Wireless Body Area Network-IEEE 802.15.6 WBAN basics

This page on WBAN IEEE 802.15.6 covers Wireless Body Area Network(WBAN) basics as per IEEE 802.15.6.WBAN frequency bands,frame structure,modulation coding rates,PHY,MAC,security layer are covered.

The IEEE 802.15.6 standard was implemented to develop communications model for low power devices which will be implanted on or inside human body for various applications such as medical,consumer electronics,entertainment etc. The network made by IEEE 802.15.6 compliant devices is known as WBAN(Wireless Body Area Network).

The standard defines PHY and MAC layers. There are three different physical layers supported viz. Narrow Band, HBC (Human Body Communication) and UWB (Ultra Wide Band). PHY layer takes care of modulation and error correction functionalities to construct the reliable link between WBAN transmitter and receiver devices. PHY converts the data to be transmitted compatible with the air interface as per various frequency requirements. MAC layer controls the access to the channel among multiple WBAN devices.

This standard based solution is used for eHealth or remote healthcare applications widely. To provide the higher level of security over air interface, the standard defines 3 levels of security viz.
level 0 -unsecured communication
level 0 -authentication only
level 0 -Both authentication and encryption
The table-1 mentions features supported by WBAN.

Specifications WBAN support(IEEE 802.15.6)
Data rate upto about 2 Mbps
Range less than about 0.01 to 2 meters
Power Consumption About 1 to 10 mWatt
Frequency bands 2.4GHz, 800MHz,900MHz,400MHz

IEEE 802.15.6 WBAN Frequency Bands

Following table mentions IEEE 802.15.6 frequency bands or WBAN frequency bands.

Frequency Band Description
5 to 50 MHz HBC Band
402 to 405 MHz MICS Band, (Narrowband(NB))
420 to 450 MHz WMTS Band(Used in Japan), (Narrowband(NB))
863 to 870 MHz WMTS Band(Used in Europe) , (Narrowband(NB)
902 to 928 MHz ISM Band (Used in Nea Zealand, Australia, North America),Narrowband(NB)
950 to 956 MHz Used in Japan,Narrowband(NB)
2360 to 2400 MHz Narrowband(NB)
2400 to 2450 MHz World Wide (ISM Band) ,Narrowband(NB)
3100 to 10600 MHz UWB Band

WBAN Modulation code rates

Following table mentions modulation-code rates for various frequency bands in WBAN standard.

WBAN frequency bands

WBAN Frame Structure

WBAN frame

Like other frame structures of the various standards WBAN frame is composed of three components viz. PLCP preamble, PLCP header and PSDU. Preamble is used for time and frequency offset synchronization at the receiver. Header is used to convey information about physical layer modulation code rate and other useful system critical MAC parameters. PSDU part contains the MAC layer data to be transmitted. Figure-2 depicts WBAN frame structure mentioning complete PPDU structure.

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