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Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2056; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17092056

An Energy Efficient Technique Using Electric Active Shielding for Capacitive Coupling Intra-Body Communication

1
School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
2
The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract

Capacitive coupling intra-body communication (CC-IBC) has become one of the candidates for healthcare sensor networks due to its positive prevailing features of energy efficiency, transmission rate and security. Under the CC-IBC scheme, some of the electric field emitted from signal (SIG) electrode of the transmitter will couple directly to the ground (GND) electrode, acting equivalently as an internal impedance of the signal source and inducing considerable energy losses. However, none of the previous works have fully studied the problem. In this paper, the underlying theory of such energy loss is investigated and quantitatively evaluated using conventional parameters. Accordingly, a method of electric active shielding is proposed to reduce the displacement current across the SIG-GND electrodes, leading to less power loss. In addition, the variation of such loss in regard to frequency range and positions on human body was also considered. The theory was validated by finite element method simulation and experimental measurement. The prototype result shows that the receiving power has been improved by approximate 5.5 dBm while the total power consumption is maximally 9 mW less using the proposed technique, providing an energy efficient option in physical layer for wearable and implantable healthcare sensor networks. View Full-Text
Keywords: intra-body sensor networks; capacitive coupling; electric active shielding; energy efficiency; finite element method (FEM) intra-body sensor networks; capacitive coupling; electric active shielding; energy efficiency; finite element method (FEM)
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Ma, C.; Huang, Z.; Wang, Z.; Zhou, L.; Li, Y. An Energy Efficient Technique Using Electric Active Shielding for Capacitive Coupling Intra-Body Communication. Sensors 2017, 17, 2056.

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