Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Kaveh Pahlavan, Advisor




Body Area Network (BAN) technology is related to many applications inside, on and around the human body. The basic configuration of a BAN is a set of sensors, which are wearable or are placed inside the human body, transmitting signals to a terminal situated in a doctor’s office, in order to assess or monitor some aspect of a patient’s physical condition. Additionally, in many BAN applications the information about the sensor location is very important, since without knowing a sensor’s location, the transmitted data may be of limited value. As an example, Wireless Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE) can benefit greatly from the addition of location information. The capsule transmits an RF signal from inside the human body to another sensor on the body surface or external. From the image data provided by the capsule, taken together with the location information, the doctor can locate the infection or lesion and initiate appropriate medical care. In this way, the treatment can be more effective and accurate. In this thesis we investigate the characteristics of Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) RF propagation for BAN devices placed around and inside the human body. We have made measurements around the human body and around a water-filled phantom using an E8363B Vector Network Analyzer (VNA), specifically measuring the S21 signal, which gives the transfer function. Based on these measurement results, we discuss the channel propagation for cases where the transmitter and the receiver are on the surface of the body and analyze the UWB propagation characteristics for RF localization. Because it is impractical or even impossible to make measurements inside the human body, we chose to apply the measurements using a simulation model of homogenous tissue, which serves as an approximation of the signal propagation environment inside the body. First, by comparing the multipath situation in free space and within a model of homogenous tissue, we are able to analyze the multipath effects inside human body. Then, because of the different characteristics of RF propagation in different bandwidths, we have made measurements at UWB (3GHz to 10GHz), and narrowband (402MHz) frequencies.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





UWB, BAN, RF localization