Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Kaveh Pahlavan, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Allen H. Levesque, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Xinming Huang, Department Head

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Fred J. Looft, Department Head




"Body area networks (BAN) is a technology gaining widespread attention for application in medical examination, monitoring and emergency therapy. The basic concept of BAN is monitoring a set of sensors on or inside the human body which enable transfer of vital parameters between the patient´s location and the physician in charge. As body area network has certain characteristics, which impose new demands on performance evaluation of systems for wireless access and localization for medical sensors. However, real-time performance evaluation and localization in wireless body area networks is extremely challenging due to the unfeasibility of experimenting with actual devices inside the human body. Thus, we see a need for a real-time hardware platform, and this thesis addressed this need. In this thesis, we introduced a unique hardware platform for performance evaluation of body area wireless access and in-body localization. This hardware platform utilizes a wideband multipath channel simulator, the Elektrobit PROPSimâ„¢ C8, and a typical medical implantable device, the Zarlink ZL70101 Advanced Development Kit. For simulation of BAN channels, we adopt the channel model defined for the Medical Implant Communication Service (MICS) band. Packet Reception Rate (PRR) is analyzed as the criteria to evaluate the performance of wireless access. Several body area propagation scenarios simulated using this hardware platform are validated, compared and analyzed. We show that among three modulations, two forms of 2FSK and 4FSK. The one with lowest raw data rate achieves best PRR, in other word, best wireless access performance. We also show that the channel model inside the human body predicts better wireless access performance than through the human body. For in-body localization, we focus on a Received Signal Strength (RSS) based localization algorithm. An improved maximum likelihood algorithm is introduced and applied. A number of points along the propagation path in the small intestine are studied and compared. Localization error is analyzed for different sensor positions. We also compared our error result with the Cramèr- Rao lower bound (CRLB), shows that our localization algorithm has acceptable performance. We evaluate multiple medical sensors as device under test with our hardware platform, yielding satisfactory localization performance."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





localization, communication, body area network (BAN), hardware platform