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Open AccessArticle

Synchronous Wearable Wireless Body Sensor Network Composed of Autonomous Textile Nodes

Department of Information Technology (INTEC), Ghent University, St. Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Department of Industrial System and Product Design (ISP), Ghent University, Graaf Karel de Goedelaan 5, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium
Department of Industrial Technology and Construction (IT&C), Ghent University, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2014, 14(10), 18583-18610;
Received: 21 July 2014 / Revised: 25 August 2014 / Accepted: 29 September 2014 / Published: 9 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Collection Sensors for Globalized Healthy Living and Wellbeing)
PDF [2655 KB, uploaded 9 October 2014]


A novel, fully-autonomous, wearable, wireless sensor network is presented, where each flexible textile node performs cooperative synchronous acquisition and distributed event detection. Computationally efficient situational-awareness algorithms are implemented on the low-power microcontroller present on each flexible node. The detected events are wirelessly transmitted to a base station, directly, as well as forwarded by other on-body nodes. For each node, a dual-polarized textile patch antenna serves as a platform for the flexible electronic circuitry. Therefore, the system is particularly suitable for comfortable and unobtrusive integration into garments. In the meantime, polarization diversity can be exploited to improve the reliability and energy-efficiency of the wireless transmission. Extensive experiments in realistic conditions have demonstrated that this new autonomous, body-centric, textile-antenna, wireless sensor network is able to correctly detect different operating conditions of a firefighter during an intervention. By relying on four network nodes integrated into the protective garment, this functionality is implemented locally, on the body, and in real time. In addition, the received sensor data are reliably transferred to a central access point at the command post, for more detailed and more comprehensive real-time visualization. This information provides coordinators and commanders with situational awareness of the entire rescue operation. A statistical analysis of measured on-body node-to-node, as well as off-body person-to-person channels is included, confirming the reliability of the communication system. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless sensors; body-centric; diversity; ISM band; textile antennas; situational awareness; event detection wireless sensors; body-centric; diversity; ISM band; textile antennas; situational awareness; event detection
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Vanveerdeghem, P.; Van Torre, P.; Stevens, C.; Knockaert, J.; Rogier, H. Synchronous Wearable Wireless Body Sensor Network Composed of Autonomous Textile Nodes. Sensors 2014, 14, 18583-18610.

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