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On PHY and MAC Performance in Body Sensor Networks


This paper presents an empirical investigation on the performance of body implant communication using radio frequency (RF) technology. In body implant communication, the electrical properties of the body influence the signal propagation in several ways. We use a Perspex body model (30 cm diameter, 80 cm height and 0.5 cm thickness) filled with a liquid that mimics the electrical properties of the basic body tissues. This model is used to observe the effects of body tissue on the RF communication. We observe best performance at 3cm depth inside the liquid. We further present a simulation study of several low-power MAC protocols for an on-body sensor network and discuss the derived results. Also, the traditional preamble-based TMDA protocol is extended towards a beacon-based TDMA protocol in order to avoid preamble collision and to ensure low-power communication.

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Correspondence to Sana Ullah.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ullah, S., Higgins, H., Islam, S.M.R. et al. On PHY and MAC Performance in Body Sensor Networks. J Wireless Com Network 2009, 479512 (2009).

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