Home / Knowledge / News / Information Technology / Wearable computing opens new frontiers in communications
Wearable computing opens new frontiers in communications
29
Sep '09
With a simple press on his shirt insignia, the captain of the Star Ship Enterprise could send and receive messages. Now, thanks to the efforts of a Finnish company supported by ESA, this futuristic communication may not be limited to fiction.

Through the ESA Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) 5 project 'Textile Antennas', the Finnish Patria Aviation Oy company has demonstrated that an antenna can be built using textiles that can be worn and used for personal satellite communication.

"Flexible antennas are becoming attractive, since the recent developments in 'wearable computing' have opened several possibilities to integrate wireless functions into clothing," explained Rolv Midthassel, ESA's representative on the project.

The project included the complete process, from selecting and characterising the materials, to making and verifying the design. The resulting demonstrator antenna looks like a simple patch of cloth and is capable of operating in the Iridium and GPS frequency band as part of clothing.

"The use of GPS and the Iridium satellite phone system for this project may be an attractive combination for a later product," said Mr Midthassel. "The Iridium satellites allow two-way voice and data communication, while GPS provides positional data to the user. Iridium could also relay the position of the user to operational centres."

The project's main issue was selecting the material to use. Then the material's electrical characteristics had to be measured using a number of techniques. The next goal was to determine the antenna's performance when the wearer was moving around or bending.

Peter de Maagt, ESA's technical officer on the project, explained that the antenna's geometry allows it to bend in a direction that least reduces performance. Testing proved that the antenna meets the electrical specifications under bending conditions.

The radiating patch antenna is shielded against environmental conditions by a protective layer. The selected geometry meets the stringent requirements imposed by Iridium and GPS, maintaining 'circular polarisation' of its radio signal over the full bandwidth even when bent, which is commonly recognised to be difficult to achieve with soft, wearable antennas.

Then there was the question of handling the material itself. Could it be washed and at what temperature? How must it be stitched? Could it be ironed?

Dr Pekka Salonen, Research and Development Manager at Patria Aviation Oy, said that working with ESA through the ARTES programme has been beneficial. "We have been pushed to go further to reach the goal of what we promised to do," he said.

"Comments and suggestions from ESA staff during the project have been valuable, giving us new insight into all the variables we should take into account, apart from the engineering factors. The results are a good example of close cooperation between the customer and contractor."

Testing has indicated that a textile antenna is feasible. One of the tests used the antenna to place calls with the Iridium phone to ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, from the company in Finland.

"We are pleased with the results of this project," said Mr Midthassel, who sees many potential applications. "Such an antenna could be used in occupations such as fire fighting and other emergency situations."

European Space Agency


Must ReadView All

Uzbekistan wants joint ventures with Hungarian textile firms

Textiles | On 20th Feb 2018

Uzbekistan wants joint ventures with Hungarian textile firms

Uzbekistan has offered Hungary to create joint ventures in the two...

Vietnam’s textile & garment exports up 10.68% in 2017

Textiles | On 20th Feb 2018

Vietnam’s textile & garment exports up 10.68% in 2017

Vietnam came very close to achieving its 2017 textile and garment...

From left: Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, MD, Hellmann Sri Lanka; Bart de Vries, Global COO Air & Sea Hellmann; Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean, Chairman, MAS Holdings; & Shirendra Lawrence, COO, MAS Holdings

Textiles | On 20th Feb 2018

Hellmann and MAS form joint venture HMSC

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and MAS Holdings have formed Hellmann...

Interviews View All

Top executives
Textile industry

GST has levelled the playing field to an extent

Evelyne Cholet
UCMTF

‘France had a reputation of being big in new ideas, but poor in marketing...

Representatives
Textile & apparel industry

GST is a complicated and lengthy process

Harsh Shah

Fynd is the central online shopping destination for fashion, offering...

Erik Sy

Manila-based CustomThread is a start-up offering premium custom apparel...

Anupam Arya

<div>Jaipur-based Fabriclore Retailing Pvt. Ltd. is attempting to revive...

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Ashok Desai
Bombay Textile Research Association

Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) is a leading name in textile...

Marcel Alberts
Eurofibers

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Aditi Somani
Aditi Somani

Aditi Somani specialises in luxury fusion wear with international cuts and ...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Sonam & Paras Modi
SVA

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

February 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
70.6%
No
12.7%
Skip
16.7%

Total Votes: 102

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
63.7%
No
29.4%
Skip
6.9%

Total Votes: 102

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
88.2%
No
8.8%
Skip
2.9%

Total Votes: 102

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
83.3%
No
7.8%
Skip
8.8%

Total Votes: 102


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search