Characterization and Performance Analysis of UHF RFID Tag for Environmental Sensing Applications
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Passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag has been shown efficient in item tracking and management in the supply chain. Attracted to low weight and small size of wireless nodes, some research work was conducted to extend the RFID advantage into environmental sensing applications. The concept is to using tag frequencies as sensing parameters. When variation occurs in the surrounding environment, such as temperature and humidity level, the operation frequencies of tags would be shifted, and such shift can be used to identify the degree of variation in the environment. One challenge of RFID tag is the distortion from other surrounding objects, the existence of obstacles and metals can have greatly impact on the sensing performance in both accuracy and sensing range. This thesis work conducts an investigation of the performance of a passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) based system. The investigation systematically probed the effects of passive RFID tag orientation and obstacles (blocking line-of-sight between a reader and a tag) as well as reading period (the time required for successful detection) on the range of detection. In the absence of obstacles, optimized tag orientation improved the system reliability and range of detection. At a reading distance where tag readability became unstable, increasing the reading period led to a higher reliability. A theoretical model was also established and was in good agreement with measurement results, providing a simple guideline to the further experiments. This work would also advance the knowledge understanding on wireless sensing on metal effect, humidity and temperature.