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Do RFID Tire Tags Demonstrate Better Performance on Indian Terrains?

Posted By RFID Journal, 09.25.2012
What should I watch out for?

—Name withheld

Terrain does not impact tire tags. A tag's performance depends on the type of tag and reader used, the tag's placement, the environment in which the tag is being read and the regulations governing RF systems within the country.

I assume you plan to employ passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags based on GS1's Electronic Product Code (EPC) standard. These tags provide a longer read range than passive high-frequency (HF) or low-frequency (LF) tags, and are much cheaper than active tags.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India limits the frequency range of passive UHF system within that nation to 865 MHz to 867 MHz, which is a narrow band. This can be an issue if you have a large number of readers operating within your environment, because there are not many channels they can utilize. Power output is limited to 4 watts of effective isotropic radiated power, which is enough to ensure that tags can be read at a reasonable distance.

I think the biggest thing to consider is how to tag the tires. There are several options. One would be to embed a tag inside each tire. This would require special tags, or else the tag will cause the tire to fail after many miles of driving (the metal antenna vibrates and cuts the rubber). There are a variety of specially designed tags for tires, and these should be tested to ensure that they will not cause a problem.

Tags can also be placed in labels that are stuck on each tire. The proper type of tag must be used, and it must be placed in a position that will not detune the tag and reduce read range. This will require some testing on your part, to be sure the tag can be read consistently.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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