Research Will Overcome

By Duncan McFarlane

An aggressive program is under way to reduce barriers to RFID adoption in the aerospace industry.

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The past three years have seen huge developments in RFID within the aerospace sector. The rate at which they are occurring has been triggered by activities in the consumer product goods sector, where Wal-Mart, Metro, Tesco and other retailers now require RFID compliance from their supply chain partners. But aerospace applications of RFID in no way directly replicate those in the CPG sector.

In September, the Auto-ID Labs launched the Aerospace ID Technologies Programme to reduce the barriers to widespread and systematic adoption of ID technologies. It will run for 18 months and aims to demonstrate that research can address the industry’s key concerns.


The Aerospace ID Technologies Programme will reduce the barriers to widespread and systematic adoption of ID technologies.



The program brings together many of the leaders in the aerospace industry, including aircraft manufacturers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer; defense company BAE Systems; solutions providers AEROid, Aviall, BT Auto-ID Services, T-Systems and VI-Agents; and key standards bodies Air Transport Association, EPCglobal and SITA SC. Together, we’ll develop a deployment process as successful as the one currently under way in the retail sector but geared toward the very different needs of the aerospace industry.

Duncan McFarlane is director of the Auto-ID Lab at Cambridge and research director of the Aerospace ID Technologies Programme.