Previous works have shown that wearable antennas can operate ideally in free space; however, degradation in performance, specifically in terms of frequency shifts and efficiency was observed when an antenna structure was in close proximity to the human body. These issues have been highlighted many times yet, systematic and numerical analysis on how the dielectric characteristics may affect the technical behavior of the antenna has not been discussed in detail. In this paper, a wearable antenna, developed from a new electro-textile material has been designed, and the step-by-step manufacturing process is presented. Through analysis of the frequency detuning effect, the on-body behavior of the antenna is evaluated by focusing on quantifying the changes of its input impedance and near-field distribution caused by the presence of lossy dielectric material. When the antenna is attached to the top of the body fat phantom, there is an increase of 17% in impedance, followed by 19% for the muscle phantom and 20% for the blood phantom. These phenomena correlate with the electric field intensities (V/m) observed closely at the antenna through various layers of mediums (z
-axis) and along antenna edges (y
-axis), which have shown significant increments of 29.7% in fat, 35.3% in muscle and 36.1% in blood as compared to free space. This scenario has consequently shown that a significant amount of energy is absorbed in the phantoms instead of radiated to the air which has caused a substantial drop in efficiency and gain. Performance verification is also demonstrated by using a fabricated human muscle phantom, with a dielectric constant of 48, loss tangent of 0.29 and conductivity of 1.22 S/m.
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