Recent Submissions

  • Similarity hash based scoring of portable executable files for efficient malware detection in IoT

    Namanya, Anitta P.; Awan, Irfan U.; Disso, J.P.; Younas, M. (Elsevier, 2019)
    The current rise in malicious attacks shows that existing security systems are bypassed by malicious files. Similarity hashing has been adopted for sample triaging in malware analysis and detection. File similarity is used to cluster malware into families such that their common signature can be designed. This paper explores four hash types currently used in malware analysis for portable executable (PE) files. Although each hashing technique produces interesting results, when applied independently, they have high false detection rates. This paper investigates into a central issue of how different hashing techniques can be combined to provide a quantitative malware score and to achieve better detection rates. We design and develop a novel approach for malware scoring based on the hashes results. The proposed approach is evaluated through a number of experiments. Evaluation clearly demonstrates a significant improvement (> 90%) in true detection rates of malware.
  • Long term evolution of the surface refractivity for arctic regions

    Bettouche, Y.; Kouki, A.; Agba, B.; Obeidat, H.; Alhassan, H.; Rodriguez, J.; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Jones, Steven M.R. (2019)
    In this paper, local meteorological data for a period of 35 years (from 1979 to 2013) from Kuujuaq station have been used to calculate the surface refractivity, N and to estimate the vertical refractivity gradient, dN1, in the lowest atmospheric layer above the ground. Monthly and yearly variations of the mean of N and dN1 are provided. The values obtained are compared with the corresponding values from the ITU maps. The long-term trend of the surface refractivity is also investigated. The data demonstrate that the indices N and dN1 are subject to an evolution which may have significance in the context of climate change (CC). Monthly means of N show an increasing departure from ITU-R values since 1990. Yearly mean values of the dN1 show a progressive decrease over the period of study. Seasonal means of dN1 show a decrease over time, especially for summer. Such a trend may increase the occurrence of super-refraction. However, currently available ITU-R recommendations for microwave link design assume a stationary climate, so there is a need for a new modelling approach.
  • Laboratory experimental study of ocean waves propagating over a partially buried pipeline in a trench layer

    Sun, K.; Zhang, J.; Gao, Y.; Jeng, D.; Guo, Yakun; Liang, Z. (2019-02-01)
    Seabed instability around a pipeline is one of the primary concerns in offshore pipeline projects. To date, most studies focus on investigating the wave/current-induced response within a porous seabed around either a fully buried pipeline or a thoroughly exposed one. In this study, unlike previous investigations, a series of comprehensive laboratory experiments are carried out in a wave flume to investigate the wave-induced pore pressures around a partially embedded pipeline in a trench layer. Measurements show that the presence of the partially buried pipeline can significantly affect the excess pore pressure in a partially backfilled trench layer, which deviates considerably from that predicted by the theoretical approach. The morphology of the trench layer accompanied with the backfill sediments, especially the deeper trench and thicker backfill (i.e.,b≥1D,e≥0.5D), provides a certain degree of resistance to seabed instability. The amplitude of excess pore pressure around the trench layer roughly exhibits a left-right asymmetric distribution along the periphery of the pipeline, and decays sharply from the upper layer of the trench to the lower region. Deeper trench depth and thicker buried layer significantly weaken the pore-water pressures in the whole trench area, thus sheltering and protecting the submarine pipeline against the transient seabed liquefaction.
  • Investigation on scour scale of piggyback pipeline under wave conditions

    Yang, S.; Shi, B.; Guo, Yakun (2019-06-15)
    Laboratory experiments are presented to investigate the effect of different piggyback pipeline configurations on the morphology of local scour under wave conditions. Scour depth and width around the pipelines under regular and irregular waves are measured and analyzed for a range of pipeline and wave conditions; such as the spacing between two pipes (G), gap between the main pipe and seabed (e), pipe diameter (D), wave height (H) and period (T). Experimental results reveal that both the scour depth and width around piggyback pipeline is much larger than those around single pipe under the same wave conditions. Scour depth increases with the increase of the Keulegan-Carpenter (KC) number and decreases with increase of G and e. When e exceeds 0.5D, scour depth tends to approach 0.When spacing G is greater than 0.4D, the destabilization from small pipe to large one is greatly reduced, resulting in scour depth around piggyback pipeline being close to that around single pipe. Similar to scour depth, scour width broadens with the increase of KC number increasing and decreases with the increase of G. Experiments also show that the effect of e on scour depth is greater than that of G under the same test conditions, while their impact on scour width is opposite. Furthermore, scour width under irregular waves is extended slightly compared with regular wave for otherwise the identical conditions.
  • Investigation on scour protection of submarine piggyback pipeline

    Yang, S.; Shi, B.; Guo, Yakun; Yang, L. (2019-06-15)
    This paper presents the results of laboratory experiments and numerical simulations to investigate the effect of different piggyback pipeline configuration on the morphology of local seabed scour subject to steady currents. Piggyback pipeline configuration investigated includes the commonly used piggyback pipeline, namely a small pipe attached on the top of large pipe and new form of piggyback pipeline proposed in this study in which a small pipe is attached to the large pipe on the upstream and downstream side, respectively. Pressure gradient, drag coefficient, lift coefficient and scour extent around pipelines are measured and analyzed for a range of pipelines and current conditions. Results show that the vortex strength downstream of the commonly used piggyback pipeline is larger than that for a single as well as the new piggyback pipeline under the same condition. This new type piggyback pipeline can effectively reduce the depth and width of the scour hole. In particular, when the ratio of the small pipe diameter over the large pipe diameter is greater than 0.3, little scour under this new type piggyback pipeline occurs for the test conditions. The bed topography downstream of the pipe has also been altered to favor the backfill.
  • Numerical and experimental analysis of shallow turbulent flow over complex roughness beds

    Zhang, Y.; Rubinato, M.; Kazemi, E.; Pu, Jaan H.; Huang, Y.; Lin, P. (2019)
    A set of shallow-water equations (SWEs) based on a k-epsilon Reynold stress model is established to simulate the turbulent flows over a complex roughness bed. The fundamental equations are discretized by the second-order finite-difference method (FDM), in which spatial and temporal discretization are conducted by staggered-grid and leap-frog schemes, respectively. The turbulent model in this study stems from the standard k-epsilon model, but is enhanced by replacing the conventional vertical production with a more rigorous and precise generation derived from the energy spectrum and turbulence scales. To verify its effectiveness, the model is applied to compute the turbulence in complex flow surroundings (including a rough bed) in an abrupt bend and in a natural waterway. The comparison of the model results against experimental data and other numerical results shows the robustness and accuracy of the present model in describing hydrodynamic characteristics, especially turbulence features on the complex roughness bottom.
  • Design of multi-standard single/tri/quint-wideband asymmetric stepped-impedance resonator filters with adjustable TZs

    Al-Yasir, Yasir; Tu, Yuxiang X.; Bakr, M.S.; Ojaroudi Parchin, Naser; Asharaa, Abdalfettah S.; Mshwat, W.; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Noras, James M. (IET Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation, 2019-05)
    This study presents an original asymmetric stepped-impedance resonator filter combined with meander coupled-line structures and enabling the realisation of finite transmission zeros (TZs) and the implementation of multi-band bandpass filters. The meander coupled sections (MCSs) tune the TZs and resonant frequencies: with higher-order spurious frequencies cancelled by the TZs, a single wideband with wide stopband from 1.18 to 1.84 GHz is possible. Furthermore, by positioning the finite TZs between the high-order spurious frequencies and adjusting the coupling strength between resonators, a quint-wideband filter can be realised, with centre frequencies of 1.19, 4.29, 5.43, 6.97, 9.9 GHz and fractional bandwidths of 31.9, 15.4, 15.8, 4.3, 39.2%, respectively. More importantly, two filters with single/quad-wideband performance can be realised by tuning the parameters of the MCS, and therefore they can be designed separately by using only one original structure. The triple-wideband filter is realised with the help of the asymmetric parallel uncoupled microstrip section. These filter structures enjoy the advantage of single/multi-band versatility, structure reusability and simplicity. The good in-band and out-of-band performance, low loss and simple structure of the proposed single/tri/quint-wideband filters make them very promising for applications in future multi-standard wireless communication.
  • Microstructure development during low-current resistance spot welding of aluminum to magnesium

    Cooke, Kavian O.; Khan, Tahir I. (2019-06-14)
    Resistance spot welding of aluminum (Al5754) to magnesium (AZ31B) alloys results in the formation of a variety of solidification microstructures and intermetallic compounds that may affect the in-service performance of the weld. This study evaluates the relationship between the welding parameters and the properties of the weld nugget that is formed, and clarifies the morphological and microstructural evolutions within the weld regions during the low-current “small-scale” resistance spot welding of Al5754 to AZ31B. The investigations included a combination of microstructural characterization and thermodynamic analysis of the weld region. The results show that the welding time and clamping force parameters have significant effects on the properties of the nugget formed. The optimal welding parameters were found to be 300 ms welding time and 800 N clamping force. Weld nuggets formed with lower welding time and clamping force were undersized and contained extensive porosity. Meanwhile, a clamping force above 800 N caused gross deformation of the test samples and the expulsion of the molten metal during the welding process. The most significant microstructural changes occurred at the weld/base metal interfaces due to the formation of Al17Mg12 and MgAl2O4 intermetallic compounds as well as significant compositional variation across the weld pool. The thermal gradient across the weld pool facilitated the formation of several microstructural transitions between equiaxed and columnar dendrites.
  • Submerged flexible vegetation impact on open channel flow velocity distribution: An analytical modelling study on drag and friction

    Pu, Jaan H.; Hussain, Awesar; Guo, Yakun; Vardakastanis, Nikolaos; Hanmaiahgari, P.R.; Lam, Dennis (2019)
    In this paper, an analytical model that represents the streamwise velocity distribution for open channel flow with submerged flexible vegetation is studied. In the present vegetated flow modelling, the whole flow field has been separated into two layers vertically: a vegetated layer and a non-vegetated free-water layer. Within the vegetated layer, an analysis of the mechanisms affecting water flow through flexible vegetation has been conducted. In the non-vegetated layer, a modified log-law equation that represents the velocity profile varying with vegetation height has been investigated. Based on the studied analytical model, a sensitivity analysis has been conducted to assess the influences of the drag and friction coefficients on the flow velocity. The investigated ranges of drag and friction coefficients have also been compared to published values. The findings suggest that the drag and friction coefficient values are non-constant at different depths and vegetation densities, unlike the constant values commonly suggested in literature. This phenomenon is particularly clear for flows with flexible vegetation, which is characterised by large deflection.
  • Fracture and self-sensing characteristics of super-fine stainless wire reinforced reactive powder concrete

    Dong, S.; Dong, X.; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Han, B.; Ou, J. (2019)
    Super-fine stainless wire (SSW) can not only form widely distributed enhancing, toughening and conductive network in reactive powder concrete (RPC) at low dosage level, but also improve weak interface area and refine cracks due to its micron scale diameter and large specific surface. In addition, the crack resistance zone generated by SSWs and RPC matrix together has potential to further enhance the fracture properties of composites. Therefore, fracture and self-sensing characteristics of SSW reinforced RPC composites were investigated in this paper. Experimental results indicated that adding 1.5 vol. % of SSW leads to 183.1% increase in the initial cracking load of RPC specimens under three-point bending load. Based on two parameter fracture model calculations, an increase of 203.4% in fracture toughness as well as an increase of 113.3% in crack tip opening displacement of the composites reinforced with 1.5% SSWs are achieved. According to double-K fracture model calculations, the initiation fracture toughness and unstable fracture toughness of the composites are enhanced by 185.2% and 179.2%, respectively. The increment for fracture energy of the composites reaches up to 1017.1% because of the emergence of blunt and tortuous cracks. The mixed mode Ⅰ-Ⅱ fracture toughness of the composites is increased by 177.1% under four-point shearing load. The initial angle of mixed mode Ⅰ-Ⅱ cracks of the composites decreases with the increase of SSW content. The initiation and propagation of cracks in the composites can be monitored by their change in electrical resistivity. The excellent fracture toughness of the composites is of great significance for the improvement of structure safety in serviceability limit states, and the self-sensing ability of the composites can also provide early warning for the degradation of structure safety.
  • Bacterial technology-enabled cementitious composites: A review

    Li, L.; Zheng, Q.; Li, Z.; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Han, B. (Elsevier, 2019)
    Cementitious composites are generally brittle and develop considerable tension cracks, resulting in corrosion of steel reinforcement and compromising structural durability. With careful selection and treatment, some kinds of bacteria are able to precipitate calcium carbonate and ‘heal’ cracks in cementitious composites through their metabolism, namely bacterial activity. It is envisioned that the bacterial technology-enabled cementitious composites could have great potential for engineering applications such as surface treatment, crack repair and self-healing construction material. This paper presents the state-of-the-art development of bacterial technology-enabled cementitious composites from the following aspects: mechanisms of bacterial induced calcium carbonate precipitation; methods of applying bacteria into cementitious composites; mechanical properties, durability and their influencing factors; various applications; cost effective analysis and prospect. The paper concludes with an outline of some future opportunities and challenges in the application of bacterial technology-enabled cementitious composites in construction.
  • Environment driven consumer EC model incorporating complexities of consumer body dynamics

    Ali, S.M.; Khan, B.; Mokryani, Geev; Mehmood, C.A.; Jawad, M.; Farid, U. (2019)
    Energy consumption (EC) of consumers primarily depends on comfort level (CL) affirmed by brain sensations of the central nervous system. Environmental parameters such as surroundings, relative humidity, air temperature, solar irradiance, air pressure, and cloud cover directly influence consumer body temperature that in return affect blood dynamics perturbing brain comfort sensations. This CL (either in summer, winter, autumn, or spring season) is a function of external environment and internal body variations that force a consumer toward EC. To develop a new concept of consumer's EC, first the authors described environment parameters in detail with relation to surroundings and EC. Considering this, they tabulated a generic relation of consumer's CL with EC and environment temperature. Second, to build an inter-related bond between the environmental effects on consumer body dynamics, they analysed theoretically and mathematically above mutual relations between medical and environmental sciences. Finally, they present their conceptual EC model based on a closed-loop feedback system. This model is a complex non-linear adaptive system with environmental and surrounding parameters as input to the system resulting in an optimised EC, considering consumer CL as a key parameter for the system.
  • Super-Wide Impedance Bandwidth Planar Antenna for Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Applications

    Alibakhshikenari, M.; Virdee, B.S.; See, C.H.; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Falcone, F.; Limiti, E. (2019-05-19)
    A feasibility study of a novel configuration for a super-wide impedance planar antenna is presented based on a 2 × 2 microstrip patch antenna (MPA) using CST Microwave Studio. The antenna comprises a symmetrical arrangement of four-square patches that are interconnected to each other with cross-shaped high impedance microstrip lines. The antenna array is excited through a single feedline connected to one of the patches. The proposed antenna array configuration overcomes the main drawback of conventional MPA with a narrow bandwidth that is typically <5%. The antenna exhibits a super-wide frequency bandwidth from 20 GHz to 120 GHz for S11 < −15 dB, which corresponds to a fractional bandwidth of 142.85%. The antenna’s performance of bandwidth, impedance match, and radiation gain were enhanced by etching slots on the patches. With the inclusion of the slot, the maximum radiation gain and efficiency of the MPA increased to 15.11 dBi and 85.79% at 80 GHz, which showed an improvement of 2.58 dBi and 12.54%, respectively. The dimension of each patch antenna was 4.3 × 5.3 mm2 . The results showed that the proposed MPA is useful for various existing and emerging communication systems such as ultra-wideband (UWB) communications, RFID systems, massive multiple-output multiple-input (MIMO) for 5G, and radar systems.
  • Spectroscopic characterisation of dissolved organic matter changes in drinking water treatment: From PARAFAC analysis to online monitoring wavelengths

    Shutova, Y.; Baker, A.; Bridgeman, John; Henderson, R.K. (2014-05-01)
    Organic matter (OM) causes many problems in drinking water treatment. It is difficult to monitor OM concentrations and character during treatment processes due to its complexity. Fluorescence spectroscopy is a promising tool for online monitoring. In this study, a unique dataset of fluorescence excitation emission matrixes (EEMs) (n = 867) was collected from all treatment stages of five drinking water treatment plants (WTPs) situated in diverse locations from subtropical to temperate climate. The WTPs incorporated various water sources, treatment processes and OM removal efficiencies (DOC removal 0%–68%). Despite these differences, four common fluorescence PARAFAC components were identified for characterisation of OM concentration and treatability. Moreover, fluorescence component ratios showed site-specific statistically significant correlations with OM removal, which contrasted with correlations between specific UV absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA) and OM removal that were not statistically significant. This indicates that use of fluorescence spectroscopy may be a more robust alternative for predicting DOC removal than UV spectroscopy. Based on the identified fluorescence components, four optical locations were selected in order to move towards single wavelength online OM monitoring.
  • Planning of HMG with high penetration of renewable energy sources

    Baseer, Muhammad; Mokryani, Geev; Zubo, Rana H.A.; Cox, S. (2019-07-29)
    Hybrid AC-DC microgrid (HMG) allows direct integration of both AC distributed generators (DGs) and DC DGs, AC and DC loads into the grid. The AC and DC sources, loads are separate out and are connected to respective subgrid mainly to reduce the power conversion, thus the overall efficiency of the system increases. This paper aims to introduce a novel hybrid AC-DC microgrid planning and design model within a microgrid market environment to maximize net social welfare (NSW). NSW is defined as present value of total demand payment minus present value of total planning cost including investment cost of distributed energy sources (DERs) and converters, operation cost of DERs and the cost of energy exchange with the utility grid subject to network constraints. Scenario Tree approach is used to model the uncertainties related to load demand, wind speed and solar irradiation. The effectiveness of the proposed model is validated through the simulation studies on a 28-bus real hybrid AC-DC microgrid.
  • Planning and Operation of Low Voltage Distribution Networks: A Comprehensive Review

    Al-Jaahfreh, Mohammad A.A.; Mokryani, Geev (2019)
    The low voltage (LV) distribution network is the last stage of the power network, which is connected directly to the end user customers and supplies many dispersed small-scale loads. In order to achieve environmental targets and to address the energy shortage issue, governments worldwide increase the renewable energy sources (RES) into the electricity grid. In addition, different types of low carbon technologies (LCTs) such as electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming widely used. A significant portion of RES and LCTs is penetrated into the LV distribution network, which poses a wide range of challenges. In order to address these challenges, there is a persistent need to develop traditional planning and operation frameworks to cope with these new technologies. In this context, this paper provides a comprehensive review about planning, operation, and management of LV distribution networks. The characteristics, types, and topologies of LV distribution networks plus different aspects of operation and planning are investigated. An insightful investigation of the reasons impacts and mitigation of voltage and current unbalanced in LV networks is provided. Moreover, the main three-phase power flow techniques used to analyze the LV networks are analyzed.
  • Comprehensive review of VPPs planning, operation and scheduling considering the uncertainties related to renewable energy sources

    Ullah, Zahid; Mokryani, Geev; Campean, I. Felician (2019)
    The penetration of renewable energies in the energy market has increased significantly over the last two decades due to environmental concerns and clean energy requirements. The principal advantage of renewable energy resources (RESs) over non-RESs is that it has no direct carbonisation impact on the environment and that it has none of the global warming effects which are caused by carbon emissions. Furthermore, the liberalisation of the energy market has led to the realisation of the virtual power plant (VPP) concept. A VPP is a unified platform for distributed energy resources that integrates the capacities of various renewable energies together for the purpose of improving power generation and management as well as catering for the buying and selling of energy in wholesale energy markets. This review study presents a comprehensive review of existing approaches to planning, operation and scheduling of the VPP system. The methodologies that were adopted, their advantages and disadvantages are assessed in detail in order to benefit new entrants in the power system and provide them with comprehensive knowledge, techniques and understanding of the VPP concept.
  • Resistance spot welding aluminium to magnesium using nanoparticle reinforced eutectic forming interlayers

    Cooke, K.O.; Khan, Tahir I. (2018)
    Successful joining of dissimilar metals such as Al and Mg can provide significant advantages to the automotive industry in the fabrication of vehicle bodies and other important components. This study explores dissimilar joining of Al–Mg using a resistance spot welding process to produce microstructurally sound lap joints and evaluates the impact of interlayer composition on microstructural evolution and the formation of intermetallic compounds within the weld nugget. The results indicated that mechanically sound joints can be produced, with fine equiaxed and columnar dendrites within the weld nugget. The presence of intermetallic compounds was also confirmed by the variation in the microhardness values recorded across the weld zone.
  • Heat treatment effect on wear behaviour of HVOF-sprayed near-nanostructured coatings

    Ben Mahmud, T.; Khan, Tahir I.; Farrokhzad, M.A. (2017)
    This study investigates the effect of heat treatment on changes in microstructure and wear behaviour of WC-NiCr coatings. Two feedstock powders with a similar chemical composition and different particle sizes (near nano-structured WC-17NiCr and microstructured WC-15NiCr) were used. High-velocity oxyfuel spraying technique was used to deposit coatings on to a mild steel substrate using identical spraying parameters. Coated samples were then heat treated in a nitrogen atmosphere at 500 and 700°C. The effect of heat treatment on changes in hardness and wear performance of the coatings was studied using microstructural analysis, micro-hardness indentation and abrasive wear tests. The results showed that the heat treatment increased the hardness of both coatings and a corresponding increase in wear resistance was recorded. The formation of a brittle CrWO4 phase in the microstructured coating resulted in brittle fracture of the coating and this gave lower wear resistance compared to the nanostructured coatings.
  • Investigation of the structural and mechanical properties of micro-/nano-sized Al2O3 and cBN composites prepared by spark plasma sintering

    Irshad, H.M.; Ahmed, B.A.; Ehsan, M.A.; Khan, Tahir I.; Laoui, T.; Yousaf, M.R.; Ibrahim, A.; Hakeem, A.S. (2017-10)
    Alumina-cubic boron nitride (cBN) composites were prepared using the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. Alpha-alumina powders with particle sizes of ∼15 µm and ∼150 nm were used as the matrix while cBN particles with and without nickel coating were used as reinforcement agents. The amount of both coated and uncoated cBN reinforcements for each type of matrix was varied between 10 to 30 wt%. The powder materials were sintered at a temperature of 1400 °C under a constant uniaxial pressure of 50 MPa. We studied the effect of the size of the starting alumina powder particles, as well as the effect of the nickel coating, on the phase transformation from cBN to hBN (hexagonal boron nitride) and on the thermo-mechanical properties of the composites. In contrast to micro-sized alumina, utilization of nano-sized alumina as the starting powder was observed to have played a pivotal role in preventing the cBN-to-hBN transformation. The composites prepared using nano-sized alumina reinforced with nickel-coated 30 wt% cBN showed the highest relative density of 99% along with the highest Vickers hardness (Hv2) value of 29 GPa. Because the compositions made with micro-sized alumina underwent the phase transformation from cBN to hBN, their relative densification as well as hardness values were relatively low (20.9–22.8 GPa). However, the nickel coating on the cBN reinforcement particles hindered the cBN-to-hBN transformation in the micro-sized alumina matrix, resulting in improved hardness values of up to 24.64 GPa.

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