High-efficiency low-profile antennas with adjustable propagating modes for wireless body area networks

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Electronics Electrical Eng and Comp Sci


Wireless Body Area Networking (WBAN) is an important area of emerging technology where a network of bodyworn or personal electronic devices is established, most often using radio communications. A WBAN may also have to support person-person or wider area communications. Therefore, a WBAN is an important and challenging environment for bodyworn antennas since they may be required to support or be configured to yield quite distinct propagating modes such as: on-body only, off-body (e.g., cellular or wireless LAN) only, or some combination of these. In addition, an ideal antenna for WBAN use will be low profile or conformal, efficient with minimal power losses in body tissues and not adversely affected by the user's movements. This work will address these challenges directly by creating and investigating a new class of wideband low-profile patch-antenna elements with reduced groundplane currents (higher efficiency and greater safety) and with a tangential propagating mode for both over the body surface communications. The tangential propagating mode also has the potential for achieving omnidirectional coverage from one antenna element depending on the operating frequency, albeit with additional losses in the through body direction. The achievement of these aims will involve detailed work in the area of patch element design, the use of advanced dielectric materials and will leverage the latest research on electromagnetic metamaterials. Although the work will focus on antennas for the 2.4 GHz industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band, consideration will be given to lower frequencies down to 400 MHz in support applications such as medical device networking. The project will use both theoretical and numerical analysis and the funding requested will allow the experimental validation of the work, specifically in terms of whole body radiation efficiency measurements and radio-over-fibre measurements of on-body antenna element coupling.
Description European Antennas Ltd 
Organisation European Antennas
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
Description Home Office Sci Development Branch 
Organisation Home Office
Department Home Office Scientific Development Branch
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
Start Year 2006
Description Taconic International Ltd. 
Organisation Taconic International
Country Ireland 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
Description Zarlink Semiconductor 
Organisation Zarlink Semiconductor
Country Canada 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
Description An antenna comprising an antenna feed element, a dielectric structure comprising a first end portion, a second end portion and a central portion extending between the first and second end portions which at least partially surrounds the antenna feed element, and a groundplane provided on the first end portion of the dielectric structure, wherein the central portion of the dielectric structure tapers from at least one of the first and second end portions of the dielectric structure towards an other of the first and second end portions of the dielectric structure. An antenna system comprising a plurality of antennas of the invention, wherein each antenna emits electromagnetic signals to at least one other antenna, and when used in conjunction with a body, the plurality of antennas may be positioned adjacent the body at spaced locations of the body. The body may comprise a human body and the antennas may be attached to the body or to a covering on the body. The antenna system may then comprise a wearable antenna system. 
IP Reference WO2009010724 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2009
Licensed No