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					                             Electronic Toll Collection




This picture taken at the toll both on Sydney Harbour Bridge, around 1992. Tags were mounted on the
vehicle windscreen, usually on the LHS or behind the blind spot of the rear vision mirror. There are
two readers per lane (for redundancy), pointing down at the centre of the toll booth lane. The readers
are pulsed, 3ms on, approximately 97 ms off. Readers are synchronised so that within any group of 24
such readers, only one is on at any time. (24 chosen due to the number of readers required, but
theoretically 32 such readers could have been accommodated).

A vehicle sensor external to the reader senses a vehicle in the lane. If a tag is not read, or if the correct
payment is not inserted in the coin basket, a video of the offending vehicle is recoded. RFID reading is
continuous, i.e. it is NOT triggered by the vehicle sensor.
Each reader outputs a heartbeat (defined packet of data on the serial port), so that the Host system
knows that the reader is communicating. At any time, the host can issue a command, that sacrifices a
read cycle, i.e. 100ms, and read an internal tag, to check that the reader is still operational.

The read range of the readers was reduced, so that tags in adjacent lanes would not be read. In addition,
tag replies received due to multi-path reflections are characterised by a reduce power and subsequent
reduced frequency of sub-carrier operation (sub-carrier frequency dependant upon excitation voltage),
and such replies were rejected by the reader.
                               Extended Road Range




Usually RFID readers have a single antenna, which is used to transmit the interrogating signal and
receive the weak reply. In order to extract the weak reply, about 50 dB of isolation is required between
the transmitter output port and the receiver input port. This is usually achieved by the use a directional
coupler on the antenna, that has about 10dB loss in the receive path. An alternative is to use two
antennas. The antenna in the RFID reader box is usually the transmit antenna, and a separate box is
used to house the receive antenna. If the two antennas are separated by approximately 1m, the required
isolation can be achieved, and the read range increased. In this system, the read range doubled to 12m.
Alternatively, the antennas could have been separated in the horizontal plane as opposed to the vertical
plane.

The system above was implemented at a shipping port, along with a weigh in motion system. The
unique ID as obtained from the RFID tag, attached to the truck windscreen, was checked against the
total vehicle load weight, and the driver alerted if the load exceeded his legal tare weight prior to
exiting the facility.
                           Vehicle ID, Sugar Industry




This photo shows trucks, carrying sugar cane onto a weigh bridge. Trucks are identified both entering
the sugar refinery and exiting. Hence the RFID reader is mounted in the centre on the road, so that a tag
mounted on RHS of the vehicle, can be identified both when entering and leaving the facility. Since
RFID reads were infrequent, a multiplexed antenna system was used, so that for one read cycle, RF
energy would illuminate the entrance to the facility and for the next RF cycle, RF energy would
illuminate the exit of the facility.
                                    Steel Production




This photo shows RFID system being used to identify ladles carrying molten steel from the furnace to
the casting facility. Due to the extreme temperatures the tags were located as far away as possible from
the molten steel, encased in a Ultrason E2010 high temperature plastic housing. While the tag could be
exposed to soak temperatures of around 200 °C, the tags were ROM tags and not EEPROM tags.
EEPROM tags would have failed as any floating charge stored within an ID memory cell would have
discharged over time at the elevated temperature.

In addition, RFID reader were located as far as was practicably possible, by having the RFID antenna
physically separated from the electronics by 10m of low loss cable.
                         Hot-Axle Detection and RFID




This photo shows a number of sensors connected to the RFID reader. In the centre of the tracks, an
antenna can be seen underneath a laminated polycarbonate protective cover. It was important to use
natural polycarbonate, as to protect polycarbonate usually carbon black is added. Unfortunately carbon
black impedes the RF signal. Wood was originally used to protect the antenna from mechanical
damage but was quickly replaced, since wood absorbs moisture, which also affects the RF signal.

The antenna is connected to the reader located in the top RHS of the photo, with 6m of low loss cable.

To the right of the antenna, one can see two infra-red sensors, in yellow. The large sensor at the bottom
is used to identify wheel bearings that are hot. The smaller sensor at the top is used to identify when
one carriage passes, i.e. it detects the gaps between the carriages. There is another large infrared sensor
on the other side of the track, out of view of the photo.

 A peculiar facet of the sugar industry, is that during the wet season, the sugar cane wagons are placed
out in the fields, normally covered in 1m of water. Unfortunately, wheel bearings do not survive well
and many fail. With the hot axle box detector placed at the fastest part of the track bearings that are
about to fail, or have indeed failed, can be detected. By knowing the side of the failed bearing, its
relationship to the gap detector, and the ID of the bin, maintenance staff can be alerted inside the plant,
and know exactly which bearing needs attention, If the system saved just one derailment, it would pay
for itself.
                                        Location ID




This photo was taken of the City Circle tram in Melbourne. The application consisted of tags buried in
the pavement at interesting tourist locations. A reader was mounted upside down, and would identify
tags. When a tag was read a commercial or video/audio announcement was made, indicating what
tourist attractions/opportunities were available at the next stop.

The major difficulty in this application was the extreme vibration the RFID reader was experienced to,
and the fluctuation supply voltage. Transient suppressors, TRANSORBS were required on all supply
lines to the reader, including serial communications. Readers were modified, to ensure that all
components that had mass (Power Amplifier modules and capacitors), had multiple and rigid anchor
points.
This photo shows another RFID application involving electrified vehicles. The RFID reader can be
seen behind the window. Tags were mounted on rock bolts. Transorbs again were required to cope with
fluctuating supply voltages on the vehicle.
                     Industrial Waste Management




This photo shows an RF ID Antenna (circular device mounted in the centre windscreen) and a tag
mounted on the metal industrial waste bin
                       Domestic Waste Management




This photo shows a 27MHz RFID system, in which a small credit card sized tag was inserted in the lip
of the bin, and the RFID antenna mounted on the side of the truck, the circular pipe emanating from the
truck opening. Later this system was translate to 13.56 MHz
                                     Manufacturing




This photo was taken at a vehicle seat manufacturing facility. Vehicle seat manufacture involves
polyurethane being injected in to large steel moulds.

 Each mould type is for a particular vehicle, and various parameters of the polyurethane mix (including
additives) are specified by vehicle manufacturers. As the polyurethane cures it releases heat
(exothermic), and tags can reach 200°C. Tags seen as brown patches on the moulds, use a ROM
technology, not EEPROM technology and are housed in Ultrason E2010 (natural). EEPROM tags
would fail in this application as any RFID code stored on the floating gate of a memory cell, will
disperse at the higher temperatures, and erase the stored identity. Also natural Ultrason was used, and
UV stabilised material usually has carbon black, which impedes the RF signal.
                                            Library




These photos show the first RFID Library in the world. Taken in 1998 at Butok Batik library in
Singapore, a small half credit card sized tag was inserted into each book. Patrons could use self
checkouts (LHS) to check the book out, and at the same time disarm the integrated EAS (Electronic
Article Surveillance ) circuit. When the patron had finished with the book, they could be returned via
the book drop (up to 4 at a time), and those books would be automatically logged as being available.
The major advantage of the system was the use of a hand held RFID reader and the ability to complete
library stock takes, without having to handle the books, and the ability to search for misplaced books,
during such stock takes.
                            Warehouse Management




This photo shows RFID tags being suspended from the ceiling of a warehouse and an RFID reader
mounted on top of the forklift. By reading the sequence of tags that the RFID reader identified, the
system would know which bay or dock the forklift was operating on, thereby knowing where goods (in
this case beer kegs) were being stored or retrieved.




A close up shot of the tags suspended from the ceiling.

				
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