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Accurate Human Tissue Characterization for Energy-Efficient Wireless On-Body Communications

Author(s): Mónica Vallejo | Joaquín Recas | Pablo García del Valle | José L. Ayala

Journal: Sensors
ISSN 1424-8220

Volume: 13;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 7546;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Wireless Body Sensor Networks (WBSNs) | human body communication | Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) | body type | tissues | electromagnetic

The demand for Wireless Body Sensor Networks (WBSNs) is rapidly increasing due to the revolution in wearable systems demonstrated by the penetration of on-the-body sensors in hospitals, sports medicine and general health-care practices. In WBSN, the body acts as a communication channel for the propagation of electromagnetic (EM) waves, where losses are mainly due to absorption of power in the tissue. This paper shows the effects of the dielectric properties of biological tissues in the signal strength and, for the first time, relates these effects with the human body composition. After a careful analysis of results, this work proposes a reactive algorithm for power transmission to alleviate the effect of body movement and body type. This policy achieves up to 40.8% energy savings in a realistic scenario with no performance overhead.
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