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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G055890/1
Title: Low Power Body Worn Antenna Systems
Principal Investigator: Batchelor, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Sobhy, Professor M Young, Dr PR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Great Ormond Street Hospital W L Gore & Associates Ltd
Department: Sch of Engineering & Digital Arts
Organisation: University of Kent
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 31 March 2013 Value (£): 488,378
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip. RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Communications
Related Grants:
EP/G056633/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Mar 2009 ICT Prioritisation Panel (March 09) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Future tele-medicine and communications systems will increasingly be worn on the human body with wireless links to external systems. Radio channels will propagate around the body and it is very important to be able to understand and characterize exactly how this energy is distributed about the surface of a human subject. There remains a concern among the public and users in general that exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy should be minimized to avoid possible health issues and reducing transmit powers will also improve battery life. Research has been done to assess how electromagnetic waves are guided by animated human models wearing radio devices, but this work does not include the effect of gaps caused by loose fitting clothing and how this causes the radio device to tilt with time. The position of a radio antenna will have a significant effect on how much energy is directed towards the surface of the skin and therefore on the wireless channel. This project is a collaboration between two established UK centres of wearable antenna and flexible screening research. The project will investigate new techniques for integrating antenna systems and screens into clothing for worn applications. The novelty of the proposal is to reduce RF powers by utilizing diversity between disguised and low profile antennas realizing the potential for low interference and improved reliability. New design philosophies will be created for worn wireless systems where movement data and worn antenna tilting will be captured from real humans and used to find propagation paths around the body while switchable periodic screens will select between magnetic reflection and surface guided modes. Antennas for medical applications mounted on disposable paper clothing will be explored as well as auto-tuning of antennas on different body types using varactor diodes, liquid crystal mixtures and MEMs switches. The outcomes of this research will well place the UK as a leader in, and an exploiter of, future wireless systems such as tele-medicine and pervasive computing.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.kent.ac.uk