National Physical Laboratory

Testing the performance and safety of body-area-networks and implanted transmitters

There are many wireless systems where the antennas are placed on or near to the human body, and it is necessary to assess the antenna and radio-link performance for this situation to ensure that the systems operate correctly and safely.

Body-area-networks (BANS) are formed when both the transmitter and receiver are placed on the body. Applications for BANS include wireless sensor networks for monitoring patients and improving the performance of elite athletes, and real time video streaming for gaming and battlefield systems. Characterising the antenna and link performance for these systems is difficult, as it is affected by the variability between individual people, the person's movement and the surrounding environment. There is also interest in developing antennas which are integrated into garments e.g. 'textile' antennas, as well as in transmitting data from implants to be received outside the body (Medical Implant Communications Standard or MICS) and in wireless endoscopy. 

SAR Pin Cushion

Computer simulation of to determine channel loss and antenna efficiency for different locations on the torso (CST-Microwave Studio with Hugo voxel dataset)

Our current research project will develop and validate phantoms for testing body-worn and implanted antennas and establish procedures to measure the antenna and link performance, including radiated efficiency, path loss, antenna efficiency, SAR, and bit error rate (BER) with known measurement uncertainties. Additionally, we aim to develop channel models to allow the real-world performance of wireless systems and BANS to be established in the laboratory and develop a “toolbox” for radio-link design. We encourage the involvement of industrial collaborators in this work.

People involved in this project

Last Updated: 11 Sep 2012
Created: 11 Sep 2012

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