Benevento, Italy

University of Sannio

www.unisannio.it/
Benevento, Italy

The University of Sannio is a university located in Benevento, Italy. Founded in 1998 , The University of Sannio is a modern and dynamic institution in constant evolution. It is a significant part of Benevento, a small town that offers a pleasant studying environment. With almost 8.000 students, the university gives the town a youthful spirit and vibrant atmosphere. It is organized in 4 Faculties and offers courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in the fields of Law, Statistics, the Environment, Geology, Biology, Biotechnology, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Energy Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Economics and Business Organization, always aiming for a very high qualification. Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.spie.org

Advanced optical coatings for the discovery of gravitational waves Highly uniform coatings of novel Bragg-reflector materials decrease the optical losses and increase the sensitivity of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory mirrors. The first detection of gravitational waves (GWs) was made on 14 September 2015 and announced by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)–Virgo collaboration on 11 February 2016. This achievement is thought to represent one of the most challenging feats and important milestones in physics, and has given rise to a new branch of science (gravitational wave astronomy).1 Furthermore, because the effects of GWs are mechanical (i.e., bodies are deformed by the passage of a GW), by detecting this phenomenon we now have the ability to ‘listen’ to the universe rather than just gaze at it. Although the LIGO project began in 1992, the direct detection of GWs was not possible with the original LIGO setup because the instruments were not sufficiently sensitive. The LIGO interferometer setup consists of two perpendicular ‘arms’ (each 4km long) that are optical Fabry-Pérot cavities. A laser beam is shone along these arms and reflected by mirrors at each end (a total of about 70 times, equal to a path length of about 300km). As a GW passes through the observatory's line of sight, it can be detected because the strain of space causes the arms of the interferometer to very slightly lengthen and shorten. The laser beam traveling between the mirrors thus travels different distances and the two beams are no longer in step, which gives rise to the measured interference patterns. The sensitivity of the original LIGO setup, however, was limited by the optical losses suffered by the mirrors. These optical losses had a number of sources, including absorption by the surface materials of the mirrors, aberrations that occur at each of the 70 reflections, as well as several internal and external noise sources. The most limiting of those noise sources was thermal noise in the cavity mirrors, which occurs in the most sensitive frequency band of the detector. This noise originates from the random rearrangement of molecules (structural relaxations) in the mirror materials when they are activated by thermal energy. In this work we outline our efforts to develop advanced optical coatings to reduce the optical and mechanical losses of the LIGO mirrors.2, 3 We have conducted this work at the Laboratoire des Matériaux Avancés (LMA), France, after winning the contract to design the required optical and mechanical features for the Advanced LIGO (i.e., the LIGO upgrade that eventually led to the detection of GWs4) cavity optics. For this project, we thus built a 10m3 ion beam sputtering coating chamber (known as the Grand Coater) in which we can host two mirrors simultaneously (see Figure 1). In this chamber, the mirrors are subjected to a circular motion to ensure that the coating deposition on each mirror is alike and that the two cavities of each detector are therefore extremely symmetric. Indeed, to limit the aberrations that occur at each of the 70 LIGO mirror reflections, the uniformity of the coating thickness (over a 200mm diameter) must be within 0.1% (about 6nm) of the total thickness. Figure 1. Photograph of two Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) cavity mirrors. These mirrors were treated in the ‘Grand Coater’ of the Laboratoire des Matériaux Avancés. The mirrors have a diameter of 35cm and a substrate (synthetic fused silica) thickness of 20cm. The large diameter (and a proper aspect ratio) is required to limit the thermal noise, and a large mass is necessary to limit the effect of radiation pressure fluctuations (caused by the quantum nature of light). To achieve a roundtrip power loss for the arm cavities of less than 75ppm with the LIGO mirrors, their reflecting surfaces cannot be made of metal (because the optical loss caused by absorption would be at least 10,000ppm). As an alternative, a Bragg reflector coating for the mirrors is used. This coating consists of a stack of alternating layers of two glasses that have different refractive indices (see Figure 2). The glasses we use in our coatings are silica and a low-noise titania-doped tantalum oxide that we proposed and then optimized in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, UK.5 This mixture of glasses experiences fewer thermally activated structural relaxations than pure tantalum or titanium oxides. Moreover, the constructive interference of all reflected beams at each interface of the stack produces the desired reflectivity, with an extremely low absorption. We have also collaborated with researchers from the University of Sannio (Italy) to optimize the thickness of our coating layers so that we reduce the amount of the high-index material (i.e., titanium oxide/tantalum oxide) with respect to the low-index material (silica) as much as possible.6, 7 Figure 2. Scanning electron microscope image showing alternating layers of two glasses that are similar to those used in the LIGO mirror coatings. The darker layer is silica and the brighter layer is titania-doped tantalum oxide. In total, this highly reflecting stack consists of 36 layers and has a thickness of about 5.9μm. (Image provided courtesy of the Consortium Lyon Saint-Etienne de Microscopie.) The coating thickness uniformity we achieve for the mirrors is illustrated in Figure 3. Our combined use of masking and circular motion during the coating process means that we create a spiral pattern—see Figure 4(a)—with a peak-to-valley amplitude of about 1.5nm and a spatial periodicity of 8mm. The consequent aberration of the reflected wavefront, although very small, gives rise to a scattering cone that couples one cavity mirror to the other (via reflection from the non-seismic isolated vacuum tube baffles). In this way, excess phase noise on the light is introduced inside the interferometer: see Figure 4(c). To solve this problem, we thus make two spiral patterns that destructively interfere (i.e., by shifting one by 4mm with respect to the other): see Figure 4(b).8 The final absorption in all our coated mirrors is well below 1ppm (see Figure 5), i.e., the limit required for the Advanced LIGO project. Figure 3. Relative variation of the coating thickness (total thickness is about 5.9μm) measured along the diameter of one highly reflecting mirror. Figure 4. Wavefront distortion measured (with a ZYGO interferometer) on a 150mm-diameter coated mirror before (a) and after (b) the spiral pattern was reduced. The spiral pattern in (a) can cause the coupling of two mirrors via noisy light reflection, as illustrated in (c). This scattering pattern causes light to leak out and enter into the optical path. Figure 5. Map of absorption with the central (160mm-diameter) area of a highly reflecting LIGO mirror (measured using the thermo-optic mirage effect). The average absorption value is 0.27ppm. In summary, we have developed state-of-the-art Bragg-reflector coatings that can be used to reduce the optical losses of mirrors. In particular, the coatings we have produced have been used to increase the sensitivity of detection for the Advanced LIGO and have thus enabled the recent groundbreaking observation of gravitational waves. In our ongoing work, we are developing the coatings that will be used on the mirrors for the Japanese Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector project. In this case, our coatings will operate at cryogenic temperatures and will involve the use of sapphire substrates. We have also started to investigate new materials and processes that may be suitable for our coatings, as well as the origin of thermal noise in amorphous materials. In addition, we continue to improve the thickness uniformity and optical control of deposition we can achieve with our coating technique.9 Laboratoire des Matériaux Avancés (LMA) National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3), CNRS Gianpietro Cagnoli is a professor of physics at Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University and the director of the LMA. His expertise is in the fields of thermal noise in mechanical experiments and of low-noise materials. Laurent Pinard is the chief engineer and the head of the metrology service at LMA. He is an expert on optical metrology and coating development. He is also the coordinator of the Advanced Virgo detector subsystem, and in charge of its mirrors. Christophe Michel is responsible for the infrastructure of LMA (and head of the laboratory's process service) and for the coating of the main optics in the gravitational wave detectors. His main expertise is in coating development. Benoit Sassolas is an expert in the simulation of coating deposition and coating development. At LMA he is the coordinator of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope activity. Jérôme Degallaix is a physics researcher, with expertise in optical simulation. He is also the coordinator of the Advanced Virgo Optical Design and simulation detector system. Massimo Granata is a research engineer. He is an expert on the mechanical characterization of coatings and thermal-noise-related issues. Danièle Forest is an assistant engineer and an expert on optical metrology, spectrophotometry, absorption, point defect detection, and roughness. 1. B. P. Abbott, R. Abbott, T. D. Abbott, M. R. Abernathy, F. Acernese, K. Ackley, C. Adams, et al., Observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, p. 061102, 2016. 3. L. Pinard, C. Michel, B. Sassolas, L. Balzarini, J. Degallaix, J. Dolique, R. Flaminio, et al., The mirrors used in the LIGO interferometers for the first-time detection of gravitational waves, Opt. Interfer. Coatings, p. MB.3, 2016. doi:10.1364/OIC.2016.MB.3 6. A. E. Villar, E. D. Black, R. DeSalvo, K. G. Libbrecht, C. Michel, N. Morgado, L. Pinard, et al., Measurement of thermal noise in multilayer coatings with optimized layer thickness, Phys. Rev. D 81, p. 122001, 2010. 7. L. Pinard, S. Sassolas, R. Flaminio, D. Forest, A. Lacoudre, C. Michel, J. L. Montorio, N. Morgado, Toward a new generation of low-loss mirrors for the advanced gravitational waves interferometers, Opt. Lett. 36, p. 1407-1409, 2011. 8. B. Sassolas, N. Straniero, J. Degallaix, C. Michel, L. Pinard, J. Teillon, L. Balzarini, et al., Mitigation of the spiral pattern induced by the planetary motion, Opt. Interfer. Coatings, p. MB.6, 2016. doi:10.1364/OIC.2016.MB.6 9. D. Hofman, B. Sassolas, C. Michel, L. Balzarini, L. Pinard, J. Teillon, E. Barthelemy-Mazot, B. David, B. Lagrange, G. Cagnoli, Broadband optical monitoring of optical thin films in large ion-beam sputtering machine, Opt. Interfer. Coatings, p. WC.4, 2016. doi:10.1364/OIC.2016.WC.4


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.39M | Year: 2016

The tremendous impact of natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, etc, which triggered technological accidents, referred to as natural-technological (NaTech) events, was demonstrated by: i) the recent Tohoku earthquake and the following Fukushima disaster in 2011; ii) the UKs 2015 winter floods which topped 5bn, with thousands of families and businesses that faced financial problems because of inadequate or non-existent insurance. The NaTech problem is quite relevant as up to 10% of industrial accidents, involving the release of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives (CBRNE) substances, were triggered by natural hazards. To implement and support the Seveso II Directive 2012/18/EU which regulates the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances, XP-RESILIENCE intends to establish a network of individual research projects working towards Advanced Modelling and Protection via metamaterial-based isolators/layouts- of Complex Engineering Systems for Disaster Reduction and Resilient Communities. In fact, today there is a stronger need than ever to grow researchers that combine a robust academic foundation in reliability/resilience with practical experiences, technological expertise with awareness of the socio-economical context and conviction to furthering research with an entrepreneurial spirit. Hence, the objective of XP-RESILIENCE is to offer innovative research training ground as well as attractive career development and knowledge exchange opportunities for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) through cross-border and cross-sector mobility for future growth in Europe. XP-RESILIENCE is an inter/multi-disciplinary and intersectoral programme as it includes seven academic partners, one Institute of Applied Science and seven private companies from ten different European countries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2011-7 | Award Amount: 6.70M | Year: 2012

The main objective of project e-GOTHAM is to implement a new aggregated energy demand model (based on the microgrid concept) in order to effectively integrate renewable energies sources, increase management efficiency by dynamically matching demand and supply, reduce carbon emissions by giving priority to green energy sources, raise energy consumption awareness by monitoring products and services and stimulate the development of a leading-edge market for energy-efficient technologies with new business models. e-GOTHAM will define a complete solution for microgrids in the residential, tertiary and industrial sectors that include different configurations of loads, distributed generators and energy storage components. To carry out the e-GOTHAM concept, the project will design an open architecture and develop a middleware that enables the needed communications for management and results optimisation. The challenge of the middleware produced in e-GOTHAM is to assemble a system which can ensure enough scalability, security, reliability, real time measurements and interoperability so as to lead to the development of a large-scale embedded systems network, a smart data management model, a set of models and algorithms that dynamically correlate energy-related, pollution-related, cost-related and behaviour-related patterns and a just-in-time adaptive communication model that interoperates different protocols to support seamless connectivity across the microgrid. e-GOTHAM is a market-oriented project that seeks to meet the needs of the involved market partners, especially power producers and microgrid owners, and to have an influence on consumers and on the authorities who define regulations. Finally, e-GOTHAM aims at creating an ecosystem meant to attract those relevant stakeholders who are willing to elaborate on project results so as to generate new products and services and to support the looked-for new aggregated energy demand model even beyond the project lifetime. This TA was approved by the ECSEL Joint Undertaking on 22/04/2015.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.6.1 | Award Amount: 5.22M | Year: 2012

Recognising the need, within the energy industry, to optimize the integration of renewable energy sources and new consumer energy needs in connection with socio-economic challenges, I3RES aims to integrate renewable energy sources in the distribution grid by incorporating intelligence at three different levels: in the integration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and the development of control and management mechanisms that reduce the impact of its intermittency; in the facilitation of the participation of all actors in the electricity market; and in the overall operation of the network.\n\nI3RES main goal is to develop a management tool for the distribution grid underpinned by 1) a monitoring system that integrates information from already installed systems (e.g. SCADA, EMS and smart meters); 2) energy production forecasting and network management algorithms that assist the distribution company in the management of massively distributed RES production and large scale RES production within the distribution network; 3) data mining and artificial intelligence to analyse consumers energy demand and production in the distribution grid.\n\nTo monitor and track the project activities, I3RES has defined several key performance indicators to be validated in a real-life scenario in the town of Steinkjer (Norway) and in a simulator quantifying that the benefits of the project results outweigh the costs if they were not implemented in the energy market.\n\nFor this, I3RES comprises a well balanced consortium of industrial and research organizations, strengthened with a DSO that will play a leading role to quantify and validate the achievement of concrete market and technical needs involved in the introduction of an innovative smart grid management tool for DSOs and aggregators. Ultimately, this tool will enable consumers to play a new role and answer to different geographic market needs and expectations in connection with the transition to smart grids and integration of RES.


Fiorillo F.,University of Sannio
Water Resources Management | Year: 2014

This study constitutes a review of spring hydrograph recession analysis, and it is focused on karst aquifers. The different literature models have been separated into empirical and physically-based models; in the last ones, only analytical models have been considered, as they provide the discharge equation during recession. Under constant geometrical and hydraulic aquifer characteristics, it has been found that the "exponential form" appears to be the most recurrent theoretical type, at least during the long-term flow recession. During this stage, any deviation from the exponential form, may suggest hydraulic anisotropy of actual aquifers, as well as aquifer geometry has a fundamental role in controlling the shape of spring hydrographs. The hydrodynamics of karst aquifer under recession has been described, associating any segment of the hydrograph to a specific hydrologic condition of the aquifer, and also to a specific physical law which control the water flow. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Graziano G.,University of Sannio
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2011

Guanidinium chloride, GdmCl, is a strong denaturing agent of globular proteins, whereas guanidinium sulfate, Gdm 2SO 4, is a stabilizing agent of globular proteins. The stabilizing activity of Gdm 2SO 4 is unexpected because the denaturant capability of GdmCl is due to direct interactions of Gdm + ions with protein surface groups. It is shown that the statistical thermodynamic approach devised to explain the molecular origin of cold denaturation [G. Graziano, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 14245-14252] can provide a rationalization of the different behaviour of GdmCl and Gdm 2SO 4 towards globular proteins. The fundamental quantity is the reversible work to create in the aqueous solution a cavity suitable to host the D-state and a cavity suitable to host the N-state. In aqueous GdmCl solutions, this contribution is not large enough to overwhelm the conformational entropy gain upon unfolding and the direct attractions between Gdm + ions and protein surface groups; in aqueous Gdm 2SO 4 solutions, it is so large that it overwhelms the two destabilizing contributions. Sulfate ions, due to their high charge density, interact strongly with water molecules producing a number density increase, that, in turn, renders the cavity creation process very costly, reversing the denaturing power of Gdm + ions and stabilizing the N-state of globular proteins. © the Owner Societies 2011.


Ceroni F.,University of Sannio
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2010

The present paper illustrates the results of an experimental program on Reinforced Concrete (RC) beams externally strengthened with carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) laminates and Near Surface Mounted (NSM) bars under monotonic and cyclic loads, the latter ones characterized by a low number of cycles in the elastic and post-elastic range. Comparisons between experimental and theoretical failure loads are discussed in detail. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Graziano G.,University of Sannio
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2011

Trimethylamine N-oxide, TMAO, stabilizes globular proteins and is able to counteract the denaturing activity of urea. The mechanism of this counteraction has remained elusive up to now. A rationalization is proposed grounded on the same theoretical model used to clarify the origin of cold denaturation, and the denaturing activity of GdmCl versus the stabilizing one of Gdm 2SO 4 [G. Graziano, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 14245-14252; G. Graziano, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 12008-12014]. The fundamental quantities are: (a) the difference in the solvent-excluded volume on passing from the N-state to the D-state, calculated in water and in aqueous osmolyte solution; (b) the difference in energetic attractions of the N-state and the D-state with the surrounding solvent molecules, calculated in water and in aqueous osmolyte solution. In aqueous 8 M urea + 4 M TMAO solution, the first quantity is so large and positive to counteract the second one that is large and negative due to preferential binding of urea molecules to the protein surface. This happens because aqueous 8 M urea + 4 M TMAO solution has a volume packing density markedly larger than that of water, rendering the cavity creation process much more costly. The volume packing density increase reflects the strength of the attractions of water molecules with both urea and TMAO molecules. This mechanism readily explains why TMAO counteraction is operative even though urea molecules are preferentially located on the protein surface. This journal is © the Owner Societies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.2 | Award Amount: 4.34M | Year: 2012

MARKOS will realize the prototype of a service and an interactive application providing an integrated view on the Open Source projects available the on web, focusing on functional, structural and licenses aspects of software code.\nWhile other services, such as Ohloh.com, mainly focuses on people and activities or on text search into the source code, MARKOS will offer semantic search and browsing to navigate the structure of the software code at a high level of abstraction, in order to facilitate the understanding of the software from a technical point of view.\nMoreover the MARKOS system will focus on the software integration aspects. In particular it will show and exploit the relationships between software components released by different projects, giving an integrated view of the available Open Source software at a global scale.\nMARKOS will exploit components relationships also for allowing a more efficient and accurate analysis of licence compatibility and to provide well founded legal argumentations.\nThe integrated view on Open Source software will be made available both as front-end application, for human consumption, and published as Linked Data for tool consumption, allowing the linking with other initiative adopting the Linked Data approach.\nIn order to facilitate the collaboration between different projects, MARKOS will provide tools to manage upstream/downstream ticketing (i.e. allow to send and receive notification of changes to an artefact of a project that might affect an artefact of other related projects).\nWe will evaluate the MARKOS system in workshops involving selected separate groups of end users with different background, either technical or business/legal, in scenarios coming from industrial and Open Source communities. The MARKOS system itself will be released as open source software. Thanks to the offered functionalities MARKOS is expected to facilitate software development based on the Open Source paradigm in a global context.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 909.00K | Year: 2016

EXCHANGE-Risk is an Intersectoral/International Research and Innovation staff exchange scheme between academia and the industry in Europe and North America focusing on mitigating Seismic Risk of buried steel pipeline Networks that are subjected to ground-imposed permanent deformations. It also aims at developing a Decision Support System for the Rapid Pipeline Recovery to minimize the time required for inspection and rehabilitation in case of a major earthquake. EXCHANGE-Risk involves novel hybrid experimental and numerical work of the soil-pileline system at a pipe, pipeline and network level integrated with innovative technologies for rapid pipe inspection. The outcome of the project is a series of well targeted exchanges between the partners (involving more than 30 early stage and experienced researchers) within a well defined framework of innovation that ensures transfer of knowledge between the academia and the industry, Europe and North America as well wide dissemination of the methodologies and tools developed to the engineering community.

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