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Project Brief: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants


Develop a comprehensive measurement program to characterize the propagation of radio waves in and around the human body to support the growth of technology and standardization activities for emerging pervasive information technologies and wireless body area networks.

RECIPIENT: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

  • Project duration: 3 Years
  • Total NIST Funding: $1,170,293
Pervasive information technology and the wireless body area network (BAN) industry are expected to undergo considerable economic growth in the coming years. To support this, the FCC recently allocated specific spectrum bands for wireless medical device communications, and committees have been formed to address standardization for these emerging technologies. Because innovations in wireless networks are based on radio propagation measurement science and engineering, standards committees devote substantial effort to measuring propagation characteristics so that models can be developed to evaluate the performance of alternative wireless solutions for specific applications. However, measurement and modeling of radio propagation is very challenging because of complex random variations of the multipath components carrying radio signals from one location to another. The main goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive measurement program for characterization of radio propagation for high-speed wireless communications and radio frequency (RF) localization in and around the human body to support the growth of the technology and standardization activities for emerging BAN networks.

Public contact (for project information):

Michael W. Dorsey, 508-831-5609
mwdorsey [at] (mwdorsey[at]wpi[dot]edu)

NIST Program Office Contact:

Jason Boehm, 301-975-8678Jason.boehm [at] (

Created January 20, 2010, Updated September 9, 2021