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Radio Frequency Identification is a wireless technology that is going to play a very important role as auto-identification solution for many application scenarios, where item-level traceability and high performance are crucial. Currently, some works suggest the use of passive Ultra High Frequency (UHF) tags but, unfortunately, not all the requirements can be met by general-purpose commercial tags in presence of critical operating conditions (e.g. metals and liquids, misalignment between tag and reader antennas, and multiple reading of tags). In this paper, the main features that a Far Field UHF tag should own in order to work properly in the whole supply chain are presented. A tag satisfying all the individuated requirements has been also realized and validated in a controlled test environment able to simulate the pharmaceutical supply chain. Tests have been focused on the above mentioned critical conditions. The performance of the Enhanced tag, in terms of successful read rate, has been compared with those of some commercial Far Field UHF tags. The experimental results are impressive and clearly demonstrate that ad hoc Far Field UHF tags are able to effectively solve many of the performance degradation problems affecting general purpose tags.
Date of Conference: 23-25 Sept. 2010