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  1. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a potential technique for reanimating paralyzed muscles post neurological injury/disease. Several technical challenges including difficulty in measuring and compensating for delayed muscle activation levels inhibit its satisfactory control performance. In this paper, an ultrasound (US) imaging approach is proposed to measure delayed muscle activation levels under the implementation of FES. Due to low sampling rates of US imaging, a sampled data observer (SDO) is designed to estimate the muscle activation in a continuous manner. The SDO is combined with continuous-time dynamic surface control (DSC) approach that compensates for the electromechanical delay (EMD) in the tibialis anterior (TA) activation dynamics. The stability analysis based on the Lyapunov-Krasovskii function proves that the SDO-based DSC plus delay compensation (SDO-DSC-DC) approach achieves semi-global uniformly ultimately bounded (SGUUB) tracking performance. Simulation results on an ankle dorsiflexion neuromusculoskeletal system show the root mean square error (RMSE) of desired trajectory tracking is reduced by 19.77 % by using the proposed SDO-DSC-DC compared to the DSC-DC without the SDO. The findings provide potentials for rehabilitative devices, like powered exoskeleton and FES, to assist or enhance human limb movement based on the corresponding muscle activities in real-time.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are important techniques because they synthesize results from multiple primary studies on a similar topic. To influence policy, practice, and research, however, synthesis researchers must translate the results for various audiences. Ideally, the translation drives future research agendas, informs policymaking, or assists in practical decision-making. An Evidence Gap Map (EGM), a graphical or tabular visualization of systematic review and meta-analysis results, is one ideal translation technique because it provides a structured framework to assess contexts for which primary evidence is available or to determine whether the effectiveness of an intervention or a program differs across populations, conditions, and settings. To bolster the field and promote the use of EGMs, we provide an overview of what constitutes an informative EGM, detail multiple examples of EGMs using extant meta-analytic results, and present a free R Shiny application we created to easily generate EGMs from typical meta-analytic datasets. We conclude by reviewing education-based systematic reviews that included an EGM to describe the current state of the field.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 2, 2023
  3. Abstract The formation, development, and impact of slow shocks in the upstream regions of reconnecting current layers are explored. Slow shocks have been documented in the upstream regions of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of magnetic reconnection as well as in similar simulations with the kglobal kinetic macroscale simulation model. They are therefore a candidate mechanism for preheating the plasma that is injected into the current layers that facilitate magnetic energy release in solar flares. Of particular interest is their potential role in producing the hot thermal component of electrons in flares. During multi-island reconnection, the formation and merging of flux ropes in the reconnecting current layer drives plasma flows and pressure disturbances in the upstream region. These pressure disturbances steepen into slow shocks that propagate along the reconnecting component of the magnetic field and satisfy the expected Rankine–Hugoniot jump conditions. Plasma heating arises from both compression across the shock and the parallel electric field that develops to maintain charge neutrality in a kinetic system. Shocks are weaker at lower plasma β , where shock steepening is slow. While these upstream slow shocks are intrinsic to the dynamics of multi-island reconnection, their contribution to electron heating remains relatively minor compared with thatmore »from Fermi reflection and the parallel electric fields that bound the reconnection outflow.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 8, 2022
  6. Hailstorms are dangerous and costly phenomena that are expected to change in response to a warming climate. In this Review, we summarize current knowledge of climate change effects on hailstorms. As a result of anthropogenic warming, it is generally anticipated that low-level moisture and convective instability will increase, raising hailstorm likelihood and enabling the formation of larger hailstones; the melting height will rise, enhancing hail melt and increasing the average size of surviving hailstones; and vertical wind shear will decrease overall, with limited influence on the overall hailstorm activity, owing to a predominance of other factors. Given geographic differences and offsetting interactions in these projected environmental changes, there is spatial heterogeneity in hailstorm responses. Observations and modelling lead to the general expectation that hailstorm frequency will increase in Australia and Europe, but decrease in East Asia and North America, while hail severity will increase in most regions. However, these projected changes show marked spatial and temporal variability. Owing to a dearth of long-term observations, as well as incomplete process understanding and limited convection-permitting modelling studies, current and future climate change effects on hailstorms remain highly uncertain. Future studies should focus on detailed processes and account for non-stationarities in proxy relationships.