A Secure Optical Body Area Network Based on Free Space Optics and Time-Delayed 2D-Spectral/Spatial Optical CDMA

Firdos Kanwal, Khurram Karim Qureshi, Waqas A. Imtiaz, Anwar Ul Haq, Jawad Mirza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Free space optics (FSO)-based optical body area networks (OBANs) are receiving massive attention as an opportunity to address the limitations of their radio frequency (RF)-based counterparts. This boom in research interests is primarily due to multitude of benefits, including high capacity, immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI), rapid installation, cost efficiency, and license-free use of spectrum. Securing the transmission of patient health data against interception in OBANs using insecure FSO channels is a challenging task. Therefore, we propose a low-cost, flexible, and secure OBAN based on FSO technology and a time-delayed two dimensional (2D) spectral/spatial optical code-division multiple access (OCDMA) system. The proposed architecture consists of eight sensors attached to the bodies of patients. The sensors operate at a rate of 50 kbps. Electrical data generated from each sensor are used to modulate an optical carrier and then encoded using 2D-spectral/spatial double weight–zero cross correlation (DW-ZCC) code. The 2D encoded optical signals are then time delayed to eliminate the multiple parallel FSO channels between the transmitter and medical center. The combined optical signal consists of eight 2D-encoded time-delayed optical signals transmitted towards a remote medical center over an FSO channel with a range of 1 km. The received signal is decoded and the data from each sensor are recovered after photodetection at the medical center for further analysis. The overall performance of the sensors is analyzed using bit-error rate (BER) and quality factor (Q-factor) plots for different weather conditions and lengths of the FSO channel, considering the log-normal channel model. The capital expenditure (CAPEX) of the proposed architecture is analyzed and compared with the conventional 2D-spectral/spatial FSO system to determine the overall impact of introducing time delay units on the cost of implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9347
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • 2D DW-ZCC
  • free space optics
  • log-normal channel model
  • optical body area network
  • optical code division multiple access
  • time-delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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