Augmented RFID UHF C1G2 system
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10/1/2012
 
Ultra high frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) systems suffer from issues that limit their widespread deployment and limit the number of applications where they can be used. These limitations are: lack of a well defined read zone, interference, and environment sensitivity. To overcome these limitations a novel receiver device is introduced into the system. The use of such device or devices mitigates the issues by enabling more ”anchor points” in the system. Two such receivers have been implemented: the Astraion Sensatag and the Gen2 Listener. The drawbacks of the Sensatag is that it offers poor performance in capturing tag signals. The Gen2 Listener is based on the expensive software defined radio hardware.

The purpose of the project was to develop a receiver that will enable several new RFID applications that are not available with current RFID systems. The receiver, named ARR (Augmented RFID Receiver) receives tag and reader signals, which are decoded by an FPGA and the results are reported through Ethernet. This device is central to the augmented RFID system. To show the suitability of such an approach, the performance of the implementation was compared to the other two outlined solutions. A comparison of the read rate and range of the implementations were the defining factors. The analysis showed that the ARR is capable of receiving tag signals with a read rate accuracy of 50% for passive and 66% for semi-passive tags at a one meter distance and is capable of receiving tag signals at a maximum of 3.25 meters for passive and 5.5 meters for semipassive tags. Two applications were implemented to showcase the ARR: an RFID portal and protocol analyzer.

The project was funded by NSERC Discovery grant and resulted in a M.Sc. thesis of Alexey Borisenko.
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