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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.