Propagation Effects in UWB Body Area Networks


Thomas Zasowski, Gabriel Meyer, Frank Althaus, and Armin Wittneben


IEEE International Conference on Ultra-Wideband, ICU 2005, Zurich, Switzerland, Sept. 2005.

DOI: 10.1109/ICU.2005.1569949

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Due to the ongoing miniaturization of electronic devices and due to a multitude of applications, wireless body area networks (WBANs) gained much interest recently. Ultra wideband (UWB) communication is one promising transmission technology for WBANs due to reduced hardware complexity. To optimize receiver structures and antennas for UWB WBANs it is necessary to know the propagation mechanisms on the human body. In this paper, we focus on transmission at the head and consider direct transmission, surface waves, reflections, and diffraction as possible propagation mechanisms in the frequency range between 1.5-8 GHz. We show theoretically and by measurement results that the direct path is attenuated such that direct transmission through the head is negligible. Based on measurements we conclude by process of elimination that diffraction is the main propagation mechanism around the human body and that surface waves and reflections are negligible. Finally, we discuss the impact of the propagation mechanisms on the UWB WBAN communication system.


UWB, Body Area Network, BAN, Wireless

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