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Article

Analyzing the Performance of WBAN Links during Physical Activity Using Real Multi-Band Sensor Nodes

1
B105 Electronic Systems Lab, ETSI Telecomunicación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Avenida Complutense 30, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Berkeley Wireless Research Center, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Akram Alomainy
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 2920; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11072920
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 1 March 2021 / Accepted: 22 March 2021 / Published: 25 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Sensor Networks: Technologies, Applications, Prospects)
Wireless body area networks (WBANs) present unique challenges due to their specific characteristics of mobility and over-the-body radio propagation. A huge amount of factors—both internal and external to the network—affect WBAN channel conditions, so a reliable and comprehensive theoretical model of these communications is unfeasible and impractical in real scenarios. Thus, an empirical performance analysis of several WBAN channels is presented in this work, based on the receiver signal strength indicator (RSSI) and packet reception rate (PRR) metrics. Four different static and dynamic activities have been characterized: standing, sitting, cycling and walking. This analysis confirms the theoretical notions of path attenuation due to body parts obstructing the signal path, while serving as a benchmark for the design of future algorithms. The experiments have been carried out with real hardware nodes with wireless interfaces in three ISM bands: 433 MHz, 868 MHz and 2.4 GHz, evaluating the effect of the transmit power and node placement for different subjects. In all scenarios, the PRR metric reaches its maximum of 100% for both sub-GHz bands. Finally, our study concludes that the RSSI metric is sufficient to exploit the periodicity of dynamic activities, without the need for any extra hardware resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless body area network (WBAN); channel characterization; physical activity; posture; received signal strength indicator (RSSI); packet reception rate (PRR); transmit power; periodic channels; frequency dependence; ISM bands wireless body area network (WBAN); channel characterization; physical activity; posture; received signal strength indicator (RSSI); packet reception rate (PRR); transmit power; periodic channels; frequency dependence; ISM bands
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rozas, A.; Araujo, A.; Rabaey, J.M. Analyzing the Performance of WBAN Links during Physical Activity Using Real Multi-Band Sensor Nodes. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 2920. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11072920

AMA Style

Rozas A, Araujo A, Rabaey JM. Analyzing the Performance of WBAN Links during Physical Activity Using Real Multi-Band Sensor Nodes. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(7):2920. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11072920

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rozas, Alba, Alvaro Araujo, and Jan M. Rabaey. 2021. "Analyzing the Performance of WBAN Links during Physical Activity Using Real Multi-Band Sensor Nodes" Applied Sciences 11, no. 7: 2920. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11072920

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