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Sensors 2016, 16(5), 713;

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

Institute of Electronics, Lodz University of Technology, ul. Wólczańska 211/215, 90-924 Łódź, Poland
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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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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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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