Wet environmental conditions affecting narrow band on-body communication channel for WBANs

© 2018 Old City Publishing, Inc. Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) are rising as the key building blocks of next generation networks in modern health care systems. Research in recent years has focused on channel modelling, energy conservation and design of efficient Medium Access Control (MAC) schemes for WBANs. However, less attention has been paid to the on-body channel propagation analysis. This paper presents the propagation effects of wet clothing on the on-body channel at 0.9GHz, 1.8GHz and 2.5GHz and is germane to signal budgets in body-centric and mobile communication systems. A number of transmission measurements between simple monopoles above a square ground plane, placed on the opposing shoulder and hip, wearing single and multi-layered “rainwater wet” and dry cotton T-Shirts for standing, bending, torso left and right are used to gain insight into general levels of the effect of rainwater on propagation. Measured results are statistically processed to extract the level of transmission enhancement due to a wet on-body channel. Results show that wet clothing is generally beneficial to the channel at popular mobile communications frequencies.