Feeds

Aircraft boneyard gets tagged

RFID, but not as you know it

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.