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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Wendong Zhang and Kristine Tidgren

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current farm economic downturn and credit restructuring by comparing it with the 1920s and 1980s farm crises from both economic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current farm economic downturn and credit restructuring by comparing it with the 1920s and 1980s farm crises from both economic and regulatory perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper closely compares critical economic and regulatory aspects of the current farm downturn with two previous farm crises in the 1920s and 1980s, and equally importantly, the golden eras that occurred before them. This study compares key aggregate statistics in land value, agricultural credit, lending regulations, and also evaluates the situations and impacts on individual farmer households by using three representative case studies.

Findings

The authors argue that there are at least three economic and regulatory reasons why the current farm downturn is unlikely to slide into a sudden collapse of the agricultural markets: strong, real income; growth in the 2000s, historically low interest rates; and more prudent agricultural lending practices. The current farm downturn is more likely a liquidity and working capital problem, as opposed to a solvency and balance sheet problem for the overall agricultural sector. The authors argue that the trajectory of the current farm downturn will likely be a gradual, drawn-out one like that of the 1920s farm crisis, as opposed to a sudden collapse as in the 1980s farm crisis.

Originality/value

The review provides empirical evidence for cautious optimism of the future trajectory of the current downturn, and argues that the current downturn is much more similar to the 1920s pattern than the 1980s crisis.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 78 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2019

Rui Zhang, Lei Zhao, Dan Xie, Jinlong Song, Wendong Zhang, Lihu Pan and Yanhua Zhang

This study aims to simulate and test the performance of a transmitting and receiving capacitive micro-machined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT). Aimed at detecting demand of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to simulate and test the performance of a transmitting and receiving capacitive micro-machined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT). Aimed at detecting demand of the CMUT, a matched integrated adjustment circuit was designed through analyzing processing methods of transducer’s weak echo signal.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the analysis of CMUT array structure and work principle, the CMUT units are designed and the dynamic performance analysis of SIMULINK is given according to the demand of underwater detecting. A transceiver isolation circuit is used to make transmission mode and receiving mode separate. A detection circuit is designed based on the transimpedance amplifier to achieve extraction of high-frequency and weak signal.

Findings

Through experimentation, the effectiveness of the CMUT performance simulation and the transceiver integrated adjustment circuit were verified. In addition, the test showed that CMUT with 400 kHz frequency has wider bandwidth and better dynamic characteristics than other similar transducers.

Originality/value

This paper provides a theoretical basis and design reference for the development and application of CMUT technology.

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Article
Publication date: 31 March 2020

Zhenzhen Shang, Wendong Zhang, Guojun Zhang, Xiaoyong Zhang, Lansheng Zhang and Renxin Wang

The problem of port and starboard ambiguity will exist when only utilize the vector or scalar parameters. Meanwhile, the amplitude-phase error between the vector and…

Abstract

Purpose

The problem of port and starboard ambiguity will exist when only utilize the vector or scalar parameters. Meanwhile, the amplitude-phase error between the vector and scalar can also cause this problem. In this paper, a compound MEMS vector hydrophone which contains cilia vector microstructure and piezoelectric ceramic tube has been presented to solve the problem. Compared with traditional MEMS vector hydrophone, the compound MEMS vector hydrophone can realize the measurement of sound pressure and vibration velocity simultaneously.

Design/methodology/approach

A compound MEMS vector hydrophone has been presented. The unipolar directivity of the combined signal which combine the acoustic pressure and vibration velocity is used to achieve the direction of arrival (DOA). This paper introduced the working principle and the target detection mechanism of the compound vector hydrophone. The amplitude and phase error are analyzed and corrected in the standing wave tube. After that, the authors use beam-forming algorithm to estimate the DOA.

Findings

The experimental results in the standing wave tube and the external field verified the vector hydrophone's directional accuracy up to 1 and 5 degrees, respectively.

Practical implications

The research of compound vector hydrophone plays an important role in marine acoustic exploration and engineering applications.

Originality/value

This research provides a basis for MEMS hydrophone directivity theory. The compound vector hydrophone has been applied in the underwater location, with a huge market potential in underwater detection systems.

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2021

Tian Zhang, Wendong Zhang, XingLing Shao and Yang Wu

Because of the small size and high integration of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) component, it can be made into large-scale array, but this lead to…

Abstract

Purpose

Because of the small size and high integration of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) component, it can be made into large-scale array, but this lead to high hardware complexity, so the purpose of this paper is to use less elements to achieve better imaging results. In this research, an optimized sparse array is studied, which can suppress the side lobe and reduce the imaging artifacts compared with the equispaced sparse array with the same number of elements.

Design/methodology/approach

Genetic algorithm is used to sparse the CMUT linear array, and Kaiser window apodization is added to reduce imaging artifacts, the beam pattern and peak-to-side lobe ratio are calculated, point targets imaging comparisons are performed. Furthermore, a 256-elements CMUT linear array is used to carry out the imaging experiment of embedded mass and forearm blood vessel, and the imaging results are compared quantitatively.

Findings

Through the imaging comparison of embedded mass and forearm blood vessel, the feasibility of optimized sparse array of CMUT is verified, and the purpose of reducing the hardware complexity is achieved.

Originality/value

This research provides a basis for the large-scale CMUT array to reduce the hardware complexity and the amount of calculation. At present, the CMUT array has been used in medical ultrasound imaging and has huge market potential.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Albulena Basha, Wendong Zhang and Chad Hart

This paper quantifies the effects of recent Federal Reserve interest rate changes, specifically recent hikes and cuts in the federal funds rate since 2015, on Midwest…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper quantifies the effects of recent Federal Reserve interest rate changes, specifically recent hikes and cuts in the federal funds rate since 2015, on Midwest farmland values.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply three autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) models to a panel data of state-level farmland values from 1963 to 2018 to estimate the dynamic effects of interest rate changes on the US farmland market. We focus on the I-states, Lakes states and Great Plains states. The models in the study capture both short-term and long-term impacts of policy changes on land values.

Findings

The authors find that changes in the federal funds rate have long-lasting impacts on farmland values, as it takes at least a decade for the full effects of an interest rate change to be capitalized in farmland values. The results show that the three recent federal funds rate cuts in 2019 were not sufficient to offset the downward pressures from the 2015–2018 interest rate hikes, but the 2020 cut is. The combined effect of the Federal Reserve's recent interest rate moves on farmland values will be positive for some time starting in 2022.

Originality/value

This paper provides the first empirical quantification of the immediate and long-run impacts of recent Federal Reserve interest rate moves on farmland values. The authors demonstrate the long-lasting repercussions of Federal Reserve's policy choices in the farmland market.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2015

Liu Linxian, Zhang Wendong, Zhang Guojun, Guan Linggang, Xue Chenyang, Zhang Hui and Xue Nan

The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel MEMS vector hydrophone with the key features of smaller size, better consistency, higher sensitivity and directional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel MEMS vector hydrophone with the key features of smaller size, better consistency, higher sensitivity and directional reception, and to develop a highly effective and economical obstacle avoidance sonar system. Currently, the typical vector hydrophones are resonant vector hydrophones based on the accelerometer, which greatly increases the volume and constrains the detection sensitivity. Also, because the system is composed of a number of devices, its size is difficult to be reduced.

Design/methodology/approach

A novel double T-shape MEMS vector hydrophone is proposed with a fish’s lateral line organs as prototypes. The structure size and layout location of the piezoresistors were determined by simulation analysis, and the double T-shape microstructure was fabricated integrally by MEMS manufacturing technology, after which, the acoustic package of the microstructure was completed and the prototype was produced. Finally, the packaged hydrophone was calibrated in a standing wave field in the first-class national-defense underwater acoustic calibration station of China. Also, the design and test of an obstacle avoidance sonar system based on the vector hydrophone were completed.

Findings

The calibration data show that the double T-shape vector hydrophone has a flat frequency response curve, exhibits a sensitivity of −180 dB (1 kHz, 0 dB reference 1 V/uPa) and shows a good directivity pattern in the form of an “8” shape. The test results of the obstacle avoidance sonar system further verify the feasibility of detecting underwater acoustic signals.

Research limitations/implications

The next work is to increase the sensitivity by optimizing the microstructure and to realize orientation by organizing array.

Practical implications

The hydrophone has the advantages of smaller size, lower cost and directional reception. It can be used to develop highly effective and economical obstacle avoidance sonar system, thus solving the problems of water transport efficiency and traffic safety. The hydrophone has broad application prospects and a huge market potential in the civilian fields.

Originality/value

The MEMS technology and innovative bionic microstructure enable the miniaturization and low cost of the hydrophone. The hydrophone is easy to form array and can narrow the array aperture greatly. So, the hydrophone can be widely used in civil sonar systems.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Mengran Liu, Ze ming Jian, Guojun Zhang, Nan Guo and Wendong Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) packaging structure, which can solve the problems of the low sensitivity, narrow frequency…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) packaging structure, which can solve the problems of the low sensitivity, narrow frequency band and fluctuating frequency response curve of the MEMS bionic vector hydrophone.

Design/methodology/approach

A 0.05-mm-thick NBR sound-transparent cap was designed by theoretical analysis and simulation to reduce the signal attenuation caused by the packaging structure, and the frequency band of the hydrophone has been extended to 4 kHz. In this work, the vector hydrophone was fabricated by the MEMS technology and packaged with the NBR sound-transparent cap. The performance indicators were calibrated in the National Defence Underwater Acoustics Calibration Laboratory of China.

Findings

The results show that the sensitivity of NBR-packaged hydrophone reaches −170 dB (±2 dB), and the difference is less than 1 dB compared to bare chip. And the frequency band is 50 Hz-4 kHz. The hydrophone also has good directional pattern in the form of an 8-shape, and the pressure-resisting ability is more than 2 MPa.

Originality/value

The packaging structure significantly increases the sensitivity of the hydrophone and broadens the frequency band, providing a new method in the packaging design for MEMS hydrophone.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Rui Zhang, Wendong Zhang, Changde He, Jinlong Song, Linfeng Mu, Juan Cui, Yongmei Zhang and Chenyang Xue

The purpose of this paper was to develop a novel capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) reception and transmission linear array for underwater imaging at…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to develop a novel capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) reception and transmission linear array for underwater imaging at 400 kHz. Compared with traditional CMUTs, the developed transducer array offers higher electromechanical coupling coefficient and higher directivity performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The configuration of the newly developed CMUT reception and transmission array was determined by the authors’ previous research into new element structures with patterned top electrodes and into directivity simulation analysis. Using the Si-Silicon on insulator (Si-SOI) bonding technique and the principle of acoustic impedance matching, the CMUT array was fabricated and packaged. In addition, underwater imaging system design and testing based on the packaged CMUT 1 × 16 array were completed.

Findings

The simulation results showed that the optimized CMUT array configuration was selected. Furthermore, the designed configuration of the CMUT 1 × 16 linear array was good enough to guarantee high angular resolution. The underwater experiments were conducted to demonstrate that this CMUT array can be of great benefit in imaging applications.

Practical implications

Based on our research, the CMUT linear array has good directivity and good impedance matching with water and can be used for obstacle avoidance, distance measurement and imaging underwater.

Originality/value

This research provides a basis for CMUT directivity theory and array design. CMUT array presented in this paper has good directivity and has been applied in the underwater imaging, resulting in a huge market potential in underwater detection systems.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Shengbo Sang, Ruiyong Zhai, Wendong Zhang, Qirui Sun and Zhaoying Zhou

This study aims to design a new low-cost localization platform for estimating the location and orientation of a pedestrian in a building. The micro-electro-mechanical…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to design a new low-cost localization platform for estimating the location and orientation of a pedestrian in a building. The micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensor error compensation and the algorithm were improved to realize the localization and altitude accuracy.

Design/methodology/approach

The platform hardware was designed with common low-performance and inexpensive MEMS sensors, and with a barometric altimeter employed to augment altitude measurement. The inertial navigation system (INS) – extended Kalman filter (EKF) – zero-velocity updating (ZUPT) (INS-EKF-ZUPT [IEZ])-extended methods and pedestrian dead reckoning (PDR) (IEZ + PDR) algorithm were modified and improved with altitude determined by acceleration integration height and pressure altitude. The “AND” logic with acceleration and angular rate data were presented to update the stance phases.

Findings

The new platform was tested in real three-dimensional (3D) in-building scenarios, achieved with position errors below 0.5 m for 50-m-long route in corridor and below 0.1 m on stairs. The algorithm is robust enough for both the walking motion and the fast dynamic motion.

Originality/value

The paper presents a new self-developed, integrated platform. The IEZ-extended methods, the modified PDR (IEZ + PDR) algorithm and “AND” logic with acceleration and angular rate data can improve the high localization and altitude accuracy. It is a great support for the increasing 3D location demand in indoor cases for universal application with ordinary sensors.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Lei Zhang, Wendong Wang, Yikai Shi, Yang Chu and Xing Ming

To achieve variable stiffness, this paper aims to design a flexible actuator with variable stiffness by using the magnetorheological effect of magnetorheological fluid…

Abstract

Purpose

To achieve variable stiffness, this paper aims to design a flexible actuator with variable stiffness by using the magnetorheological effect of magnetorheological fluid. The variable stiffness actuator can well meet the safety requirements of human–robot interaction and be more adaptable to unknown or complex environments. The variable stiffness actuator designed in this study can realize the continuous and controllable change of stiffness compared with the existing actuator.

Design/methodology/approach

The principle of variable stiffness actuator is illustrated in detail; the three-dimensional model and mechanical model of the flexible actuator are provided. The magnetic field distribution of the actuator coil is analyzed, and the dynamic model of the actuator is provided.

Findings

Output torque test suggests that the magnetorheological fluid variable stiffness actuator (VSAMF) can output a stable torque which meets the designing requirements of the test; sinusoidal follow-up test shows that VSAMF can implement sinusoidal follow-up; variable stiffness test shows that VSAMF can achieve real-time variable stiffness adjustment; the crash test suggests that VSAMF can well protect machines when meeting obstacles.

Originality/value

In this paper, a new variable stiffness joint is proposed through changing the current to change the performance of the stiffness, and it can realize the continuous and controllable change of stiffness.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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