A novel dual-band conical-helix/monopole antenna is proposed to operate as an on-body central antenna for Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN). The proposed antenna communicates in three ways: (i) off-body communication through its end-fire radiation with the ceil-mounted WiMax antenna at 5.8 GHz, (ii) on-body communication through its broadside radiation with the on-skin biosensor antennasat 3.0 GHz, and (iii) in-body communication with the in-body (implanted) biosensor antennas at 3.0 GHz. The characteristics of the proposed antenna are investigated through electromagnetic simulation and experimental measurements where a prototype of this antenna is fabricated for this purpose. The antenna is matched with 50 Ω coaxial feeder over the dual frequency bands, mounted on a copper circular disc, and covered with a very thin dielectric radom for mechanical protection. Such an antenna covered by the radom is shaped like a hemispherical button that can be attached to patient clothes and, hence, it can be considered as a wearable antenna. The radiation patterns obtained by experimental measurements show good agreement with those obtained by the CST® simulator and are shown to be appropriate for communication with the ceil-mounted WiMAX antenna and the biosensor antennas at 5.8 GHz and 3.0 GHz, respectively. The distribution of the microwave power density near the body surface is evaluated by simulation and experimental measurements to ensure the realization of the electromagnetic exposure safety limits. The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) distribution inside the human tissues of concern is evaluated showing a safe level of electromagnetic exposure. Quantitative assessment of the WBAN communication system performance is achieved when the proposed antenna is employed as an on-body central antenna for the WBAN. Thanks to the optimized design of the proposed antenna the Bit-Error-Rate (BER) is shown to be very low even when the input power fed to the antenna is only 1 mW.
2. Mahfouz, M. R., M. J. Kuhn, G. To, and A. E. Fathy, "Integration of UWB and wireless pressure mapping in surgical navigation," IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 57, No. 10, 2550-2564, 2009.
3. Vallejo, M., J. Recas, P. G. del Valle, and J. L. Ayala, "Accurate human tissue characterization for energy-efficient wireless on-body communications," Sensors, Vol. 13, No. 6, 7546-7569, 2013.
4. Gemio, J., J. Parron, and J. Soler, "Human body effects on implantable antennas for ISM bands applications: Models comparison and propagation losses study," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 110, 437-452, 2010.
5. Grimm, M., D. Manteuffel, R. Thoma, R. H. Knochel, J. Sachs, I. Willms, and T. Zwick, "Antennas and propagation for on-, off- and in-body communications," Ultra-Wideband Radio Technologies for Communications, Localization and Sensor Applications, InTech., 2013.
6. Kang, S. and C. W. Jung, "Wearable fabric reconfigurable beam-steering antenna for on/off-body communication system," International Journal of Antennas and Propagation, ID 539843, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2015.
7. Islam, M. N. and M. R. Yuce, "Review of medical implant communication system (MICS) band and network," Science Direct, ICT Express, Vol. 2, 188-194, 2016.