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Identification and tracking of active RF-ID tags in an indoor environment

McCoy, TM; (2008) Identification and tracking of active RF-ID tags in an indoor environment. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access


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Airport security has received widespread attention in recent years, becoming a critical issue in the eyes of the general public, security services and politicians alike. Over a similar period, the growing volume of flights, size of aircraft and the need, in major airports, to move a large number of people through a complex environment as efficiently and safely as possible is becoming an increasingly challenging task. With this in mind, the EU-funded Optag project was launched, in 2004, to study the feasibility of a combined RF-ID tag passenger location and panoramic video surveillance system to enhance airport efficiency, safety and security. The basic concept is for airports to be fitted with a cellular network of combined RF-ID tag readers and high-resolution panoramic cameras, which are used to monitor the movements of people around the terminal building or buildings, locating each tag with some precision and helping to ensure that people are in the right place at the right time. This presents a number of technical and commercial challenges, which are addressed in this thesis by exploring a variety of approaches to the tag and reader design. In this work, the design, development, and deployment of a prototype far field active RF-ID system is outlined. A tag is developed that incorporates a stable frequency source based on a carefully designed low phase noise synthesiser. One particular innovation explored by the author is a novel RF-ID receiver architecture incorporating frequency diversity that is able to accommodate low-cost tags with poor frequency stability. A custom communications protocol has been developed for the RF-ID system, which has been designed specifically to simultaneously accommodate and rapidly interrogate a large number of tags. A tag clashing analysis is presented and shows how pulse repetition interval diversity can be optimised to achieve maximum throughput of tags IDs. The RF-ID reader design uses a differential RSSI AOA technique to locate the angular bearing of the tag and subsequent triangulation to establish location. The accuracy of this location technique has been assessed using a mixture of analytic, simulated and experimental techniques, culminating in a three cell trial based at UCL and Debrecen airport, Hungary. These trials have examined operation under a range of realistic conditions and have shown the system to be capable of a typical location accuracy of 1 m at 5 m range, and an operating range well in excess of the specified 20 m.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Identification and tracking of active RF-ID tags in an indoor environment
Identifier: PQ ETD:593555
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446220
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