The emergence of body area networks (BANs) has garnered interest from the military where body-to-body networks (BBNs) can be employed to facilitate the remote monitoring of soldiers’ physiological state, thus preventing unnecessary fatalities. The wireless transmission of physiological data from soldiers to combat medic presents a challenging problem not fully addressed in the literature. The challenge arises from the need to not only manage the limited energy supply of battery-powered devices comprising the BAN, but to overcome deleterious path loss and fading induced on-body and body-to-body wireless channel conditions while also supporting stringent quality of service (QoS) requirements.
In this thesis, energy and QoS aware communication schemes were designed to solve the aforementioned problem. The combination of a BAN-centric adaptive transmission scheme (ATS) and multi-constrained power allocation (MPA) strategy was shown to enhance intra-BAN and inter-BAN transmission link performance. Incorporating ATS and MPA into the BANs of a platoon sized multi-hop BBN, the optimal solution for the minimum energy required to transmit physiological data under reliability and delay constraints was derived. The solution, however, was found to be highly complex and computationally inefficient. Therefore, an energy and QoS aware cross-layer (EQX) communication scheme integrating a constrained routing algorithm at the network layer, interference aware scheduling at the medium access control layer, and multi-constrained power allocation at the physical layer, was designed. EQX was shown to achieve near-optimal performance with polynomial complexity. To support the fully distributed operation of BANs in the multi-hop BBN, an energy and QoS aware distributed (EQD) communication scheme integrating analog network coded cooperative communication at the BAN level and a multi-receive policy at the BBN level was designed and shown to improve performance.
The EQX and EQD communication schemes developed in this thesis offer valid and useful solutions towards the problem of supporting remote monitoring of soldiers’ physiological state in military environments. They provide, as this thesis demonstrates, clear performance benefits in terms of network coverage, energy consumption, reliability, and delay and are thus recommended for implementation in future BANs.