Signal Quality Assessment for Transdermal Optical Wireless Communications under Pointing Errors

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Abstract

In this paper, we assess the signal quality of the out-body to in-body optical communication link, which can be used as a fundamental enabler of novel biomedical appliances, such as medical implants, as well as biological and chemical components monitoring. In particular, we present a mathematical understanding of the transdermal system, which takes into account the optical channel characteristics, the integrated area limitations of the in-body unit, the transceivers’ pointing errors and the particularities of the optical units. Moreover, to accommodate the propagation characteristics, we present a novel simplified, but accurate, transdermal path-gain model. Finally, we extract low-complexity closed-form expressions for the instantaneous and average signal to noise ratio of the transdermal optical link (TOL). Numerical and simulation results are provided for several insightful scenarios and reveal that pointing errors can significantly affect the reliability and effectiveness of the TOL; hence, it should be taken into account in the analysis and design of such systems.