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Innovative Method for Wirelessly Powering RFID Tags Located on Rotorcraft


OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative approach for generating power and remotely transferring that power using by radio frequency (RF) to power miniature active or passive RFID tags and ensuring a read range adequate to support logistics and maintenance functions. This will be used to facilitate individual parts and component identification/tracking of life-limited components, critical safety times and high cost repairables. This is complimentary to current digital DNA efforts and will greatly improve upon current methods. DESCRIPTION: Radio frequency identification (RFID) is becoming a common tracking technology. The use of RFID to accurately track parts results in cost savings due to traceability. The ability to precisely track parts improves reliability of part usage data, supporting analysis to potentially extend the life of the part and reduce maintenance efforts. Passive RFID systems are small and compact but are restricted in readability range because of power limitations and available antenna size. Active RFID's have a greater readability range but require primary batteries, greatly increasing the package size relative to passive RFID's. The goal is to develop a RFID tag that combines the size of a Passive RFID and the readability range of an Active RFID by wirelessly/remotely powering or recharging the battery in the RFID tag. Developing such an RFID would combine the advantages of the passive and active RFID's and eliminate some of their individual disadvantages. The RFID tag dimensions and weight should be insignificant and must not interfere with the aircraft functionality. Therefore, tag size optimization is critical to the design and form factor and must be part of the study. In addition, the RFID tag should be strategically located to remotely access for data communication and power source. It is required that the RFID tags be mounted with the antenna on, or in close proximity to, metallic surfaces. A recharge range of 10 meters is required when using an RF source, preferably a source that complies with FCC Part 15, intentional radiators in license free ISM bands. Mounted RFID's must be able to endure aircraft environment; endure vibration, hot-wet and corrosive environments, radiation, and high pressures. Whether active or passive, the RFID tag should be compliant with DoD RFID/UID requirements with a frequency of 433 MHz or 915 MHz and ISO 18000 or ePC, respectively for active and passive RFID tags and achieve a read range in excess of ten meters. PHASE I: Develop an innovative approach for remotely powering RFID tags that meet the requirements outlined above. Demonstrate feasibility through a breadboard concept of key technology components. PHASE II: Fully develop the innovation into a prototype system. Perform laboratory testing to validate the desired performance characteristics. Develop a detailed plan and method of implementation into full-scale application for Phase III. PHASE III: Transition the developed technology to military and commercial applications through implementation of the Phase III plan making sure to include FCC certification and compliance. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: RF power transmission technology is applicable to almost every commercial industry. In addition to RFID tags wireless power transmission could be used in the healthcare industry, automotive industry, and aviation industry that would require additional development and testing.
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