Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Near error-free wireless detection made possible

Date:
January 23, 2014
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
A new long-range wireless tag detection system, with potential applications in health care, environmental protection and goods tracking, can pinpoint items with near 100 percent accuracy over a much wider range than current systems.

A new long-range wireless tag detection system, with potential applications in health care, environmental protection and goods tracking, can pinpoint items with near 100 per cent accuracy over a much wider range than current systems.

The accuracy and range of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, which are used in everything from passports to luggage tracking, could be vastly improved thanks to a new system developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

The vastly increased range and accuracy of the system opens up a wide range of potential monitoring applications, including support for the sick and elderly, real-time environmental monitoring in areas prone to natural disasters, or paying for goods without the need for conventional checkouts.

The new system improves the accuracy of passive (battery-less) RFID tag detection from roughly 50 per cent to near 100 per cent, and increases the reliable detection range from two to three metres to approximately 20 metres. The results are outlined in the journal IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation.

RFID is a widely-used wireless sensing technology which uses radio waves to identify an object in the form of a serial number. The technology is used for applications such as baggage handling in airports, access badges, inventory control and document tracking.

RFID systems are composed of a reader and a tag, and unlike conventional bar codes, the reader does not need to be in line of sight with the tag in order to detect it, meaning that tags can be embedded inside an object, and that many tags can be detected at once. Additionally, the tags require no internal energy source or maintenance, as they get their power from the radio waves interrogating them.

"Conventional passive UHF RFID systems typically offer a lower useful read range than this new solution, as well as lower detection reliability," said Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan of the Centre for Photonic Systems in the Department of Engineering. "Tag detection accuracy usually degrades at a distance of about two to three metres, and interrogating signals can be cancelled due to reflections, leading to dead spots within the radio environment."

Several other methods of improving passive RFID coverage have been developed, but they do not address the issues of dead spots.

However, by using a distributed antenna system (DAS) of the type commonly used to improve wireless communications within a building, Dr Sabesan and Dr Michael Crisp, along with Professors Richard Penty and Ian White, were able achieve a massive increase in RFID range and accuracy.

By multicasting the RFID signals over a number of transmitting antennas, the researchers were able to dynamically move the dead spots to achieve an effectively error-free system. Using four transmitting and receiving antenna pairs, the team were able to reduce the number of dead spots in the system from nearly 50 per cent to zero per cent over a 20 by 15 metre area.

In addition, the new system requires fewer antennas than current technologies. In most of the RFID systems currently in use, the best way to ensure an accurate reading of the tags is to shorten the distance between the antennas and the tags, meaning that many antennas are required to achieve an acceptable accuracy rate. Even so, it is impossible to achieve completely accurate detection. But by using a DAS RFID system to move the location of dead spots away from the tag, an accurate read becomes possible without the need for additional antennas.

The team is currently working to add location functionality to the RFID DAS system which would allow users to see not only which zone a tagged item was located in, but also approximately where it was within that space.

The system, recognised by the award of the 2011 UK RAEng/ERA Innovation Prize, is being commercialised by the Cambridge team. This will allow organisations to inexpensively and effectively monitor RFID tagged items over large areas.

The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Boeing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cambridge. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sithamparanathan Sabesan, Michael Crisp, Richard Penty, Ian White. Wide Area Passive UHF RFID System using Antenna Diversity Combined with Phase and Frequency Hopping. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1109/TAP.2013.2290114

Cite This Page:

University of Cambridge. "Near error-free wireless detection made possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123102715.htm>.
University of Cambridge. (2014, January 23). Near error-free wireless detection made possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123102715.htm
University of Cambridge. "Near error-free wireless detection made possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123102715.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) After seeing auto sales grow last month, there's plenty for the industry to celebrate as it rolls out its newest designs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins