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Sensors 2016, 16(5), 713; doi:10.3390/s16050713

Field-Based Optimal Placement of Antennas for Body-Worn Wireless Sensors

1
Institute of Electronics, Lodz University of Technology, ul. Wólczańska 211/215, 90-924 Łódź, Poland
2
Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pavia, via Ferrata 5, 27100 Pavia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Slawomir Wiak and Manuel Pineda Sanchez
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 2 May 2016 / Published: 17 May 2016
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Abstract

We investigate a case of automated energy-budget-aware optimization of the physical position of nodes (sensors) in a Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN). This problem has not been presented in the literature yet, as opposed to antenna and routing optimization, which are relatively well-addressed. In our research, which was inspired by a safety-critical application for firefighters, the sensor network consists of three nodes located on the human body. The nodes communicate over a radio link operating in the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz ISM frequency band. Two sensors have a fixed location: one on the head (earlobe pulse oximetry) and one on the arm (with accelerometers, temperature and humidity sensors, and a GPS receiver), while the position of the third sensor can be adjusted within a predefined region on the wearer’s chest. The path loss between each node pair strongly depends on the location of the nodes and is difficult to predict without performing a full-wave electromagnetic simulation. Our optimization scheme employs evolutionary computing. The novelty of our approach lies not only in the formulation of the problem but also in linking a fully automated optimization procedure with an electromagnetic simulator and a simplified human body model. This combination turns out to be a computationally effective solution, which, depending on the initial placement, has a potential to improve performance of our example sensor network setup by up to about 20 dB with respect to the path loss between selected nodes. View Full-Text
Keywords: body area networks; wireless sensor network; computer optimization algorithms; computational electromagnetics body area networks; wireless sensor network; computer optimization algorithms; computational electromagnetics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Januszkiewicz, Ł.; Di Barba, P.; Hausman, S. Field-Based Optimal Placement of Antennas for Body-Worn Wireless Sensors. Sensors 2016, 16, 713.

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