Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2011;11(4):3717-37.
doi: 10.3390/s110403717. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

A Very Low Power MAC (VLPM) Protocol for Wireless Body Area Networks

Affiliations
Free PMC article

A Very Low Power MAC (VLPM) Protocol for Wireless Body Area Networks

Niamat Ullah et al. Sensors (Basel). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) consist of a limited number of battery operated nodes that are used to monitor the vital signs of a patient over long periods of time without restricting the patient's movements. They are an easy and fast way to diagnose the patient's status and to consult the doctor. Device as well as network lifetime are among the most important factors in a WBAN. Prolonging the lifetime of the WBAN strongly depends on controlling the energy consumption of sensor nodes. To achieve energy efficiency, low duty cycle MAC protocols are used, but for medical applications, especially in the case of pacemakers where data have time-limited relevance, these protocols increase latency which is highly undesirable and leads to system instability. In this paper, we propose a low power MAC protocol (VLPM) based on existing wakeup radio approaches which reduce energy consumption as well as improving the response time of a node. We categorize the traffic into uplink and downlink traffic. The nodes are equipped with both a low power wake-up transmitter and receiver. The low power wake-up receiver monitors the activity on channel all the time with a very low power and keeps the MCU (Micro Controller Unit) along with main radio in sleep mode. When a node [BN or BNC (BAN Coordinator)] wants to communicate with another node, it uses the low-power radio to send a wakeup packet, which will prompt the receiver to power up its primary radio to listen for the message that follows shortly. The wake-up packet contains the desired node's ID along with some other information to let the targeted node to wake-up and take part in communication and let all other nodes to go to sleep mode quickly. The VLPM protocol is proposed for applications having low traffic conditions. For high traffic rates, optimization is needed. Analytical results show that the proposed protocol outperforms both synchronized and unsynchronized MAC protocols like T-MAC, SCP-MAC, B-MAC and X-MAC in terms of energy consumption and response time.

Keywords: MAC protocol; WBAN; patient monitoring; wakeup radio.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
WBAN Architecture.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Wake-up receiver schematic.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Wake-up transmitter block diagram.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.
Network model.
Figure 5.
Figure 5.
The packet formats of the proposed protocol.
Figure 6.
Figure 6.
Low power downlink communication.
Figure 7.
Figure 7.
Flowchart describing VLPM Functionality.
Figure 8.
Figure 8.
Comparison of network Lifespan.
Figure 9.
Figure 9.
Receiving antenna gain vs. distance.
Figure 10.
Figure 10.
Principle of operation of different MAC Protocols.
Figure 11.
Figure 11.
Comparison of energy consumption.
Figure 12.
Figure 12.
Delay comparison of VLPM with asynchronous MAC protocols.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 4 articles

References

    1. Akyildiz I, Su W, Sankarasubramaniam Y, Cayirci E. Wireless sensor networks: A survey. Comput Netw. 2002;38:393–422.
    1. Jensen D. SIVAM: Communication, Navigation and Surveillance for the Amazon. Available online: http://www.aviationtoday.com/cgi/av/show_mag.cgi?pub=av&mon=0602&file=0602sivam.htm/ (accessed on 20 March 2011).
    1. Cerpa A, Elson J, Estrin D, Girod L, Hamilton M, Zhao J. Habitat monitoring: Application driver for wireless communications technology. Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review—Workshop on Data Communication in Latin America and the Caribbean; San Jose, CA, USA. April 2001.
    1. Essa IA. Ubiquitous Sensing for Smart and Aware Environments. IEEE Pers. Commun. 2000 Oct;7:47–49.
    1. Nadler B, Tanner N, Farrar CR. Structural Health Monitoring: Remote Sensing. Available online: http://www.lanl.gov/projects/damage_id/motes.htm (accessed on 18 March 2011).

Publication types

Feedback