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Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium Proceedings, KL, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012 1261

Research for RFID Tag Implementation in Vehicle Environments


Shih-Chung Tuan1 , Hsi-Tseng Chou2 , and Shih-Peng Liang2
1

Department of Communication Engineering, Oriental Institute of Technology, Pan-Chiao, Taiwan


2
Department of Communication Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li 320, Taiwan

Abstract In this paper we study UHF RFID for applications under the vehicle environment
and faced problems characteristic. RFID applications for the vehicle identified and electronic
charging system in the expressway, pass in and out administrative system, number plate management and parts of car such as burglar-proof system have extensive using and develop prospectively. In above described to consider on the basis of convenience and cost down, the passive tag
in vehicle environment are adopted. For example: number plate on the vehicle bodys location
that is in large-scale metal environment. Inside windshield of the car that is semi-closed metal environment. These environments for propagation characteristic of RFID system are damaging and
interfere with and then will influence the range employed. The solution proposed simulation and
measurement analyzing and according with the industry technical application of current RFID
then developed the applicable products (Tag). To reach static and dynamic behavior detected
for vehicle environment that the application category of RFID increased.
1. INTRODUCTION

This paper is to study the application of the radio frequency identification (RFID) system with UHF
to automotive environments, and also to study the problems in the application. In the future, RFID
in the car-mounted system can be applied to the highway electronic identification charges, car park
entrance management system, car plate management and vehicle body (parts) identification and
theft. These applications can prospectively be further developed in the future and create economies
of scale. In these applications mentioned above, due to convenience and cost factors, passive tags are
mostly used in an automotive environment (for example: if passive tags are placed on vehicle bodies
or on car plates, they are in a large metal environmental condition [14]; however, if passive tags are
placed inside windshields, they are in a semi-enclosed metal environmental condition). Nevertheless,
these environments are destructive and interfering in the RFIDs transmission characteristics, and
thus will affect the scope of application. The methods and the results of this study are not only
academic but also practical, with enhancement in the application to the RFID industry. This
paper explores and identifies problems and proposes solutions, using simulation and quantitative
analysis combined with the existing RFID technology. This study furthermore develops suitable
products (Tag) and technology integration to achieve the purpose of the application of the RFID
in automotive environments to dynamic (high/medium/low speed) reading identification.
2. DESIGN OF THE WINDSHIELD RFID TAG AND PERFORMANCE VERIFICATION

With the application of the UHF radio frequency identification automotive systems, we have conducted the Windshield RFID Tag design and performance testing Passive Windshield RFID Tag
Design Indicator as Table 1. The design of the Windshield RFID Tag must take both the physical
and chemical properties of the marker into account to successfully produce the functions of identification and communication in close proximity to markers. A complete design can therefore be
applied to practical areas. The Windshield RFID Tag is designed for the purpose of being attached
to windshields. The RFID Tag is a variable impedance device in which IC impedance changes
with frequency. Thus, a Loop structure is adopted to connect IC, combining with Coupling Dipole
to design dipole antenna. The length of /4 of Dipole with Meander Line can help match Chip
impedance. Windshield RFID Tag Structure As shown in Figure 1 the RFID Tag is not like usual
antenna design in which 10 dB reflection loss is used. The industry standard is generally 3 dB
to 5 dB. For broadband or the short-distance reading RFID tag, the standard is 3 dB; and for
narrowband or the remote reading RFID tag, the standard is 5 dB. In the simulation of the RFID
Tag, the S11 is 3 dB at 915 MHz. However. In physical testing, the Tag needs to be enclosed with
paper material to become Label where the frequency will be shifted to low frequency by 2040 MHz.
Therefore, the RFID simulation pre-design needs to be shifted at higher frequency. After actual
performance testing and verification, the maximum effective reading distance and the radiation
pattern of this model of Windshield RFID Label meet the requirements of our experiments.

PIERS Proceedings, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012

1262

400m

400m

Table 1: Passive windshield RFID tag design indicator.

120
m
m

781
mm

Figure 1: Windshield RFID tag structure.

60
mm

Figure 2: Top position of a car in which the tags are attached to car body and tag antenna 8.37 dBi at
920 MHz radiation pattern.

3. SIMULATION OF THE APPLICATION OF RFID IN THE AUTOMOTIVE


ENVIRONMENT

First, we construct the model of the car-body environment and simulated of the RFID tag, which
is specifically designed for the present study and attached to car body, to observe how the radiation
pattern of the RFID tag. Second, to verify whether the simulated RFID tags radiation pattern is
accurate, we scale the car body structure down by one sixth and scale the operating frequency up
by a sixfold up to 5.5 GHz, to simulate each of the parameters and implement 5.5-GHz antenna. In
addition, we take measurement with the spherical measuring system of the anechoic chamber, and
compare and verify the numerical results. The purpose of the present experiment is to study how
the RFID Tag attached to car body changes, and observe how Tags radiation pattern and reading
distance change with different car body environments. The positions in which the Tags are attached
to car body are: (1) the windshield position (inside car body), (2) the car plate position (outside car
body), (3) the top position of a car (outside car body), and (4) the car door position (outside car
body). Because the primary structure of car body is composed of large metals, the metal car body
certainly affects the RFID Tags characteristics and its performance [14]. Therefore, we construct
the model of car-body structure, simulations with different positions of the Tag mentioned above
and observe how the Tags radiation pattern changes (as shows in Figure 2). A miniaturized model
of car body structure is about 651 mm in length, about 284 mm in width, and about 250 in height.
We use Styrofoam to make up the frame of car body and attach copper foil to the outer surface
of the car body structure to simulate the metal properties of car body. In order to consist with
the simulation of large real car discussed in the last paragraph: (1) we implement the simplified
5.5-GHz omni-directional dipole antenna design to correspond to the omni-directional Windshield
RFID Tag (the use of the windshield position); (2) we implement the simplified 5.5 GHz directional
patch antenna design to correspond to directional tag antenna (the use of the car plate position/the
top position of a car/the car door position) (as shown in Figures 3 and 4). After simulation and
verification, the change of the radiation pattern and the radiation directions of the tag antenna on
the model of the real car body are consistent with that of the 5.5-GHz antenna on the model of
the miniaturized car body as Table 2.

Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium Proceedings, KL, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012 1263

Table 2: Directional patch antenna simulation and measurement.

30.2m
m
16.2m
m
30.5m
m

20mm

13.2m
m

Figure 3: 5.5 GHz omni-directional dipole antenna design.


4. DYNAMIC TEST OF THE APPLICATION OF RFID IN THE AUTOMOTIVE
ENVIRONMENT

We conduct an automotive dynamic reading test with the UHF radio frequency identification
system, including constructing the framework of the gate system, measuring the tag antenna used,
measuring and analyzing the field intensity of the gate system. Furthermore, we conduct tests
with vehicles at a speed of 20 km, 40 km, and 60 km per hour [5]. In the tests, we demonstrate
that the windshield RFID tag and the gate reading system can be applied to real vehicle dynamic
reading. The test analyses show that the test label (1) (the Windshield RFID Label) has the
maximum reading distance of 4.855.15 M in the windshield background environment; the test
label (2) (the metal label) has the maximum reading distance of 4.855.53 M in the automotive
metal environment; and the test label (3) (the common label) has the maximum reading distance
of 4.485.61 M in the context of automotive plastic parts. All of the reading distances are within 4
and 5 M, and the reading radiation pattern also meet the required goals. We thus attach these tags
to car body to conduct a dynamic test with real vehicles. We conduct dynamic testing with the

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1264

RFID tag attached to car body. When tags are located at different positions, in order to improve
the tags reading levels, constructing a gate system is needed to produce a reading zone as shown
in the Figure 5. We expect the tags in different positions passing through the reading zone can
detect all tags. Therefore, the design of testing the gate system and sufficient radiation power of
its reading zone are very import. As shown in the Figure 6, the field intensity of 0.5 m1.5 m away
from the gate is relatively high. Regardless of the left, right, high or low position, the field intensity
is above 8 dBm. Most of the tags can be read in this zone. We conduct a test with a dynamic
running vehicle. The vehicle passes through the gate reading system respectively at a speed of
20 km, 40 km, and 60 km per hour. We record the tag reading status from nine positions on the
vehicle. With each speed, we conduct the dynamic reading tests ten times to observe the stability
of the dynamic reading of the gate system. The test results are shown in a histogram. As shown in
the results of the field intensity test and analysis, the dynamic reading gate system designed and
constructed for the present experiment has stable radiation energy at about 0.51.5 m. Besides, for
the included tests of the metal tag and our Windshield Tag, the metal tag on the car plate and
the windshield tag can be stably read in repeated tests of running vehicles at a speed of 60 km per
hour.

Figure 4: 5.5 GHz directional patch antenna design.

170cm

Ant. 1

Ant. 2
217cm

233cm

107cm

340cm

Figure 5: RFID dynamic test gate system.

Figure 6: Field intensity distribution (H = 140 cm).

Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium Proceedings, KL, MALAYSIA, March 2730, 2012 1265
5. CONCLUSIONS

The two major cores are the Windshield RFID Tag designed for the present experiment and the
RFID dynamic gate reading system. For the Windshield RFID Tag attached to the upper center
position of a windshield, we test its performance of the tag dynamic reading. We also test and
analyze the field intensity of the dynamic gate reading system, and find that it has stable radiation
energy at about 0.51.5 m. For a running vehicle, the Windshield tag can be stably read in repeated
tests at a speed of 60 km per hour.
REFERENCES

1. UHF Gen2 STRAP, DataSheet RI-UHF-STRAP-08, Texas Instruments Incorporation.


2. Seshagiri Rao, K. V., P. V. Nikitin, and F. L. Sander, Antenna design for UHF RFID tags: A
review and a practical application, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 53,
No. 12, 38703876, December 2005.
3. Nikitin, P. V. and K. V. Seshagiri Rao, Theory and measurement of backscattering from
RFID tags, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol. 48, No. 6, 212218, December
2006.
4. Lu, C.-S., Characteristic investigation on the UHF passive RFID tag design when it is pasted
on a large metal body, Master Thesis, Department of Communications Engineering, YZU,
June 2009.
5. Impinj Incorporation. SPEEDWAY RFID REDER (IPJ-R1000) User Guide, RFID Reader
(IPJ-R1000) User Guide, http://www.impinj.com/support/downloadable documents.aspx#
Speedway Reader.