Design and dosimetric analysis of a 385 MHz TETRA head exposure system for use in human provocation studies.
ABSTRACT A new head exposure system for double-blind provocation studies investigating possible effects of terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA)-like exposure (385 MHz) on central nervous processes was developed and dosimetrically analyzed. The exposure system allows localized exposure in the temporal brain, similar to the case of operating a TETRA handset at the ear. The system and antenna concept enables exposure during wake and sleep states while an electroencephalogram (EEG) is recorded. The dosimetric assessment and uncertainty analysis yield high efficiency of 14 W/kg per Watt of accepted antenna input power due to an optimized antenna directly worn on the subject's head. Beside sham exposure, high and low exposure at 6 and 1.5 W/kg (in terms of maxSAR10g in the head) were implemented. Double-blind control and monitoring of exposure is enabled by easy-to-use control software. Exposure uncertainty was rigorously evaluated using finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)-based computations, taking into account anatomical differences of the head, the physiological range of the dielectric tissue properties including effects of sweating on the antenna, possible influences of the EEG electrodes and cables, variations in antenna input reflection coefficients, and effects on the specific absorption rate (SAR) distribution due to unavoidable small variations in the antenna position. This analysis yielded a reasonable uncertainty of <±45% (max to min ratio of 4.2 dB) in terms of maxSAR10g in the head and a variability of <±60% (max to min ratio of 6 dB) in terms of mass-averaged SAR in different brain regions, as demonstrated by a brain region-specific absorption analysis. Bioelectromagnetics 33:594-603, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.