Feeds

Aircraft boneyard gets tagged

RFID, but not as you know it

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The US Air Force is adopting RFID tagging to track tools and aeroplane parts around the aircraft storage and maintenance area at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, but with a site of 110 million square feet traditional tags won't give you much of a location.

RFID is normally used for ranges around 10cm, which would make the technology impractical on a site of this size. But by combining RFID, GPS and Wi-Fi, Redwood-based Aeroscout reckons it can track any component or tool down to within few meters - providing real-time tracking and a central database showing where everything is.

As the RFID Journal reports, Aeroscout won't be tracking every hammer and spanner. The tags being used are about 12cm x 7cm and 3.5cm thick, but they incorporate a GPS receiver as well as Wi-Fi and RFID identification and a motion sensor. The premise is that if a tag can see at least three of the 42 Wi-Fi access points already deployed around the site then it will triangulate its position using those, otherwise it will check the GPS and report its position and RFID identifier. What's more, it will only do so after being moved, saving a good deal of battery life.

GPS might seem to be the only necessary solution, but with parts of the site indoors and the odd aircraft wing getting in the way there's a fair chance of not getting a satellite fix.

With 4,400 aircraft at the site there are lots of wings under which equipment can be left and lots of time wasted looking for this equipment. When the system goes live in January only 1000 of the most frequently lost and valuable items will be tagged, but plans are already underway to expand that number and get everything tagged. After all, there's nothing more embarrassing than losing a B-52 or similar. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.