238 research outputs found

    Analysis and Mitigation of the CubeSat Dynamic Environment

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    A vibration model was developed for CubeSats inside the Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD). CubeSats are fixed in the Z axis of deployers, and therefore resonate with deployer peaks. CubeSats generally start fixed in the X and Y axes, and then settle into an isolated position. CubeSats do not resonate with deployers after settling into an isolated position. Experimental data shows that the P-POD amplifies vibration loads when CubeSats are fixed in the deployer, and vibration loads are reduced when the CubeSats settle into an isolated position. A concept for a future deployer was proposed that isolates CubeSats from the deployer at the rail interface using viscoelastic foam sandwiched in the deployer rails. By creating an isolator frequency far below the deployer resonant frequency, CubeSats loads are not amplified at the deployer’s resonant peak. Feasibility tests show that CubeSat vibration loads can be reduced to 50% of the vibration input in certain cases. Testing also shows that it is much easier to define vibration loads for isolated CubeSats than CubeSats in the current P-POD

    Sources and distribution of trace species in Alpine precipitation inferred from two 60-year ice core paleorecords

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    International audienceThe Alps represent the largest barrier to meridional air flow in Europe, strongly influencing the weather and hence the distribution of atmospheric trace components. Here for the first time, chemical records from two ice cores retrieved from glaciers located in the northern and southern Swiss Alps were compared in conjunction with an analysis of "weather type", in order to assess geographical and seasonal trends in the deposition of trace species and to identify source regions and transport patterns. Using a correlation analysis, investigated trace species (NH4+, NO3?, SO42?, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, and Cl? were grouped into classes of different origin (anthropogenic, sea salt, or Saharan dust). Over the last 60 years, precipitation chemistry at both sites was dominated by NH4+, NO4?, and SO42?, all of anthropogenic origin and deposited mainly in summer by way of convective precipitation. The similarity of the SO42? profiles with historical records of SO4 emissions from France and Italy indicated these two countries as key source areas for the anthropogenic species. In contrast, sea salt and Saharan dust showed major differences in transport pattern and deposition across the Alps. Currently, the sea-salt constituents Na+, K+, and Cl? are transported to the northern site during advective westerly-wind situations, independent of Saharan dust events. At the southern site, sea salt and Saharan dust are deposited simultaneously, indicating a coupled transport active mainly in summer during south-westerly wind situations

    Study of the unknown HONO daytime source at a European suburban site during the MEGAPOLI summer and winter field campaigns

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    International audienceNitrous acid measurements were carried out during the MEGAPOLI summer and winter field campaigns at SIRTA observatory in Paris surroundings. Highly variable HONO levels were observed during the campaigns, ranging from 10 ppt to 500 ppt in summer and from 10 ppt to 1.7 ppb in winter. Significant HONO mixing ratios have also been measured during daytime hours, comprised between some tenth of ppt and 200 ppt for the summer campaign and between few ppt and 1 ppb for the winter campaign. Ancillary measurements, such as NOx , O3 , photolysis frequencies, meteorological parameters (pressure, temperature, relative humidity , wind speed and wind direction), black carbon concentration , total aerosol surface area, boundary layer height and soil moisture, were conducted during both campaigns. In addition, for the summer period, OH radical measurements were made with a CIMS (Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometer). This large dataset has been used to investigate the HONO budget in a suburban environment. To do so, calculations of HONO concentrations using PhotoStationary State (PSS) approach have been performed, for daytime hours. The comparison of these calculations with measured HONO concentrations revealed an underestimation of the calculations making evident a missing source term for both campaigns. This unknown HONO source exhibits a bell-shaped like average diurnal profile with a maximum around noon of approximately 0.7 ppb h−1 and 0.25 ppb h−1 , during summer and winter respectively. This source is the main HONO source during daytime hours for both campaigns. In both cases, this source shows a slight positive correlation with J (NO2) and the product between J (NO2) and soil moisture. This original approach had, thus, indicated that this missing source is photolytic and might be heterogeneous occurring at ground surface and involving water content available on the ground. Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. 2806 V. Michoud et al.: Study of the unknown HONO daytime sourc

    Quantification of topographic venting of boundary layer air to the free troposphere

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    International audienceNet vertical air mass export by thermally driven flows from the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) to the free troposphere (FT) above deep Alpine valleys was investigated. The vertical export of pollutants above mountainous terrain is presently poorly represented in global chemistry transport models (GCTMs) and needs to be quantified. Air mass budgets were calculated using aircraft observations obtained in deep Alpine valleys. The results show that on average 3 times the valley air mass is exported vertically per day under fair weather conditions. During daytime the type of valleys investigated in this study can act as an efficient "air pump" that transports pollutants upward. The slope wind system within the valley plays an important role in redistributing pollutants. Nitrogen oxide emissions in mountainous regions are efficiently injected into the FT. This could enhance their ozone (O3) production efficiency and thus influences tropospheric pollution budgets. Once lifted to the FT above the Alps pollutants are transported horizontally by the synoptic flow and are subject to European pollution export. Forward trajectory studies show that under fair weather conditions two major pathways for air masses above the Alps dominate. Air masses moving north are mixed throughout the whole tropospheric column and further transported eastward towards Asia. Air masses moving south descend within the subtropical high pressure system above the Mediterranean

    Source apportionment of size and time resolved trace elements and organic aerosols from an urban courtyard site in Switzerland

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    Time and size resolved data of trace elements were obtained from measurements with a rotating drum impactor (RDI) and subsequent X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Trace elements can act as indicators for the identification of sources of particulate matter <10 μm (PM10) in ambient air. Receptor modeling was performed with positive matrix factorization (PMF) for trace element data from an urban background site in Zürich, Switzerland. Eight different sources were identified for the three examined size ranges (PM1-0.1, PM2.5-1 and PM 10-2.5): secondary sulfate, wood combustion, fire works, road traffic, mineral dust, de-icing salt, industrial and local anthropogenic activities. The major component was secondary sulfate for the smallest size range; the road traffic factor was found in all three size ranges. This trace element analysis is complemented with data from an Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS), assessing the PM1 fraction of organic aerosols. A separate PMF analysis revealed three factors related to three of the sources found with the RDI: oxygenated organic aerosol (OOA, related to inorganic secondary sulfate), hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA, related to road traffic) and biomass burning organic aerosol (BBOA), explaining 60 %, 22 % and 17 % of total measured organics, respectively. Since different compounds are used for the source classification, a higher percentage of the ambient PM10 mass concentration can be apportioned to sources by the combination of both methods. © 2011 Author(s)

    Elemental composition of ambient aerosols measured with high temporal resolution using an online XRF spectrometer

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    The Xact 625 Ambient Metals Monitor was tested during a 3-week field campaign at the rural, traffic-influenced site Härkingen in Switzerland during the summer of 2015. The field campaign encompassed the Swiss National Day fireworks event, providing increased concentrations and unique chemical signatures compared to non-fireworks (or background) periods. The objective was to evaluate the data quality by intercomparison with other independent measurements and test its applicability for aerosol source quantification. The Xact was configured to measure 24 elements in PM10 with 1 h time resolution. Data quality was evaluated for 10 24 h averages of Xact data by intercomparison with 24 h PM10 filter data analysed with ICP-OES for major elements, ICP-MS for trace elements, and gold amalgamation atomic absorption spectrometry for Hg. Ten elements (S, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Ba, Pb) showed excellent correlation between the compared methods, with r2 values  ≥  0.95. However, the slopes of the regressions between Xact 625 and ICP data varied from 0.97 to 1.8 (average 1.28) and thus indicated generally higher Xact elemental concentrations than ICP for these elements. Possible reasons for these differences are discussed, but further investigations are needed. For the remaining elements no conclusions could be drawn about their quantification for various reasons, mainly detection limit issues. An indirect intercomparison of hourly values was performed for the fireworks peak, which brought good agreement of total masses when the Xact data were corrected with the regressions from the 24 h value intercomparison. The results demonstrate that multi-metal characterization at high-time-resolution capability of Xact is a valuable and practical tool for ambient monitoring

    Management and site effects on carbon balances of European mountain meadows and rangelands

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    We studied carbon balances and carbon stocks of mountain rangelands and meadows in a network of 8 eddy covariance sites and 14 sites with biomass data in Europe. Net ecosystem exchange of pastures and extensively managed semi-natural rangelands were usually close to zero, while meadows fixed carbon, with the exception of one meadow that was established on a drained peatland. When we accounted for off-site losses and inputs also the carbon budget of meadows approached zero. Soil carbon stocks in these ecosystems were high, comparable to those of forest ecosystems, while carbon stocks in plant biomass were smaller. Since soil carbon stocks of abandoned mountain grasslands are as high as in managed ecosystems, it is likely that the widespread abandonment of mountain rangelands used currently as pastures will not lead to an immediate carbon sink in those ecosystems

    Major Surface Glycoproteins of Insect Forms of Trypanosoma brucei Are Not Essential for Cyclical Transmission by Tsetse

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    Procyclic forms of Trypanosoma brucei reside in the midgut of tsetse flies where they are covered by several million copies of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins known as procyclins. It has been proposed that procyclins protect parasites against proteases and/or participate in tropism, directing them from the midgut to the salivary glands. There are four different procyclin genes, each subject to elaborate levels of regulation. To determine if procyclins are essential for survival and transmission of T. brucei, all four genes were deleted and parasite fitness was compared in vitro and in vivo. When co-cultured in vitro, the null mutant and wild type trypanosomes (tagged with cyan fluorescent protein) maintained a near-constant equilibrium. In contrast, when flies were infected with the same mixture, the null mutant was rapidly overgrown in the midgut, reflecting a reduction in fitness in vivo. Although the null mutant is patently defective in competition with procyclin-positive parasites, on its own it can complete the life cycle and generate infectious metacyclic forms. The procyclic form of T. brucei thus differs strikingly from the bloodstream form, which does not tolerate any perturbation of its variant surface glycoprotein coat, and from other parasites such as Plasmodium berghei, which requires the circumsporozoite protein for successful transmission to a new host

    Prognostic significance of osteopontin expression in early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer

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    Osteopontin (OPN) is a multifunctional protein, which has recently been shown to be linked to tumorigenesis, progression and metastasis in different malignancies. Since non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)'s prognosis remains bad, with few predictors of outcome, the purpose of this study was to evaluate if OPN might be involved in NSCLC's biology and therefore represent a prognostic marker and a target for new therapeutic trials. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect OPN expression, evaluated as percentage of neoplastic cells with cytoplasmic immunoreactivity, in a wide cohort of patients with stage I NSCLC (136 cases). The median value of this series (20% of positive cells) was used as the cutoff value to distinguish tumours with low (<20%) from tumours with high (⩾20%) OPN expression. A statistically significant correlation between high levels of OPN and shorter overall (P=0.034) and disease-free (P=0.011) survival in our patients was shown. Our results support the hypothesis that high OPN expression is a significantly unfavourable prognostic factor for the survival of patients with stage I NSCLC. This conclusion has notable importance in terms of the biological characterization of early-stage tumours and therapeutic opportunities

    Deletion of the thrombin cleavage domain of osteopontin mediates breast cancer cell adhesion, proteolytic activity, tumorgenicity, and metastasis

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Osteopontin (OPN) is a secreted phosphoprotein often overexpressed at high levels in the blood and primary tumors of breast cancer patients. OPN contains two integrin-binding sites and a thrombin cleavage domain located in close proximity to each other.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>To study the role of the thrombin cleavage site of OPN, MDA-MB-468 human breast cancer cells were stably transfected with either wildtype OPN (468-OPN), mutant OPN lacking the thrombin cleavage domain (468-ΔTC) or an empty vector (468-CON) and assessed for <it>in vitro </it>and <it>in vivo </it>functional differences in malignant/metastatic behavior.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>All three cell lines were found to equivalently express thrombin, tissue factor, CD44, αvβ5 integrin and β1 integrin. Relative to 468-OPN and 468-CON cells, 468-ΔTC cells expressing OPN with a deleted thrombin cleavage domain demonstrated decreased cell adhesion (p < 0.001), decreased mRNA expression of MCAM, maspin and TRAIL (p < 0.01), and increased uPA expression and activity (p < 0.01) <it>in vitro</it>. Furthermore, injection of 468-ΔTC cells into the mammary fat pad of nude mice resulted in decreased primary tumor latency time (p < 0.01) and increased primary tumor growth and lymph node metastatic burden (p < 0.001) compared to 468-OPN and 468-CON cells.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The results presented here suggest that expression of thrombin-uncleavable OPN imparts an early tumor formation advantage as well as a metastatic advantage for breast cancer cells, possibly due to increased proteolytic activity and decreased adhesion and apoptosis. Clarification of the mechanisms responsible for these observations and the translation of this knowledge into the clinic could ultimately provide new therapeutic opportunities for combating breast cancer.</p