Antennas and Propagation for Body-Centric Wireless Communications

Søren Helstrup Kvist, PhD Student
Kaj Bjarne Jakobsen, PhD, Associate Professor
Jesper Thaysen, PhD, Project Manager

1 October 2009 - 31 September 2012

Technical University of Denmark
GN ReSound A/S

Body-Centric Wireless Communications is the enabling element of Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs). These networks consist of two or more body-worn devices that communicate wirelessly between each other (on-body and in-body), or with external entities (off-body). The devices that constitute the WBAN can have a wide range of functionality. For instance, they could be medical sensors for monitoring the health of a patient, or wireless headsets. In order for the wireless communication to function properly, it is necessary to have an in-depth understanding of the radio-channel that connects the devices and of the antennas that couple the devices to the radio-channel.


The project focuses on the implementation of wireless capabilities in hearing instruments. These tiny, yet highly advanced devices constitute a challenging platform for wireless communications. The hearing instruments should be able to communicate wirelessly between each other, and with other devices, either on-body or off-body. Therefore, a set of milestones are identified as follows:

  • The applicable radio channels will have to be characterized by measurements and computer simulations.
  • A set of antenna design goals, including antenna radiation pattern and polarization, are identified based on the channel characterization. 
  • The possibility of incorporating MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) communication is examined. This includes the design of compact MIMO antennas, and an estimation of the effect of MIMO technology on the available data rate of a specific radio-channel.
  • Construction of prototypes and validation by measurements of the designed antennas.


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