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Air Force Base Deploys Wi-Fi/GPS RFID System Across 2,500 Acres

Davis-Monthan Air Force base will use AeroScout's new Unified Asset Visibility solution to track equipment anywhere on its vast compound.
By Claire Swedberg
AMARG is currently tagging 1,000 pieces of aircraft maintenance support equipment with the AeroScout tags, which measure about 5 by 3 by 1.5 inches and contain a Wi-Fi RFID chip, antenna, GPS chip, motion sensor and battery. The tags can be taped or screwed to flanges on the equipment. At first, AMARG will employ the MobileView software as a stand-alone system, says Amir Ben-Assa, AeroScout's industry solutions marketing director, though the agency ultimately plans to integrate the system into its existing inventory management system as it tags additional assets.

"This is a large outdoor area without a dense Wi-Fi network," says Steffan Haithcox, AeroScout's senior director of marketing. "They have a very challenging logistics operation," Ben-Assa adds. AMARG is beginning the deployment by tagging the most critical maintenance equipment, while the agency and AeroScout are now discussing expanding the system to the tagging of airplane parts and other items.

When an order comes in for an aircraft that requires servicing, employees will determine which tools will be needed for that task, then key the item, such as a mobile generator, into the AeroScout UAV standalone system. The MobileView software will display a map of the facility with an icon indicating where the requested item is located. The system can also query all items within chosen classifications, such as a specific type of tool, or any that may need to be serviced.

The tags send an ID number and GPS configuration at preset intervals, but thanks to a built-in motion sensor, they can be set to beacon less frequently when stationary, or more rapidly when moved.

According to Haithcox, AeroScout is now marketing the system for other large outdoor facilities, such as airports, seaports and public transportation storage areas.

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