Antenna development for wearable wireless sensing systems

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O'Flynn, Brendan
Gaetano, Domenico
Buckley, John
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Embedded wireless sensor network (WSN) systems have been developed and used in a wide variety of applications such as local automatic environmental monitoring; medical applications analysing aspects of fitness and health energy metering and management in the built environment as well as traffic pattern analysis and control applications. While the purpose and functions of embedded wireless sensor networks have a myriad of applications and possibilities in the future, a particular implementation of these ambient sensors is in the area of wearable electronics incorporated into body area networks and everyday garments. Some of these systems will incorporate inertial sensing devices and other physical and physiological sensors with a particular focus on the application areas of athlete performance monitoring and e-health. Some of the important physical requirements for wearable antennas are that they are light-weight, small and robust and should also use materials that are compatible with a standard manufacturing process such as flexible polyimide or fr4 material where low cost consumer market oriented products are being produced. The substrate material is required to be low loss and flexible and often necessitates the use of thin dielectric and metallization layers. This paper describes the development of such a wearable, flexible antenna system for ISM band wearable wireless sensor networks. The material selected for the development of the wearable system in question is DE104i characterized by a dielectric constant of 3.8 and a loss tangent of 0.02. The antenna feed line is a 50 Ohm microstrip topology suitable for use with standard, high-performance and low-cost SMA-type RF connector technologies, widely used for these types of applications. The desired centre frequency is aimed at the 2.4GHz ISM band to be compatible with IEEE 802.15.4 Zigbee communication protocols and the Bluetooth standard which operate in this band.
Fractal antenna , RF simulation , RF design
O'FLYNN, B. GAETANO, D. & BUCKLEY, J. 2009. Antenna Development for Wearable Wireless Sensing Systems. Proc. IMAPS-CPMT Poland 2009, Gliwice – Pszczyna, Poland, 22-24 Sept, 2009
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