Next Webinar: RFID Sensor Tags – The Current state and the Future of Wireless Sensing Applications – Learn more and register here

May 17, 2022

The “Secret” to Ensuring Accuracy and Repeatability in RFID Testing – Properties of an RFID Test Chamber

When our customers think of where measurement accuracy and repeatability in a tag testing setup originate from, they usually mention things like output power resolution, power setting accuracy, measurement distance measured down to a millimeter, angular alignment, and high quality matched antennas, test grade RF cables, etc…  My claim is, and it’s not even a bold claim, but more like a friendly reminder, that the most significant factor in achieving result repeatability and comparability is actually the environment.

So, what is the best route to a great environment? Well, clearly, the best solution is to use a closed and controlled environment like an anechoic cabinet specifically designed for RFID measurements. At Voyantic, the most iterated and refined cabinet is the C50. It is also the smallest of the offered cabinets, supporting the TIPP/ARC compatible four antenna measurement layout.

  

ARC / TIPP antenna arrangement and the C50 cabinet

Test Distance

The C50 name comes from the 50cm nominal measurement distance and the circular arrangement of the antennas. The choice of the distance is a sweet spot to be as close as possible for best accuracy and dynamic range, but far enough to be in an accurate enough representation of a  far-field for most average-sized tags, tagged items, and item stacks. Any further attempt to still reduce the distance rapidly ends up in the antennas not physically fitting anymore or just coupling into each other as they would sit in each other’s reactive near field.

The Cabinet Size

When you add on top the 50cm test distance the size reserved for the test object, clearance for the Fresnel zone, the volume required by the UHF range pyramid absorbers optimized for each wall, and the outer shielding, you still actually end up with a reasonably sized package. The C50 chamber totals to dimensions of 1,55m x 1,50m x 1,05m. This typically doesn’t sound important in any way, until one is planning the location for the cabinet and the transport route up to the very spot. These dimensions have not evolved by accident but rather designed from experience so that the cabinet would fit through as many door openings, narrow corridors, and elevators as possible. Also, the total weight remains in the 200kg range, making it movable by a few sturdy RFID test engineers without renting any additional equipment.  

A Sturdy RFID Engineer

Low Reflections

One of the hardest parameters to get right is the level of unechoicity. It wouldn’t be too hard in a totally empty space, but as the item under test requires a computer-controlled rotatable platform withstanding over 10kg of weight and still being totally stealthy, things get a lot trickier. The rotation mechanism and the support platform should not provide alternative radio paths from the antenna to the tag which could create a multipath situation and decrease the accuracy.

Turntable Design

To achieve the required stealth properties, anything bulky, parallel, and flat should be avoided. Also, electrically conductive materials must be avoided at all costs, except for the shortest of screws.  This means that conventional mechanical design is thrown right out of the window and other approaches are needed. Our chambers have fully ceramic bearing structures, Kevlar belts, fiberglass axles, Nylon bolts, and numerous foam structures. Most other structural parts are carefully designed from polyamide with most of the material hollowed out and any parallel and straight lines broken to reduce the RF footprint as much as possible.

Components in the chamber are designed to minimize any RF reflections.

To see the full range of available Voyantic anechoic chambers, download our R&D Solutions Catalogue ›

Download R&D Solutions Catalogue

Learn more about the Voyantic Tagformance® Pro system, accessories, and test chambers!

By combining RAIN RFID and NFC testing into one compact test device, our all-new Tagformance Pro is a true all-in-one tool for anyone either developing or using RFID technology.

May 11, 2022

Join us at Connections Summit Helsinki 2022

Join us at Connections Summit, in Helsinki, June 14-16! The event is organized by RAIN Alliance in cooperation with IEEE CRFID and GS1.

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The theme of the event is sustainability. During the sessions, industry leaders will be addressing the use of wireless RAIN RFID technologies to save natural resources, human resources, energy, and time, and cut down on unnecessary waste.

Learn insights on how to improve supply chains and asset management so, that businesses only produce the goods that they need. And most importantly learn how to quantify and address the ecological footprint of the core components, such as the RAIN tags. The event is also an excellent opportunity to expand your business networks!

Learn more and register

Agenda

The first day of the event is reserved for RAIN Member Workgroup Meetings. Wednesday the 15th is an open day for anyone to join to hear a day full of interesting presentations and networking. The last day of the event is reserved for RAIN Member-only sessions and the IEEE CRFID meeting.

Check out the full agenda here ›

Agenda Highlights (June 15)

  • Opening remarks from Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, City of Helsinki
  • RFID as Enabler in Wireless Patient Monitoring – Timo Hakala, Senior radio systems engineer of GE Healthcare
  • Sustainability in RAIN RFID-Based Healthcare – Bahar Aliakarian, Michigan State University
  • Leveraging RAIN Through the Full Life Cycle of the Tire: Transitioning from Footprint to Handprint – Peter RAMIREZ, Michelin North America
  • Industrial Identification – Seeking for Reliability – Joona Nikunen, Innovation Manager of Valmet Automation

Train with Ultrarunner Noora Honkala

After traveling and working all day, it is good to do a bit of exercise to energize and reset your body and mind for the open event day on Wednesday. 

Join a fun running exercise event on Tuesday evening at 6 pm. The exercise will be held by one of the world’s leading ultrarunners, Noora Honkala. You will also get a chance to chat with Noora about the life of a professional athlete and get some training tips. 

The running event is suitable for everyone. You will be able to do the exercise at your own pace. The event will take place in a park by the seaside, close to Hotel Katajanokka. Sign up for the running event during the registration process to receive more details.

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