Instrumentation

Radio Frequency Identification Technology

Projects
Team

Thanos Papanicolaou, Iordanis Moustakidis, Achilleas Tsakiris

Overview
Bridge scour is considered as a very serious problem that can affect the stability and structural integrity of a bridge by eroding the stream bed and banks and exposing the piers and abutments of the bridge.  RFID is a wireless automated identification technology that utilizes radio frequency (RF) waves to transfer information between a reader and a transponder (derived from transmitter/responder) via an excitation antenna.  An RFID system consists of three parts: (a) the reader, (b) the antenna and (c) the transponder.  The Low Frequency (LF) (134.2 kHz), passive RFID technology is considered suitable for monitoring bridge scour since no-line-of-sight communication is required between the antenna and the transponder, where the latter can be detected even when it is buried in the bed substrate.  The overarching objective is the development of an autonomous bridge scour monitoring system, by relating the transponder return RF signal strength with the scour evolution.  To address this objective, transponders will be buried into the stream bed at the upstream face of a bridge pier, following the Leopold chain method, and their RF signal will be recorded.  The study will also: (i) cast more light on the principles of the LF, passive RFID technology by performing specially designed experiments and (ii) address current RFID limitations by properly modifying some components (i.e., excitation antenna, transponders).

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RFID Software Development for Monitoring Sediment Transport

Projects
Team

Thanos Papanicolaou, Iordanis Moustakidis, Achilleas Tsakiris

Overview

In 1980s and 1990s the development of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and especially the Low Frequency (LF) (134.2 kHz), passive RFID technology, allowed for the study of sediment transport from the Lagrangian perspective. This pioneering technology, due to its high recovery rates of approximately 90% of the time, gives researchers the opportunity to investigate the motion of individual particles, by knowing their exact position at any time, the time lag between two successive particle movements, and the distance traveled in each movement. For this project, the overarching objective was to develop user-friendly software in C++ programming language to further facilitate the robustness of the LF, passive RFID technology in sediment transport studies. The software is compatible with the Windows operational system and operates in two modes, namely the “Single Tag Readout”, when the user wants to interrogate only one tag at a time and the “Multiple Tag Readout”, when the user desires to scan an area where presumably several tags are present. Detected transponder IDs, along with the date and time of each transponder ID detection, are registered in the “Active List of Recordings” in order of their detection time. The software allows the user to save the “Active List of Recordings” in a .txt file format for analysis of the acquired data.