples participated. Results largely corroborated our hypotheses. They were discussed in the light of the main theories on regret and decision making.
Choice, outcome, regret.
Detection of Actuator Faults for an Attitude Control System using Neural Network
The objective of this paper is to develop a neural network-based residual generator to detect the fault in the actuators for a specific communication satellite in its attitude control system (ACS). First, a dynamic multilayer perceptron network with dynamic neurons is used, those neurons correspond a second order linear Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) filter and a nonlinear activation function with adjustable parameters. Second, the parameters from the network are adjusted to minimize a performance index specified by the output estimated error, with the given input-output data collected from the specific ACS. Then, the proposed dynamic neural network is trained and applied for detecting the faults injected to the wheel, which is the main actuator in the normal mode for the communication satellite. Then the performance and capabilities of the proposed network were tested and compared with a conventional model-based observer residual, showing the differences between these two methods, and indicating the benefit of the proposed algorithm to know the real status of the momentum wheel. Finally, the application of the methods in a satellite ground station is discussed.
Satellite, Attitude Control, Momentum Wheel, Neural Network, Fault Detection.
Optic Disc Detection by Earth Mover's Distance Template Matching

This paper presents a method for the detection of OD in the retina which takes advantage of the powerful preprocessing techniques such as the contrast enhancement, Gabor wavelet transform for vessel segmentation, mathematical morphology and Earth Mover-s distance (EMD) as the matching process. The OD detection algorithm is based on matching the expected directional pattern of the retinal blood vessels. Vessel segmentation method produces segmentations by classifying each image pixel as vessel or nonvessel, based on the pixel-s feature vector. Feature vectors are composed of the pixel-s intensity and 2D Gabor wavelet transform responses taken at multiple scales. A simple matched filter is proposed to roughly match the direction of the vessels at the OD vicinity using the EMD. The minimum distance provides an estimate of the OD center coordinates. The method-s performance is evaluated on publicly available DRIVE and STARE databases. On the DRIVE database the OD center was detected correctly in all of the 40 images (100%) and on the STARE database the OD was detected correctly in 76 out of the 81 images, even in rather difficult pathological situations.

Diabetic retinopathy, Earth Mover's distance, Gabor wavelets, optic disc detection, retinal images
Moral Reasoning and Behaviour in Adulthood

This study aimed at assessing whether and to what extent moral judgment and behaviour were: 1. situation-dependent; 2. selectively dependent on cognitive and affective components; 3. influenced by gender and age; 4. reciprocally congruent. In order to achieve these aims, four different types of moral dilemmas were construed and five types of thinking were presented for each of them – representing five possible ways to evaluate the situation. The judgment criteria included selfishness, altruism, sense of justice, and the conflict between selfishness and the two moral issues. The participants were 250 unpaid volunteers (50% male; 50% female) belonging to two age-groups: young people and adults. The study entailed a 2 (gender) x 2 (age-group) x 5 (type of thinking) x 4 (situation) mixed design: the first two variables were betweensubjects, the others were within-subjects. Results have shown that: 1. moral judgment and behaviour are at least partially affected by the type of situations and by interpersonal variables such as gender and age; 2. moral reasoning depends in a similar manner on cognitive and affective factors; 3. there is not a gender polarity between the ethic of justice and the ethic of cure/ altruism; 4. moral reasoning and behavior are perceived as reciprocally congruent even though their congruence decreases with a more objective assessment. Such results were discussed in the light of contrasting theories on morality.

Contextual-pragmatic approach to morality, ethic ofcare, ethic of justice, Kohlbergian approach, moral behaviour, moralreasoning.
A Retrospective of High-Lift Device Technology
The present paper deals with the most adopted technical solutions for the enhancement of the lift force of a wing. In fact, during several flight conditions (such as take off and landing), the lift force needs to be dramatically enhanced. Both trailing edge devices (such as flaps) and leading edge ones (such as slats) are described. Finally, the most advanced aerodynamic solutions to avoid the separation of the boundary layer from aircraft wings at high angles of attack are reviewed.
High lift devices, Trailing Edge devices, Leading Edge devices, Boundary Layer Control devices
Towards a Sustainable Regeneration: The Case Study of the San Mateo Neighborhood, in Jerez de la Frontera (Andalusia)
Based on different experiences in the historic centers of Spain, we propose an global strategy for the regeneration of the pre-tertiary fabrics and its application to the specific case of San Mateo neighborhood, in Jerez de la Frontera (Andalusia), through a diagnosis that focus particularly on the punishments the last-decade economic situation (building boom and crisis) and shows the tragic transition from economic center to an imminent disappearance with an image similar to the ruins of war, due to the loss of their traditional roles. From it we will learn their historically-tested mechanisms of environment adaptation, which distill the vernacular architecture essence and that we will apply to our strategy of action based on a dotacional-and-free-space rhizome which rediscovers its hidden character. The architectural fact will be crystallized in one of the example-pieces proposed: The Artistic Revitalization Center.
Jerez de la Frontera, pre-tertiary fabrics, sustainable architecture, urban regeneration
Thermal and Morphological Evaluation of Chemically Pretreated Sugarcane Bagasse

Enzymatic hydrolysis is one of the major steps involved in the conversion from sugarcane bagasse to yield ethanol. This process offers potential for yields and selectivity higher, lower energy costs and milder operating conditions than chemical processes. However, the presence of some factors such as lignin content, crystallinity degree of the cellulose, and particle sizes, limits the digestibility of the cellulose present in the lignocellulosic biomasses. Pretreatment aims to improve the access of the enzyme to the substrate. In this study sugarcane bagasse was submitted chemical pretreatment that consisted of two consecutive steps, the first with dilute sulfuric acid (1 % (v/v) H2SO4), and the second with alkaline solutions with different concentrations of NaOH (1, 2, 3 and 4 % (w/v)). Thermal Analysis (TG/ DTG and DTA) was used to evaluate hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin contents in the samples. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate the morphological structures of the in natura and chemically treated samples. Results showed that pretreatments were effective in chemical degradation of lignocellulosic materials of the samples, and also was possible to observe the morphological changes occurring in the biomasses after pretreatments.

Alkaline solutions, bioethanol production, dilute acid, enzymatic hydrolysis, lignocellulosic biomass.
Low Cost Surface Electromyographic Signal Amplifier Based On Arduino Microcontroller

The development of an low cost acquisition system of S-EMG signals which are reliable, comfortable for the user and with high mobility shows to be a relevant proposition in modern biomedical engineering scenario. In the study, the sampling capacity of the Arduino microcontroller Atmel Atmega328 with an A / D converter with 10-bit resolution and its reconstructing capability of a signal of surface electromyography is analyzed. An electronic circuit to capture the signal through two differential channels was designed, signals from Biceps Brachialis of a healthy man of 21 years was acquired to test the system prototype. ARV, MDF, MNF and RMS estimators were used to compare de acquired signals with physiological values. The Arduino was configured with a sampling frequency of 1.5kHz for each channel, and the tests with the circuit designed offered a SNR of 20.57dB.

Eletromyography, Arduino, Low-Cost, Atmel Atmega328 microcontroller.
Deadline Missing Prediction for Mobile Robots through the Use of Historical Data

Mobile robotics is gaining an increasingly important role in modern society. Several potentially dangerous or laborious tasks for human are assigned to mobile robots, which are increasingly capable. Many of these tasks need to be performed within a specified period, i.e, meet a deadline. Missing the deadline can result in financial and/or material losses. Mechanisms for predicting the missing of deadlines are fundamental because corrective actions can be taken to avoid or minimize the losses resulting from missing the deadline. In this work we propose a simple but reliable deadline missing prediction mechanism for mobile robots through the use of historical data and we use the Pioneer 3-DX robot for experiments and simulations, one of the most popular robots in academia.

Deadline missing, historical data, mobile robots, prediction mechanism.
An AFM Approach of RBC Micro and Nanoscale Topographic Features during Storage

Blood gamma irradiation is the only available method to prevent transfusion associated graft versus host disease (TAGVHD). However, when blood is irradiated, determine blood shelf time is crucial. Non irradiated blood have a self-time from 21 to 35 days when is preserved with anticoagulated solution and stored at 4°C. During their storage, red blood cells (RBC) undergo a series of biochemical, biomechanical and molecular changes involving what is known as storage lesion (SL). SL include loss of structural integrity of RBC, decrease of 2,3-diphosphatidylglyceric acid levels, and increase of both ion potassium concentration and hemoglobin (Hb). On the other hand, Atomic force Microscopy (AFM) represents a versatile tool for a nano-scale high resolution topographic analysis in biological systems. In order to evaluate SL in irradiated and nonirradiated blood, RBC topography and morphometric parameters were obtained from an AFM XE-BIO system. Cell viability was followed using flow cytometry. Our results showed that early markers as nanoscale roughness, allow us to evaluate blood quality since other perspective.

AFM, Blood γ-irradiation, roughness, Storage lesion.
Urban Form, Heritage, and Disaster Prevention: What Do They Have in Common?
Based on the hypothesis that disaster risk is constructed socially and historically, this article shows the importance of keeping alive the historical memory of disaster by means of architectural and urban heritage conservation. This is illustrated with three examples of Latin American World Heritage cities, where disasters like floods and earthquakes have shaped urban form. Therefore, the study of urban form or "Urban Morphology" is proposed as a tool to understand and analyze urban transformations with the documentation of the occurrence of disasters. Lessons learned from such cities may be useful to reduce disasters risk in contemporary built environments.
Conservation, disaster risk reduction, urban morphology, world heritage.
Analysis of the Evolution of Social and Economic Indicators of the Mercosur´s Members: 1980-2012
The objective of this study is to analyze the evolution of some social and economic indicators of Mercosur´s economies from 1980 to 2012, based on the statistics of the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA). The objective is to observe if after the accession of these economies to Mercosur (the first accessions occurred in 1994) these indicators showed better performance, in order to demonstrate if economic integration contributed to improved trade, macroeconomic performance, and level of social and economic development of member countries. To this end, the methodologies used will be a literature review and descriptive statistics. The theoretical framework that guides the work are the theories of Integration: Classical Liberal, Marxist and structural-proactive. The results reveal that most social and economic indicators showed better performance in those economies that joined Mercosur after 1994. This work is the result of an investigation already completed.
Economic integration, mercosur, social indicators, economic indicators.
Working Children and Adolescents and the Vicious Circle of Poverty from the Perspective of Gunnar Myrdal’s Theory of Circular Cumulative Causation: Analysis and Implementation of a Probit Model to Brazil
The objective of this paper is to study the work of children and adolescents and the vicious circle of poverty from the perspective of Guinar Myrdal’s Theory of Circular Cumulative Causation. The objective is to show that if a person starts working in the juvenile phase of life they will be classified as poor or extremely poor when they are adult, which can to be observed in the case of Brazil, more specifically in the north and northeast. To do this, the methodology used was statistical and econometric analysis by applying a probit model. The main results show that: if people reside in the northeastern region of Brazil, and if they have a low educational level and if they start their professional life before the age 18, they will increase the likelihood that they will be poor or extremely poor. There is a consensus in the literature that one of the causes of the intergenerational transmission of poverty is related to child labor, this because when one starts their professional life while still in the toddler or adolescence stages of life, they end up sacrificing their studies. Because of their low level of education, children or adolescents are forced to perform low-paid functions and abandon school, becoming in the future, people who will be classified as poor or extremely poor. As a result of poverty, parents may be forced to send their children out to work when they are young, so that in the future they will also become poor adults, a process that is characterized as the "vicious circle of poverty."
Children, adolescents, Gunnar Myrdal, poverty, vicious circle.
Dynamic Performance Analysis of Distribution/ Sub-Transmission Networks with High Penetration of PV Generation

More PV systems have been connected to the electrical network each year. As the number of PV systems increases, some issues affecting grid operations have been identified. This paper studied the impacts related to changes in solar irradiance on a distribution/sub-transmission network, considering variations due to moving clouds and daily cycles. Using MATLAB/Simulink software, a solar farm of 30 MWp was built and then implemented to a test network. From simulations, it has been determined that irradiance changes can have a significant impact on the grid by causing voltage fluctuations outside the allowable thresholds. This work discussed some local control strategies and grid reinforcements to mitigate the negative effects of the irradiance changes on the grid.

Utility-scale PV systems, reactive power control, solar irradiance, voltage fluctuation.
Feasibility Study of Distributed Lightless Intersection Control with Level 1 Autonomous Vehicles

Urban intersection control without the use of the traffic light has the potential to vastly improve the efficiency of the urban traffic flow. For most proposals in the literature, such lightless intersection control depends on the mass market commercialization of highly intelligent autonomous vehicles (AV), which limits the prospects of near future implementation. We present an efficient lightless intersection traffic control scheme that only requires Level 1 AV as defined by NHTSA. The technological barriers of such lightless intersection control are thus very low. Our algorithm can also accommodate a mixture of AVs and conventional vehicles. We also carry out large scale numerical analysis to illustrate the feasibility, safety and robustness, comfort level, and control efficiency of our intersection control scheme.

Intersection control, autonomous vehicles, traffic modelling, intelligent transport system.
Characterization of Organic Matter in Spodosol Amazonian by Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role in maintaining soil productivity and accounting for the promotion of biological diversity. The main components of the SOM are the humic substances which can be fractionated according to its solubility in humic acid (HA), fulvic acids (FA) and humin (HU). The determination of the chemical properties of organic matter as well as its interaction with metallic species is an important tool for understanding the structure of the humic fractions. Fluorescence spectroscopy has been studied as a source of information about what is happening at the molecular level in these compounds. Specially, soils of Amazon region are an important ecosystem of the planet. The aim of this study is to understand the molecular and structural composition of HA samples from Spodosol of Amazonia using the fluorescence Emission-Excitation Matrix (EEM) and Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TRFS). The results showed that the samples of HA showed two fluorescent components; one has a more complex structure and the other one has a simpler structure, which was also seen in TRFS through the evaluation of each sample lifetime. Thus, studies of this nature become important because it aims to evaluate the molecular and structural characteristics of the humic fractions in the region that is considered as one of the most important regions in the world, the Amazon.

Amazonian soil, characterization, fluorescence, humic acid, lifetime.
Measuring E-Learning Effectiveness Using a Three-Way Comparison
The way e-learning effectiveness has been notoriously measured within an academic setting is by comparing the e-learning medium to the traditional face-to-face teaching methodology. In this paper, a simple yet innovative comparison methodology is introduced, whereby the effectiveness of next generation e-learning systems are assessed in contrast not only to the face-to-face mode, but also to the classical e-learning modality. Ethical and logistical issues are also discussed, as this three-way approach to compare teaching methodologies was applied and documented in a real empirical study within a higher education institution.
E-learning effectiveness, higher education, teaching modality comparison.
Development of a Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Model Using System Identification Technique

The introduction of tilt-rotor aircraft into the existing civilian air transportation system will provide beneficial effects due to tilt-rotor capability to combine the characteristics of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft into one vehicle. The disposability of reliable tilt-rotor simulation models supports the development of such vehicle. Indeed, simulation models are required to design automatic control systems that increase safety, reduce pilot's workload and stress, and ensure the optimal aircraft configuration with respect to flight envelope limits, especially during the most critical flight phases such as conversion from helicopter to aircraft mode and vice versa. This article presents a process to build a simplified tilt-rotor simulation model, derived from the analysis of flight data. The model aims to reproduce the complex dynamics of tilt-rotor during the in-flight conversion phase. It uses a set of scheduled linear transfer functions to relate the autopilot reference inputs to the most relevant rigid body state variables. The model also computes information about the rotor flapping dynamics, which are useful to evaluate the aircraft control margin in terms of rotor collective and cyclic commands. The rotor flapping model is derived through a mixed theoretical-empirical approach, which includes physical analytical equations (applicable to helicopter configuration) and parametric corrective functions. The latter are introduced to best fit the actual rotor behavior and balance the differences existing between helicopter and tilt-rotor during flight. Time-domain system identification from flight data is exploited to optimize the model structure and to estimate the model parameters. The presented model-building process was applied to simulated flight data of the ERICA Tilt-Rotor, generated by using a high fidelity simulation model implemented in FlightLab environment. The validation of the obtained model was very satisfying, confirming the validity of the proposed approach.

Flapping Dynamics, Flight Dynamics, System Identification, Tilt-Rotor Modeling and Simulation.
Two-Channels Thermal Energy Storage Tank: Experiments and Short-Cut Modelling
This paper presents the experimental results and the related modeling of a thermal energy storage (TES) facility, ideated and realized by ENEA and realizing the thermocline with an innovative geometry. Firstly, the thermal energy exchange model of an equivalent shell & tube heat exchanger is described and tested to reproduce the performance of the spiral exchanger installed in the TES. Through the regression of the experimental data, a first-order thermocline model was also validated to provide an analytical function of the thermocline, useful for the performance evaluation and the comparison with other systems and implementation in simulations of integrated systems (e.g. power plants). The experimental data obtained from the plant start-up and the short-cut modeling of the system can be useful for the process analysis, for the scale-up of the thermal storage system and to investigate the feasibility of its implementation in actual case-studies.
Thermocline, modelling, heat exchange, spiral, shell, tube.
A Real-Time Simulation Environment for Avionics Software Development and Qualification

The development of guidance, navigation and control algorithms and avionic procedures requires the disposability of suitable analysis and verification tools, such as simulation environments, which support the design process and allow detecting potential problems prior to the flight test, in order to make new technologies available at reduced cost, time and risk. This paper presents a simulation environment for avionic software development and qualification, especially aimed at equipment for general aviation aircrafts and unmanned aerial systems. The simulation environment includes models for short and medium-range radio-navigation aids, flight assistance systems, and ground control stations. All the software modules are able to simulate the modeled systems both in fast-time and real-time tests, and were implemented following component oriented modeling techniques and requirement based approach. The paper describes the specific models features, the architectures of the implemented software systems and its validation process. Performed validation tests highlighted the capability of the simulation environment to guarantee in real-time the required functionalities and performance of the simulated avionics systems, as well as to reproduce the interaction between these systems, thus permitting a realistic and reliable simulation of a complete mission scenario.

ADS-B, avionics, NAVAIDs, real time simulation, TCAS, UAS ground control station.
On the Development of a Homogenized Earthquake Catalogue for Northern Algeria

Regions with a significant percentage of non-seismically designed buildings and reduced urban planning are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards. In this context, the project ‘Improved Tools for Disaster Risk Mitigation in Algeria’ (ITERATE) aims at seismic risk mitigation in Algeria. Past earthquakes in North Algeria caused extensive damages, e.g. the El Asnam 1980 moment magnitude (Mw) 7.1 and Boumerdes 2003 Mw 6.8 earthquakes. This paper will address a number of proposed developments and considerations made towards a further improvement of the component of seismic hazard. In specific, an updated earthquake catalog (until year 2018) is compiled, and new conversion equations to moment magnitude are introduced. Furthermore, a network-based method for the estimation of the spatial and temporal distribution of the minimum magnitude of completeness is applied. We found relatively large values for Mc, due to the sparse network, and a nonlinear trend between Mw and body wave (mb) or local magnitude (ML), which are the most common scales reported in the region. Lastly, the resulting b-value of the Gutenberg-Richter distribution is sensitive to the declustering method.

Conversion equation, magnitude of completeness, seismic events, seismic hazard.