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DynaLogger Provides UHF RFID Temperature and Moisture Tracking

Brazilian company Dynamox's new product is a reusable RFID-enabled sensor that can track moisture and temperature levels in a supply chain and provide the sensor-based history to authorized users equipped with RFID readers.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 27, 2017

Dynamox, a technology company in Florianopolis, Brazil, is marketing a new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-enabled data logger that serves as a low-cost option for tracking goods in a cold supply chain using RFID sensors. The DynaLogger is a battery-powered UHF device that captures temperatures and humidity levels at preset intervals, or based on thresholds, and transmits all data related to those measurements when interrogated via RFID.

Dynamox was launched in 2007 as an automation technology provider for marine and logistics customers. In 2014, the company began developing RFID-based technology for tracking goods and vehicles, says Guillaume Barrault, Dynamox's CEO and co-founder, and last year it teamed with semiconductor company EM Microelectronic to use its EM4325 RFID chips in its new data loggers. Barrault and Alexandre Ferreira co-founded the firm to use their electrical engineering backgrounds. Barrault has a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in ocean engineering.

The DynaLogger
The development of the data logger resulted from what the company felt was an absence of secure, low-cost options for unalterable sensors that could track both temperature and humidity levels. For instance, Barrault says, USB-enabled data loggers can store information that users can then access by plugging them into a computer device, but that data can potentially be changed.

If, for example, a logistics provider wanted to erase an indication that temperature or humidity levels had exceeded acceptable thresholds while products were in that company's hands, it could simply change the sensor results in the computer records. Bluetooth-enabled data loggers allow the capturing of data in a mobile device, but the Bluetooth sensor would need to be physically turned on to operate properly, and the data might not be encrypted. RFID, on the other hand, allows data encryption—however, passive RFID systems without a battery would only provide sensor data collected at the time of an RFID interrogation. Active or battery-powered RFID sensors can be high in cost, Barrault adds.

Dynamox began designing an alternative in 2014—a low-cost, battery-powered UHF RFID system that could monitor sensor conditions based on moisture or temperature measurements linked to the device's unique identifier, and accessible via an RFID reader. The company developed the solution to be flexible enough to operate in all parts of the world, so its antenna is compatible with E.U., U.S. and Brazilian standards.

The DynaLogger operates on a simple premise: collect data with the use of sensors and battery power, even when there is no RFID reader within the vicinity, then share that information once a reader interrogates the tag.

The data logger operates in three different modes, which a user can select. In the first, known as Mode 1, the logger can be set to capture temperature and moisture measurements at specific intervals, such as every five minutes, based on its internal clock. Each time the device performs a measurement, it stores that data on the chip, then returns to a dormant mode to conserve battery life. Based on the frequency of measurements, the company reports, the battery can last for approximately two years.

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