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BioPhysical Modeling, Characterization and Optimization of Electro-Quasistatic Human Body Communication

05/14/2018
by   Shovan Maity, et al.
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Human Body Communication (HBC) has emerged as an alternative to radio wave communication for connecting low power, miniaturized wearable and implantable devices in, on and around the human body which uses the human body as the communication channel. Previous studies characterizing the human body channel has reported widely varying channel response much of which has been attributed to the variation in measurement setup. This calls for the development of a unifying bio physical model of HBC supported by in depth analysis and an understanding of the effect of excitation, termination modality on HBC measurements. This paper characterizes the human body channel up to 1MHz frequency to evaluate it as a medium for broadband communication. A lumped bio physical model of HBC is developed, supported by experimental validations that provides insight into some of the key discrepancies found in previous studies. Voltage loss measurements are carried out both with an oscilloscope and a miniaturized wearable prototype to capture the effects of non common ground. Results show that the channel loss is strongly dependent on the termination impedance at the receiver end, with up to 4dB variation in average loss for different termination in an oscilloscope and an additional 9 dB channel loss with wearable prototype compared to an oscilloscope measurement. The measured channel response with capacitive termination reduces low frequency loss and allows flat band transfer function down to 13 KHz, establishing the human body as a broadband communication channel. Analysis of the measured results and the simulation model shows that (1) high impedance (2) capacitive termination should be used at the receiver end for accurate voltage mode loss measurements of the HBC channel at low frequencies.

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