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What RFID Solution Can Locate and Monitor Oil Pipelines Spanning Thousands of Kilometers Against Vandalism and Damage?

Posted By RFID Journal, 07.18.2013

Where could I find a system able to trigger infringements and pinpoint range location, monitored centrally or in clusters?

—Name withheld


I recently answered a very similar question (see Can RFID Be Used to Secure Oil Pipelines?), and you can learn about the types of radio frequency identification systems that could do the job by reading that article.

To expand upon my prior comments, I'll add that all types of RFID technology are designed to identify any objects, individuals or assets on which you affix a tag, or to monitor any environments in which you place a sensor. Since thieves and vandals would not be tagged, they would not be detectable by conventional RFID systems.

It would be possible to deploy RFID mesh networks with motion sensors to detect intruders. Mesh networks could be viable since you wouldn't need to run a lot of wiring, as you would with a conventional motion-detection system. But nodes for mesh network can cost $100 apiece, so covering thousands of kilometers of pipeline could prove to be cost-prohibitive.

It seems to me—and I'm no expert in this area—that video surveillance would be a better option for your particular situation, as video cameras could cover large areas. And given the rapid decline in the cost of computing power, performing video analytics on a constant stream should be neither expensive nor difficult.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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