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Channel estimation and transmit power control in wireless body area networks

Channel estimation and transmit power control in wireless body area networks

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Wireless body area networks have recently received much attention because of their application to assisted living and remote patient monitoring. For these applications, energy minimisation is a critical issue since, in many cases, batteries cannot be easily replaced or recharged. Reducing energy expenditure by avoiding unnecessary high transmission power and minimising frame retransmissions is therefore crucial. In this study, a transmit power control scheme suitable for IEEE 802.15.6 networks operating in beacon mode with superframe boundaries is proposed. The transmission power is modulated, frame-by-frame, according to a run-time estimation of the channel conditions. Power measurements using the beacon frames are made periodically, providing reverse channel gain and an opportunistic fade margin, set on the basis of prior power fluctuations, is added. This approach allows tracking of the highly variable on-body to on-body propagation channel without the need to transmit additional probe frames. An experimental study based on test cases demonstrates the effectiveness of the scheme and compares its performance with alternative solutions presented in the literature.

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