Placoid and polyodontode scales of stem chondrichthyans have been found in the early Lochkovian “Ditton Group” of the Brown Clee Hill district, Shropshire, England and at Talgarth, south Wales. One of the forms is assigned to a new species of Altholepis Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 1997, a genus already recognised from Lochkovian shallow marine deposits in Celtiberia, Spain and the Northwest Territories, Canada as well as the type locality in Podolia, Ukraine. Altholepis salopensis sp. nov. is based on small polyodontode scales with typically three to eight high odontodes; the scale form was previously considered to belong to acanthodian “Nostolepis” robusta (Brotzen, 1934). The structure of other scales formerly assigned to “Nostolepis” robusta has led us to erect a new genus Jolepis for this scale form, which differs from Altholepis in lacking an ordered layout of odontodes. Jolepis robusta (Brotzen, 1934), originally (and possibly still) considered to be an acanthodian, is also known from the Baltic countries, Russia, and northern Germany (ex erratic limestones). Scales of acanthodian Parexus recurvus Agassiz, 1845, and/or possibly from the stem chondrichthyan Seretolepis elegans Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 1968 (scales of these two taxa are barely distinguishable), and of stem chondrichthyan Polymerolepis whitei Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 1968 are also present. Altholepis, Jolepis gen. nov., Seretolepis Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 1968 and Polymerolepis Karatajūtė- Talimaa, 1968 are found in marine deposits elsewhere; the British occurrence of these taxa adds to the debate on the sedimentological origins of the Lower Old Red Sandstone deposits in the Welsh Borderland. The geographic range of several early sharks is now known to extend around the Old Red Sandstone continent and beyond.
Fourteen symposia on early/lower vertebrates have taken place over the last 50 years, usually at about four year intervals. An average 60 participants have taken part at these symposia, with over one hundred occasionally. The results of the symposia have been published in proceedings. The symposia started honoring E. A:son Stensiö and E. Jarvik. Honors were taken up at the 11th symposium in Uppsala again. Since the 13th symposium a Stensiö award is also given to young researchers in the field.
Material of tesseraspids (Tesseraspidiformes) is reported from the uppermost Severnaya Zemlya Formation (Lochkovian, Lower Devonian) of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, in the Russian Arctic, where it is associated with other vertebrate remains, including corvaspids, acanthodians, and large but rare specimens of osteostracans. The tesseraspid material is not abundant, and most often preserved as a “patchwork” of bony platelets (tesserae), except for a few partly articulated specimens. We redescribe the holotype of Tesseraspis mosaica Karatajūtė-Talimaa, 1983, whose head carapace is preserved as a flattened tube of adjacent tesserae. This material is compared to the already published tesseraspid taxa, i.e., T. tessellata Wills, 1935, T. toombsi Tarlo, 1964, T. mutabilis (Brotzen, 1934), T. oervigi Tarlo, 1964 emend. Dineley and Loeffler, 1976, T. denisoni Tarlo, 1964, and T. talimaae Tarlo, 1965. All species are based upon rare and incomplete material, as no head carapaces associated with trunk and tail are known, and so, the intraspecific variability is also unknown. Distinction between “species” is based on the detail of the superficial sculpture of the tesserae of the head carapaces, which is unsatisfactory. It is concluded that only four of the nominal species can be retained. A review of all other known tessellated pteraspidomorphs indicates that our knowledge of tessellated heterostracans is currently insufficient to support a meaningful classification.
The Lower Devonian ‘Placoderm Sandstone’ in the Holy Cross Mountains (HCM) is filled with abundant impressions of disarticulated vertebrate remains. The only acanthodian macroremains named to date are fin spines of Machaeracanthus polonicus Gürich. Fin spine impressions in slabs from the Winna Formation (Emsian) at Podłazie Hill (near Daleszyce) in the southern HCM, and also the Barcza Formation (?Lochkovian) at Barcza Quarry, Miedziana Góra Conglomerate (?Lochkovian), Gruchawka, and Zagórze Formation (middle–upper Emsian) at Bukowa Mountain in the northern HCM, reposited in the University of Warsaw, Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute, Warsaw, and Natural History Museum, London collections, have been cast and studied in order to better document this poorly known taxon. As noted in other Machaeracanthus species, we have found that M. polonicus has two different morphotypes of spines, which abut lengthwise to form a pair of spines. Our investigations show that the fin spine assemblage includes Onchus overathensis as well as M. polonicus, and probably another undetermined acanthodian. The affinities of O. overathensis are reassessed. It is here considered to be a diplacanthiform, and reassigned to the genus Striacanthus, as S. overathensis. Acanthodian scapulocoracoids have also been identified, as well as tightly spiralled toothwhorls which could be from an acanthodian.
Ischnacanthus gracilis (Egerton, 1861), the only ischnacanthiform acanthodian from the Lochkovian Lower Old Red Sandstone of Scotland, is known from hundreds of specimens in institutional collections worldwide. Despite this relative abundance, morphology and histology of its skeletal elements have rarely been investigated. Surface details of spines, dental elements, and scales are often not visible in specimens because they are usually split through the middle. We have examined a broad size range of fish, from 35 mm to 250 mm long. Several intact (not split) specimens have been collected in recent years and acid-prepared to show fine details of the dermal and dental elements. We have also used scanning electron microscopy of scales, jaws and dental elements, denticles and fin spines, and serial thin sectioning of articulated specimens, to document their structure. Some of our notable observations include: identification of ventral lateral lines, double-layered subtessellate calcified cartilage forming the jaws, and the probable occurrence of extraoral tricuspid denticles on the jaws of most fish. Examination of the size range, body proportions and dentition of institutional specimens gives no support for recognising more than one species in the Midland Valley localities.
The increased cultivation of highbush blueberry in Poland has been paralleled with enhanced damage to this crop by different pests and diseases, including soft scales. We have carried out trials to assess methods for controlling soft scales of the genus Parthenolecanium in highbush blueberry grown in open fields or under a plastic tunnel, with an approach based on integrated pest management (IPM) principles. The reduction of Lecanium scale population using alternative products, with mechanical mechanisms of action, was similar to that achieved with treatments of different formulations of neonicotinyl-based pesticides; sometimes they were even more effective on protected crops. Control programs on plantations with a large population of Lecanium scales based on the application of these alternative products in spring and at harvest time and chemical compounds in autumn resulted in a very high efficacy and are considered the most suitable strategies to assure yields without residues and a reduced impact on the environment.
The use of suitable mass rearing methods is crucial to establish successful inundative or inoculative biological control programs. The development of an artificial diet considerably reduces costs of mass rearing. In this study, the efficacy of a new meridic artificial diet for rearing the predatory bug, Orius albidipennis (Het., Anthocoridae), was studied. The artificial diet was composed of some natural materials including lamb liver, hen yolk, whey protein, honey, royal jelly and some specific vitamins. To determine the artificial diet efficacy life table parameters of the bugs, using the two-sex life table method, fed artificial and factitious diets, Ephestia kuehniella egg + date palm pollen, were compared. Results showed that O. albidipennis could complete its life stages and reproduce when reared on the recommended artificial diet. However, its fecundity and survival rate when fed the artificial diet was lower than the controls. Overall, due to lower production costs the artificial diet can be recommended for mass rearing of O. albidipennis despite the lower fecundity and survival rate.
This study was executed to investigate the potential of agar-agar, a nontoxic and non-degradable gelling agent, as a promising coating agent to improve and protect banana fruit against fungal postharvest diseases i.e., crown, finger, neck and flower end rots which are caused by fungal isolates of Colletotrichum musae and Fusarium moniliforme. Coated-ba-nana fruit samples with different concentrations of agar-agar suspension particularly at 2.0 g · l−1 exhibited a significant reduction in incidence and severity of postharvest diseases compared to untreated fruit. Banana fruits dipped in agar suspension at 2.0 g · l−1 for 5, 10 and 15 min showed significant reduction in disease incidence and severity. Moreover, application of agar suspension as a coating agent at 2.0 g · l−1 significantly decreased weight loss (%), firmness loss (%), and soluble solid concentration of banana fruit for 15 days at 25 ± 2°C. Scanning electron microscopy observation confirmed that the fruit coated with agar colloid at 2.0 g · l−1 had significantly fewer cracks and showed smoother surfaces than untreated fruit. This explains the quality improvement in agar-coated fruit compared to uncoated fruit. Overall, agar colloid, a safe coating agent, could be used to protect banana fruit against postharvest rot diseases and extend fruit storage life during ripening and storage.
Ash dieback, caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is a serious disease of common and narrow-leaved ash in Europe. The resistance of individual trees seems to be important for the maintenance of ash in European forests. In this in situ wound inoculation study, the susceptibility and differences in resistance to H. fraxineus between Fraxinus excelsior and F. angustifolia clones were assessed. Neither of the tested clones revealed total resistance to ash dieback; variety between the tested clones was observed. Differences in necroses lengths were significant between clones and between two ash species. Longer necroses were formed in F. angustifolia than in F. excelsior. Some clones exhibiting some resistance to the pathogen were identified.
In the presented paper, a problem of nonholonomic constrained mechanical systems is treated. New methods in nonholonomic mechanics are applied to a problem of a Forklift-truck robot motion. This method of the geometrical theory of general nonholonomic constrained systems on fibered manifolds and their jet prolongations, based on so-called Chetaev-type constraint forces. The relevance of this theory for general types of nonholonomic constraints, not only linear or affine ones, was then verified on appropriate models. On the other hand, the equations of motion of a Forklift-truck robot are highly nonlinear and rolling without slipping condition can only be expressed by nonholonomic constraint equations. In this paper, the geometrical theory is applied to the above mentioned mechanical problem. The results of numerical solutions of constrained equations of motion, derived within the theory, are presented.
In the recent years, chaotic systems with uncountable equilibrium points such as chaotic systems with line equilibrium and curve equilibrium have been studied well in the literature. This reports a new 3-D chaotic system with an axe-shaped curve of equilibrium points. Dynamics of the chaotic system with the axe-shaped equilibrium has been studied by using phase plots, bifurcation diagram, Lyapunov exponents and Lyapunov dimension. Furthermore, an electronic circuit implementation of the new chaotic system with axe-shaped equilibrium has been designed to check its feasibility. As a control application, we report results for the synchronization of the new system possessing an axe-shaped curve of equilibrium points.
The paper refers to planning deliveries of food products (especially those available in certain seasons) to the recipients: supermarket networks. The paper presents two approaches to solving problems of simultaneous selection of suppliers and transportation modes and construction of product flow schedules with these transportation modes. Linear mathematical models have been built for the presented solution approaches. The cost criterion has been taken into consideration in them. The following costs have been taken into account: purchase of products by individual recipients, transport services, storing of products supplied before the planned deadlines and penalties for delays in supply of products. Two solution approaches (used for transportation planning and selection of suppliers and selection of transportation modes) have been compared. The monolithic approach calls for simultaneous solutions for the problems of supplier selection and selection of transportation modes. In the alternative (hierarchical) solution approach, suppliers are selected first, and then transportation companies and their relevant transportation modes are selected. The results of computational experiments are used for comparison of the hierarchical and monolithic solution approaches.
The article presents the method and algorithm of automatic pointer measuring devices (voltmeter, manometer, metronomes etc.) indications determination in order to determine their dynamic characteristics with the help of web-camera and personal computer. The results of testing and experimental research of developed tool for determining the dynamic characteristics of pointer measuring devices are given. Using this method, the algorithm and the software developed, the process of determining the dynamic characteristics of the pointer measuring devices was automated. The time of recognition and calculation of one measured value for a dual-core processor and webcam with a resolution of 0.3 Mp averages 250–330 ms.
In the era of humanoid robotics, navigation and path planning of humanoids in complex environments have always remained as one of the most promising area of research. In this paper, a novel hybridized navigational controller is proposed using the logic of both classical technique and computational intelligence for path planning of humanoids. The proposed navigational controller is a hybridization of regression analysis with adaptive particle swarm optimization. The inputs given to the regression controller are in the forms of obstacle distances, and the output of the regression controller is interim turning angle. The output interim turning angle is again fed to the adaptive particle swarm optimization controller along with other inputs. The output of the adaptive particle swarm optimization controller termed as final turning angle acts as the directing factor for smooth navigation of humanoids in a complex environment. The proposed navigational controller is tested for single as well as multiple humanoids in both simulation and experimental environments. The results obtained from both the environments are compared against each other, and a good agreement between them is observed. Finally, the proposed hybridization technique is also tested against other existing navigational approaches for validation of better efficiency.
The three-dimensional (3D) coordinate measurement of radio frequency identification (RFID) multi-tag networks is one of the important issues in the field of RFID, which affects the reading performance of RFID multi-tag networks. In this paper, a novel method for 3D coordinate measurement of RFID multitag networks is proposed. A dual-CCD system (vertical and horizontal cameras) is used to obtain images of RFID multi-tag networks from different angles. The iterative threshold segmentation and the morphological filtering method are used to process the images. The template matching method is respectively used to determine the two-dimensional (2D) coordinate and the vertical coordinate of each tag. After that, the 3D coordinate of each tag is obtained. Finally, a back-propagation (BP) neural network is used to model the nonlinear relationship between the RFID multi-tag network and the corresponding reading distance. The BP neural network can predict the reading distances of unknown tag groups and find out the optimal distribution structure of the tag groups corresponding to the maximum reading distance. In the future work, the corresponding in-depth research on the neural network to adjust the distribution of tags will be done.
Blockchain is a technology, which could revolutionize many industries in the future. A system like that is based on a chain of blocks that is used for storing and transferring various data, forming a decentralized ledger. Although various fundamental projects based on the blockchain system in the energy industry are in their early stage of development, as well as other solutions, applications of blockchain technology in the broadly understood power engineering sector are considered to have a very large potential. This paper presents a brief description of the blockchain technology, its general operating principle and the possibilities it brings. The next section of the article contains a characterization of two exemplary and possible blockchain technology applications, which in the perspective of time may have a significant impact on the power engineering sector. The first solution is related to carrying out energy transactions, which could be conducted in an easy way directly between energy producers and consumers. Thanks to blockchain technology, this could lead to a partial decentralization in that area. The second proposed example concerns energy resources origin tracking, which would allow fixed origin attributes and parameters affecting the environment to be assigned to the generated energy. By implementing that solution, it would be possible to construct a fuel footprint of individual generating units. The article also mentions examples of other potential applications of blockchain technology in the power engineering sector.
Methane explosions are among the greatest hazards in the Polish coal mining industry and unfortunately continue to cause many catastrophes. The constant growth of the depth of coal exploitation in the conditions of the high concentration of mining causes the increase of absolute methane content and methane seam pressure from the mined seams. This situation directly affects the increase in the level of methane hazard in the underground work environment. It is therefore obvious to undertake intensive research that will allow for the development of appropriate solutions that help to exclude the risk of mining catastrophes resulting from the ignition and/or methane explosion. In addition to the development of methane hazard prevention methods, an indispensable element of this approach is a very accurate identification of the mechanisms of the combustion and explosion of this gas. The article presents the method of investigation and examples of results of methane explosions carried out in the 400 m experimental gallery of the Experimental Mine “Barbara” of the Central Mining Institute – the only large scale underground experimental facility in Europe. A n analysis has been performed of the influence of the methane release into mining workings on the distribution of the gas concentration and on the course of its explosion or combustion. The data collected characterizes thermodynamic phenomena that form the basis for determining the level of the explosion hazard. Large scale studies have also allowed to assess the risk of conditions that are sufficient for the development of a coal dust explosion initiated by methane explosions. The large scale of the experiments and the system of continuous recording of the course of the experiments allowed the specific characteristics of the methane explosion and burning in underground mining workings to be identified and isolated. For the first time, the course of experiments was recorded via a camera system deployed along the gallery.
Having increasingly tightened geological and mining conditions in which the extraction of copper ore deposits in Poland is conducted, ensuring effective and safe mining is presently becoming a key task and a significant challenge for mine operators, mainly in the field of ground support systems being the equivalent for the new geological/mining conditions. As one may expect, these conditions shall be characterized by higher values of the primary stress tensor elements as well as the lower deformability and higher strength of the rock mass surrounding the copper ore body. T his means that in the near future, the rock bursts problem will become one of the most important issues deciding on the economy and safety within the newly developed mining areas. T herefore developing a novel effective ductile ground support systems which could be able to control the rock mass movement in squeezing and burst-prone rock conditions is recommended. T his type of requirement may fulfil only ductile or, in other words, the kinetic energy-absorbing systems, which permit slowing down a movement of violently ejected rock blocks. T his paper’s objective is to present the idea of the development of a new type of an effective and low cost ductile resin anchored rockbolt system with smooth and of the square cross-section steel rod is formed in coil shape of different pitch. T he developed bolt prototypes have been tested underground in the G-11 section of the Rudna mine. Results of the pull-out tests, involving different bolts’ shapes and different sliding materials set on the rockbolts’ rods, have proved those bolts’ efficiency as an element of the ductile support system.
The efficient protection (support reinforcement) of a wall and heading crossing ensures continuity of the production cycle, and that is a quick moving of the scraper conveyor to the wall. Using low or high bolting as a support reinforcement element in wall and heading crossings allows for the elimination of traditional methods of maintaining longwall-gate crossings, and therefore allows for the efficient use high performance modern wall complexes. The paper presents the long underground experience, of the Knurów–Szczygłowice mine of efficient support wall and heading crossing maintenance, which was bolted to the rock mass with the usage of two pairs of bolts, showing full technical and economical usefulness of this support reinforcement method. The article also highlights work safety and the increasingly common usage of endoscopies when specifying the range of crack areas which directly effects the proper choice in number, load-capacity and length of the used bolts. The underground studies the measurements of the reach of the zones of fracturing and roof stratification (using endoscopes and wire type stratification meters) and the laboratory tests (using the test stand) have allowed to determine the safety factor for maintenance of the longwall gangway crossing, directly resulting in the necessity to install additional reinforcement. The value of the safety factor Sbsc-ch greater than 1 is advantageous and safe, and the value less than or equal to 1 can lead to a significant deterioration of the conditions of maintenance of a wall and heading crossing which was bolted.
The paper presents differences between technical states and technical operation states of haul trucks in the technical operation process. The specification and analysis of operational parameters of technological vehicles used in surface mining is possible only due to more and more frequently used diagnostic – telemetric systems. While a detailed analysis of machines operation data can result in the more effective management of mining plant operations and the mining process itself. The determination of operational state indices and their individual components allows preventive actions to be commenced, resulting in improving the work organization of the entire mine machinery system. Moreover, the future technical state of machines operated in surface mining is strictly related to the current state and also depends on the events that occurred in the extraction system. A set of parameter values of individual state characteristics, which allow the haul trucks technical and operational state to be characterized, is a direct effect of a telemetric – diagnostic system operation.
In recent years, the outsourcing of a variety of different activities has been more commonly observed in the coal mining industry. This is connected with employing workers by external companies. These practices are not necessarily perceived as good ones by mines’ employees because they may influence their remuneration directly or indirectly. Firstly, as external employees treat work in mining company as a source of a quick income. Therefore, external companies often calculate their employees compensation not based on working time (i.e. hours) but on the basis of a specific, accomplished task. Such employment is called piecework, whereas the workers employed in this kind of system are called output workers/piece workers. Therefore, to receive higher wages in these companies, employees carry out their tasks faster and more efficiently. This, in turn, can affect the standards of workers employed by the mining company. In addition, outsourced workers are often retired miners, so the costs incurred by employers are significantly lower. In addition, in order to not to lose the retirement benefit, they work for a much lower rate. On the other hand, outsourced work can be done in a hurry (on a piece rate), which is not conducive to compliance with safety regulations, therefore mine employees may feel unsafe. This article aims to present how mine employees assess outsourcing underground works. In order to achieve this aim, a survey was carried out among employees of one of the coal mine companies in Silesia. Participants of the survey were randomly chosen among underground miners employed at one mine company. The survey was anonymous which obviously might have influenced respondents’ honesty in answering. The survey was carried out in several mines of the chosen company. In some of them the survey was carried out online and in the remaining ones it was filled out on paper. Analyzing the survey results allowed for a better understanding of the reasons of the disapproval of outsourcing underground works. This, in turn, may be used for better human resources management including, in particular, planning an incentive based pay system.
The level of sales of a given good depends largely on the distribution network. An analysis of the distribution network allows companies to optimize business activity, which improves the efficiency and profitability of a company’s sales with an immediate effect on profit growth. The so-called spatial analysis is highly useful in this regard. The paper presents an analysis of the network of authorized dealers of the Polish Mining Group for the Opolskie Province. The analysis was done using GIS (SIP) tools. The purpose of the analysis was to present tools that could be used to verify an existing distribution network, to optimize it, or to create a new sales outlet. The prresented tools belong to GIS operations used to process data stored in Spatial Information System resources. These are so-called geoprocessing tools. The article contains several spatial analyses, which results in choosing the optimum location of the distribution point in terms of the defined criteria. The used tools include a spatial intersection and sum. Geocoding and the so-called cartodiagram were also used. The presented analysis can be performed for both the network of authorized retailers within a region, a city or an entire country. The presented tools provide the opportunity to specify the target consumers, areas where they are located and areas of potential consumer concentration. This allows the points of sale in areas with a high probability of finding new customers to be located, which enables the optimal location to be chosen, for example, in terms of access to roads, rail transport, locations of the right area and neighborhood. Spatial analysis tools will also enable the coal company to verify its already existing distribution network.
According to The European Commission’s regulation numbers 842/2006 and 517/2014, refrigerants whose Global Warming Potential ratio is more than 150, have been prohibited in mobile air conditioning (MAC) since January 2017. Therefore, the commonly used R-134 gas has been banned. The search for a new refrigerant, which grants all the required criteria, has begun. In accordance with new European standards, the gas should have environmentally friendly properties and should not be noxious to human life while operating. In this paper, two alternative substances, which can substitute the banned R134a, have been compared. This is synthetic R1234yf, which belongs to the HFO group, and carbon dioxide, which exists in the natural environment. The chemical build, physical and thermodynamic properties have been described. Scientific articles, which present and compare the technical results of testing both refrigerants, have been discussed. Comparison results, tools used and research methodology have been described in these articles. Alternative gases have been analyzed for their environmental impact and have been checked on the toxic, flammable, impact on ozone depletion and global warming. The threats to human life due to the use of the new refrigerants have been reviewed. The thesis also comprises an economical comparison between the two gases. A short review and conclusions have been presented at the end of the article.
Sparse fish microremains have been found in marine limestones from the Middle Devonian (Givetian) Skały Formation (Sitka Coral-Crinoid Limestone Member and Sierżawy Member), Świętomarz–Śniadka section, Bodzentyn Syncline, Łysogóry Region, northern Holy Cross Mountains, associated with conodonts of the hemiansatus to ansatus zones. Thelodont scales referred here to Australolepis sp. cf. A. seddoni come from near Śniadka village, from samples dated as hemiansatus to rhenanus/varcus zones. This increases the known range for the genus from its original find in Western Australia. The presence of a thelodont in the late Middle Devonian in Poland extends the known distribution of turiniids around the peri-Gondwana shorelines of Palaeotethys.
The Indian Cave Sandstone (Upper Pennsylvanian, Gzhelian) from the area of Peru, Nebraska, USA, has yielded numerous isolated chondrichthyan remains and among them teeth and dermal denticles of the Symmoriiformes Zangerl, 1981. Two tooth-based taxa were identified: a falcatid Denaea saltsmani Ginter and Hansen, 2010, and a new species of Stethacanthus Newberry, 1889, S. concavus sp. nov. In addition, there occur a few long, monocuspid tooth-like denticles, similar to those observed in Cobelodus Zangerl, 1973, probably representing the head cover or the spine-brush complex. A review of the available information on the fossil record of Symmoriiformes has revealed that the group existed from the Late Devonian (Famennian) till the end of the Middle Permian (Capitanian).