A Body-Coupled Communication and Radio Frequency Dual Technology Cooperation Protocol for Body-Area Networks


S. Corroy, A. Argyriou, Z. Wadood, H. Baldus,


        Body-area networks (BANs) are wireless sensor networks (WSNs) that operate in close proximity to the human body, being used for example for distributed wireless medical body sensors. Current implementations of BANs use standardized radio frequency (RF) technologies like IEEE 802.15.4, and do not account the characteristics of the body channel, e.g. strong attenuation of high frequency radio waves. In order to provide high reliability as well as energy efficiency while communicating close to the human body, a new technology called body-coupled communication (BCC) was developed. As it uses the human body as channel, it does not suffer from shadowing and enables efficient and reliable data communication between nodes in close contact with the human body. As many applications still require to transmit some data few meters from the human body, it is essential to also have RF capabilities in a BCC-BSN.
In this paper we propose a new BAN node architecture where all nodes have both a BCC and RF transceiver. We propose a protocol that enables the cooperation between the two technologies. We present the hardware and software system implementation and illustrate our concept with measurement results. We show that our dual technology solution is more efficient and reliable than classical RF solutions for BANs.

BibTEX Reference Entry 

	author = {Steven Corroy and Antonios Argyriou and Zubair Wadood and Heribert Baldus},
	title = "A Body-Coupled Communication and Radio Frequency Dual Technology Cooperation Protocol for Body-Area Networks",
	booktitle = "{IEEE} International Conference on Communications Workshops ({ICC} 2010): MAN",
	address = {Cape Town, South Africa},
	month = May,
	year = 2010,
	hsb = hsb910021618,


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