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Sensors 2011, 11(1), 771-784; doi:10.3390/s110100771

Directional MAC Approach for Wireless Body Area Networks

UWB-ITRC Center, Inha University, 253 Yongyun-dong, Nam-gu, Incheon, 402-751, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2010 / Revised: 20 December 2010 / Accepted: 29 December 2010 / Published: 12 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) designed for medical, sports, and entertainment applications, have drawn the attention of academia and industry alike. A WBAN is a special purpose network, designed to operate autonomously to connect various medical sensors and appliances, located inside and/or outside of a human body. This network enables physicians to remotely monitor vital signs of patients and provide real time feedback for medical diagnosis and consultations. The WBAN system can offer two significant advantages: patient mobility due to their use of portable monitoring devices and a location independent monitoring facility. With its appealing dimensions, it brings about a new set of challenges, which we do not normally consider in such small sensor networks. It requires a scalable network in terms of heterogeneous data traffic, low power consumption of sensor nodes, integration in and around the body networking and coexistence. This work presents a medium access control protocol for WBAN which tries to overcome the aforementioned challenges. We consider the use of multiple beam adaptive arrays (MBAA) at BAN Coordinator (BAN_C) node. When used as a BAN_C, an MBAA can successfully receive two or more overlapping packets at the same time. Each beam captures a different packet by automatically pointing its pattern toward one packet while annulling other contending packets. This paper describes how an MBAA can be integrated into a single hope star topology as a BAN_C. Simulation results show the performance of our proposed protocol.
Keywords: wireless body area network (WBAN); MAC; multi-beam adaptive arrays (MBAA); sensor node; Slotted Aloha wireless body area network (WBAN); MAC; multi-beam adaptive arrays (MBAA); sensor node; Slotted Aloha
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Hussain, M.A.; Alam, M.N.; Kwak, K.S. Directional MAC Approach for Wireless Body Area Networks. Sensors 2011, 11, 771-784.

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