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A compact wearable antenna system, completely made out of textile materials for integration into protective garments, is proposed. The system implements combined pattern and polarization diversity to improve the quality of the communication link. The performance of the on-body antenna system, integrated into a firefighter jacket worn by a test person, was investigated in an indoor measurement campaign. Several receiver diversity schemes and different combining techniques were evaluated in terms of bit error rate, signal-to-noise ratio and signal correlations. By comparing them to theoretical results, the authors demonstrate the reliability of the proposed system and the advantage of using diversity.
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