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Understanding Link Behavior of Non-intrusive Wireless Body Sensor Networks

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The wireless body sensor network (BSN) is used to detect and transmit physiological data such as vital signs by using radio wave communication. It offers a large saving potential for future healthcare applications because hospitalization of patients with chronic diseases can be kept at a minimum. The radio wave communication on the human body is impacted by the dielectric properties, the posture, and the movement of the body. Under these conditions a highly dynamic link-state and link quality are observed. In this paper we present a study of the link layer behavior of wireless BSNs operating at 2.45 GHz. We report on a wearable body-centric network operation in realistic environments from which we characterize the wireless channels based on a novel test framework. Our test framework uses a 200 ms time resolution for sampling of the wireless links between on-body sensor nodes. We record the received signal strength indicator and link quality indicator values as well as the packet delivery statistics in real-time. Based on recorded experiments we quantify the potential packet delivery performance and energy gain that can be obtained by using dynamic routing and adaptive transmission power schemes, respectively. Subsequently we formulate a set of requirements for the next revision of our prototype wireless BSN developed at Aarhus University School of Engineering in Denmark.

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Correspondence to Rune Hylsberg Jacobsen.

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Jacobsen, R.H., Kortermand, K., Zhang, Q. et al. Understanding Link Behavior of Non-intrusive Wireless Body Sensor Networks. Wireless Pers Commun 64, 561–582 (2012).

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  • Body sensor networks
  • Radio link
  • Routing protocols