NASA Space Communications Symposium

Biosensor Networks

Principal Investigators: Frank Merat, Wen H. Ko Task Number: NAG3-2578 Case Western Reserve University September 18, 2002
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Biosensor Networks
Project Overview
The goal of this project is to develop a test platform for biomedical monitoring using COTS components and stateof-the-art communications concepts. Start date March 2001.
Biomonitoring Network
IntraBody Wireless Network

Conventional RF L ink (BlueTooth?) Compute r Medical Data Logge r/Analysis Station IntraBody/Extrabody Wireless Network Router

Body drawing from Fundamentals of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, Rudolph J. Liedtke, RJL Systems, February 1998.

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Biosensor Networks
Enterprise Relevance
This technology has applications for continuous health monitoring of humans in space and for long duration space experiments involving humans and/or animals. Any wireless solution should interface with existing and future proximity networks.

“A Lightweight Ambulatory Physiological Monitoring System,” NASA Tech Briefs, January 2001.
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Biosensor Networks
Enterprise Impact
The major impact of this technology is upon manned missions, e.g., space station and shuttle missions . Removal of wires and other encumbrances would improve astronaut freedom of movement and increase the system reliability.

Wireless Biosensor Network

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Biosensor Networks
Milestones - Technical Accomplishments and Schedules
Due Date
1 April 2002

Milestone Description
Characterize human body as communications channel for rf.

Tech Accomplishments
Communications through human body.

Schedule Status
Completed

Schedule Deviation
none
Feasibility Experiment

Body drawing from Fundamentals of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, Rudolph J. Liedtke, RJL Systems, February 1998.

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Biosensor Networks
Milestones - Technical Accomplishments and Schedules
Due Date
2 June 2002

Milestone Description
Design antennas for coupling to human body.

Tech Accomplishments
Designed and measured multiple patch antennas. Verified antenna performance with loop antennas and published literature.

Schedule Status
Completed

Schedule Deviation
none

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Biosensor Networks
Milestones - Characterize human body as rf communications channel

Geometry of Basic Rectangular Patch Antenna

Received Power Through the Body (underside of forearm with 30 cm separation). Antenna dimensions: L =39 mm, W = 42 mm, and h = 0.062” on FR-4 substrate.

Received Power at 1 m separation. Antenna dimensions are L = 41 mm, W = 38 mm, and h = 0.062” on FR-4 substrate.

Received Power at 50 cm separation. Transmitter antenna: L = 54 mm, W = 48 mm, h = 0.062”; receiver antenna L = 26 mm, W = 38 mm, h = 0.062”, both on FR-4 substrate.

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Biosensor Networks
Milestones - Technical Accomplishments and Schedules
Due Date
3 August 2002

Milestone Description
Design prototype wireless nodes for collecting and transmitting sensor data through human body.

Tech Accomplishments
Completed fabrication and testing of prototype nodes.

Schedule Status
Completed

Schedule Deviation
none

Due Date
4 August 2002

Milestone Description
Develop software to transmit data and network nodes.

Tech Accomplishments
Completed development and testing of prototype system.

Schedule Status
Completed

Schedule Deviation none
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Biosensor Networks
Prototype sensor node
Bare PC board for prototype

Typical rectangular center fed patch antenna used for testing. “early” power for prototype

Antenna board for prototype

Prototype sensor node with integrated antenna and Dsocket for programming

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Biosensor Networks
Risks
Risk
1 EMI from radiated signals not confined to human body.

Impact
Would restrict application of technology, especially in space missions.

Resolution Plan
Reduce transmitter power.

2
3

Antenna size is too large.
Wireless nodes consume too much power.

Would restrict application of technology
Increases size of wireless modules.

Shift to higher operating frequency
Redesign electronics using newer COTS technology or semi-custom design.

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Biosensor Networks
Funding Issues
Phase one funding ended on budget. Phase two funding through March 2003.

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Biosensor Networks
Future Plans
Event
1 2 Biomedical sensor survey Antenna testing

Goals
Determine COTS biomedical sensors suitable for a personal biosensor network. Optimize antenna dimensions for biosensor network. Impedance match antenna to electronics. Demonstration prototype. Conventional radiation and transmission line models do not explain observed behavior. A better model (perhaps including ionic conduction) would allow better prediction of system performance and optimization of antenna.

3 4

Functional prototype Modeling of rf propagation in human body.

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Biosensor Networks
Propagation modeling

Transmission Line Model of Antenna/Human Circuit using experimentally measured antenna parameters and published values for the electrical parameters of the human body

Simulation of Transmission Line Model for 0.6 Meters Antenna Separation

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Biosensor Networks
Papers and Awards
[1] M. Dummeruth. Wireless Wearable Health Monitoring System. M.S. Thesis, Case Western Reserve University, August 2002. (Advisor: F. Merat).

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