Could a Flying Drone Read Tags Buried Underground?


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Ask The ExpertsCategory: QuestionsCould a Flying Drone Read Tags Buried Underground?
prashil agrawal asked 2 years ago
Is there an RFID system available by which inexpensive RFID tags placed on water utility pipes, laid beneath ground level at a depth of 2 to 3 meters (6.6 to 9.8 feet), could be tracked via a drone flying 50 meters (164 feet) in the air?


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No passive UHF RFID system would enable tags to be read from 50 meters in the air. A low-cost passive UHF RFID system has a range of up to 10 meters (33 feet). It might be possible to read tags 2 to 3 meters underground, but it would depend on soil conditions. Dry, loose, sandy soil might allow enough RF energy to reach a tag that it could power up and reflect back a signal to a reader. Water absorbs RF energy in the UHF spectrum, however, so it is highly unlikely that dense, moist soil would allow enough energy to reach the tag—or, if it did, for the energy from the tag to reach the reader.

Mark Roberti
Founder and Editor
RFID Journal


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