Infoscience

Conference paper

Performance of UHF W-BAN antennas in a real environment scenario

This work presents performance of robust wearable antennas intended to operate in Wireless Body Area Networks (W-BAN) in UHF, TETRAPOL communication band, 380-400 MHz. We propose a Planar Inverted F Antenna (PIFA) as reliable antenna type for UHF W-BAN applications. In order to satisfy the robustness requirements of the UHF band, both from communication and mechanical aspect, a new technology for building these antennas was proposed. The antennas are built out of flexible conductive sheets encapsulated inside a silicone based elastomer, Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The proposed antennas are resistive to washing, bending and perforating. From the communication point of view, opting for a PIFA antenna type we solve the problem of coupling to the wearer and thus improve the overall communication performance of the antenna. Several different tests and comparisons were performed in order to check the stability of the proposed antennas when they are placed on the wearer or left in a common everyday environ- ment, on the ground, table etc. S11 deviations are observed and compared with the commercially available wearable antennas. As a final check, the antennas were tested in the frame of an existing UHF TETRAPOL communication system. All the measurements were performed in a real university campus scenario, showing reliable and good performance of the proposed PIFA antennas. © 2014 IEEE.

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