A combined antennas and propagation study has been undertaken with a view to directly improving link conditions for wireless body area networks. Using tissue-equivalent numerical and experimental phantoms representative of muscle tissue at 2.45 GHz, we show that the node to node [S-21] path gain performance of a new wearable integrated antenna (WIA) is up to 9 dB better than a conventional compact Printed-F antenna, both of which are suitable for integration with wireless node circuitry. Overall, the WIA performed extremely well with a measured radiation efficiency of 38% and an impedance bandwidth of 24%. Further benefits were also obtained using spatial diversity, with the WIA providing up to 7.7 dB of diversity gain for maximal ratio combining. The results also show that correlation was lower for a multipath environment leading to higher diversity gain. Furthermore, a diversity implementation with the new antenna gave up to 18 dB better performance in terms of mean power level and there was a significant improvement in level crossing rates and average fade durations when moving from a single-branch to a two-branch diversity system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering