Transmission characteristics of a vaginally-worn UHF radio telemeter

William Scanlon, N.E. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A vaginally-worn temperature telemeter may be used by women to chart their basal body temperature for ovulation detection. The telemeter uses a temperature to pulse width converter to key a Colpitts oscillator which is controlled in frequency by a 418 MHz SAW resonator. The circuit’s tank inductor acts as a compact, multi-turn loop antenna with a radiated power in isolation of around 1 uW. The transmission characteristics of the system are affected by the proximity of the human body, which acts as an electrically-large lossy dielectric. The RF link-budget must allow for the reduction in total emitted power, directional body-induced fading, and polarization effects. The polar power patterns of the telemeter were measured for both isolated and in-situ cases, using horizontal and vertical polarization. The power patterns were numerically integrated to determine relative emitted power, and a reference dipole used to determine the emitted power for the isolated device. In isolation the telemeter radiation is vertically polarized and isotropic in nature. With the telemeter in-situ, total body absorption was found to be over 20 dB, with directional fades of up to 40 dB; there was extensive cross-polarization, with up to 60% of radiated power horizontally polarized. With limited radiated power and directional fading, the operating range for the telemeter is limited to single room operation (less than 10m). The majority of RF radiation is absorbed by the body, but the radiation hazard is negligible due to the low power level of the device. The high level of cross-polarization suggests that either horizontal or vertically polarized base-station antennas may be used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-658
Number of pages2
JournalInnovation And Technology In Biology And Medicine
Volume16 (5)
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1995


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