Wireless body area networks (WBAN) emerge as one of the main research streams for future wireless communications. One of the candidates for the WBAN physical layer is multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing ultra-wideband (MB-OFDM UWB) technology. However, despite its high data rate feature, it performs poorly in the very dispersive WBAN channel. To improve its performance, this paper proposes two novel mechanisms. First, the space-time-frequency coding (STFC) is introduced into MB-OFDM UWB system in order to enhance the diversity order, resulting in a substantial improvement in the average error performance compared to the conventional MB-OFDM UWB system. Nevertheless, the performance is very sensitive to the body orientation towards the transmitter due to the body shadowing effect. Secondly, to improve further the performance of the proposed STFC MB-OFDM UWB system in all body directions, we propose an adaptive scheme that changes the modulation, STFC coding rate, and constellation power. Simulations confirm that an additional improvement in the order of 1 to 3 dB is achieved by the adaptive system. This improvement practically means a possible 12.5% to 50% reduction of the power consumption, which may also result in smaller size of WBAN devices.
M. Sudjai, L. Tran & F. Safaei, "Adaptive space-time-frequency-coded UWB system for wireless body area network," Eurasip Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking, vol. 2015, (Feb) pp. 1-11, 2015.