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Title: Medium access control protocols for wireless body area networks
Author: Timmons, Nicholas Francis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 239X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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The medical and economic potential of wireless Body Area Networks (BANs) is gradually being realised especially in the area of medical remote monitoring and telemedicine. Medical BANs will employ both implantable and body worn devices to support a diverse range of applications with throughputs ranging from several bits per hour up to 10 Mbps. The main consideration of this thesis was the long-term power consumption of BAN devices, as these devices have to perform all associated functions such as networking, processing, and RF communications powered usually only by a small battery. Implantable devices are expected to have a lifetime of up to 10 years. The challenge was to accommodate this diverse range of applications within a single wireless network based on a suitably flexible and power efficient medium access control (MAC) protocol. Analyses established that in ultra-low data rate wireless sensor networks (WSN) waking up just to listen to a beacon every superframe can be a major waste of energy. Based on these findings a novel medical medium access control (MedMAC) protocol was developed - capable of providing energy efficient and adaptable channel access in body area networks. The MedMAC protocol achieves significant energy efficiency through a novel synchronisation algorithm which allows the device to sleep through beacons while maintaining synchronisation. Energy efficiency simulations show that the MedMAC protocol outperforms the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol. Results from a comparative analysis of MedMAC and the emerging draft IEEE 802.15.6 wireless standard for BANs show that MedMAC has superior efficiency with energy savings of between 25% and 87% for the presented scenarios. Overall this work demonstrates a new mechanism for achieving significant energy savings for a significant sector of BAN devices that operate at ultra-low data rates.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available