Plenary talks

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Ussmueller,
University of Innsbruck (AT), Institute of Mechatronics:

New Technologies for UHF-RFID Tags
The presentation shows several new technologies currently in development at the Group for Microelectronics and Implantable Systems of the University of Innsbruck. Concepts like zero energy standby with the help of batteryless UHF RFID tags are addressed. Also the talk will highlight circuit concepts for securely encrypted and standard-compliant data communication for long-range passive UHF RFID tags. Further addressed topics include the use of UHF RFID technology for wireless sensor networks as well as the localization of tags.

Prof. Alessandra Costanzo,
DEI- University of Bologna (IT)

Smart Beaming of RFID Reader for Data and Power Transfer
Nowadays there is an almost unlimited number of monitoring applications, such as structural health, logistic, security, healthcare and agriculture, which are planning to be based on a large deployment of co-operative wireless microsystems, with sensing capabilities, moving closer to the effective realization of the paradigm of the Internet of Things.
The main open challenge of these scenarios will be discussed, being the reliability of maintenance-free devices, with life-time duration, especially from the energy sustainability point of view. Such systems are required to power themselves, by harvesting energy from the ambient, thus eliminating battery needs. RF/microwave energy sources are foreseen as one of the best candidates to comply with energy autonomy, either because they are widely distributed in humanized environments or because they can be efficiently provided on demand. These two different ways of providing RF energy can be referred to as RF energy harvesting (EH) and wireless power transmission (WPT), respectively.
A solution to optimize (minimize) intentional WPT at UHFis proposed by adopting smart beaming techniques at the RFID reader side, with the twofold goal of locating the tag and then of providing on demand the needed RF energy in that precise direction. A dynamic radiating system based on the implementation of Time Modulated Array (TMA) is foreseen to be a very promising solution for the above-mentioned operation. It is noteworthy that, despite their agility, TMAs have a much simpler architecture if compared to other beam-forming solutions, such as phased arrays or retro-directive arrays. Indeed, the desired phase condition at the antennas ports is reached with no need for phase shifters, thus drastically simplifying the design and the realization phases. By a two-step real-time beaming implementation of linear TMAs, a smart WPT system is demonstrated: In the first step, the TMA is configured in such a way that the control sequences are designed to allow to get the position of the devices to be energized; such positions are used in the second operative step of the system, to set the time control modulating signals of the entire array for real-time beaming the RF power to the wanted directions. The dynamic nature of TMAs thus allows creating an agile energy-aware reader/transmitter to be adopted in different scenarios, pervasively occupied by batteryless devices. The procedure allows a flexible design of the TMA-based WPT system, taking into account the impact of different array elements layout and spacing on localization and power transmission performance. Theoretical justification and experimental verification are presented and discussed.


Dr.-Ing. Stoyan Iliev,
KATHREIN Solutions GmbH, Stephanskirchen (GE)

Intelligent Transportation Systems with Passive RFID
The road transport has increased during the last several decades a lot. In order to optimize the vehicles flow, efficient intelligent traffic solutions are needed. The cost-effective passive UHF RFID technology can help controlling the traffic flow in urban areas, can generate faster access into city centers, parking buildings and shopping malls and this way can reduce the travelling time and emissions. Generally, the intelligent transportation systems (ITS) can be described by four major subgroups. These are the electronic toll collects (ETC), the smart transportation systems (STS), intelligent parking interfaces (IPI) and the electronic vehicle registration (EVI). The ETC applications include the vehicle identification at a tolling plaza and in the free flow traffic on a highway. The STS help controlling the vehicle movement in a way that the waiting times and traffic jams are reduced to a minimum, and at the same time the safety for the pedestrian is increased. The IPI bring their advantages by automation and acceleration of the access to the parking spaces. EVI enable the security improvement and handling of all vehicles in a certain land. For each of these applications there is a combination of specific readers, antennas and transponders that can optimize its performance.
In order to obtain the best systems operation, the read range of all reading units can be predicted by means of electromagnetic simulations, which include the influence of the real environment, like car bodies, windshield glass and road surface. In that way the system’s parameters can be set in a very early stage of its development and can assure its proper functionality.
In the near future the spread of intelligent transportation systems with UHF RFID is unavoidable due to its technical suitability and cost effectiveness. This talk will present the trends and applications for auto vehicle identification with passive RFID based on the newest generation of wirelessly connected readers, high gain selective antennas and secure trusted transponders.