Wireless communications between various devices worn on a human body can be readily used in a number of applications. These include:
Remote patient monitoring
Networking equipment worn by military or fire-fighting and rescue personnel
Replacing wired connections between body-worn devices with wireless links in these applications would greatly improve convenience for the users of such equipment.
This convenience comes at a cost of increased power demand and decreased reliability of the link due to propagation fading and possible interference. Besides, wireless link are also prone to eavesdropping and thus bear security risks
In order to alleviate these problems on-body propagation phenomenon has to be well understood and characterised. Our group has been studying on-body propagation channels for several years.
Past Research Works
The effects of both the human body and the surrounding environments on several on-body channels have been investigated at a number of frequencies and in many different scenarios
Empirical models for the propagation channels have been derived
Advantages of using antenna diversity to mitigate strong fading, and multiple input multiple output (MIMO) systems to increase channel capacity, were investigated and found to be quite significant.
Recently Research Works
The propagation channels in the millimetre-wave band
This band combines the possibility of very high data rates (sufficient for high-quality video transfer) with an advantage of improved security due to fast attenuation with the distance.
Efficient high gain antennas for millimetre-wave band
Effcient high gain antennas can be made sufficiently small to be worn on the body. However, the signal at these frequencies is easily blocked by obstacles, which presents a challenge for communication links on a moving person.
November 2010 : AAEL researchers win the best student paper award in LAPC2010
Loughborough Antenna & Propagation Conference (LAPC) 2010 awarded the best student paper prize to AAEL researchers for the paper "Novel Yagi-Uda antennas for on-body communication at 60 GHz".
Dr Yuriy Nechayev - Characterisation of On-Body Communication Channels (EPSRC)
Mrs Lida Akhoondzadeh-Asl - Wearable Antenna
Mr Xianyue Wu - Wearable antenna for Gigabit body-centric wireless communications