Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

Thesis submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy to the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Technological University Dublin, 2014.


Wearable technologies are found in an increasing number of applications including sport and medical monitoring, gaming and consumer electronics. Sensors are used to monitor vital signs and are located on various parts of the body. Footwear sensors permit the collection of data relating to gait, running style, physiotherapy and research. The data is sent from sensors to on-body hubs, often using wired technology, which can impact gait characteristics. This thesis describes the design of footwear antennas for wireless sensor telemetry. The work addresses the challenges of placing antennas close to the foot as well as the proximity to the ground. Guidelines for polarization are presented. The channel link between footwear and wrist is investigated for both narrowband and wideband channels across different frequencies. The effects of the body proximity and movement were gauged for walking subjects and are described in terms of the Rician Distribution K-factor. Different antenna solutions are presented including UWB antennas on various footwear locations as well as 433 MHz integrated antennas in the insole. Both directional and omnidirectional antennas were considered for UWB and the evaluation was for both time-domain and frequencydomain. The research established new ideas that challenge the old paradigm of the waist as the best hub position, demonstrating that a hub on the footwear using directional antennas outperforms a hub on the waist using an omnidirectional antenna. The cumulative distribution functions of measured path gains are evaluated and the results are described in terms of the achievable minimum data rate considering the Body Area Network standard.