30. abril 2010

Development of first aviation-compatible UHF RFID tag

Successful collaboration between HARTING, Lufthansa and Fraunhofer Institute.

The HARTING Technology Group, together with its project partners Lufthansa Technik Logistik, Lufthansa Systems and the Center for Intelligent Objects at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, has developed the first UHF RFID tag to meet the rigorous requirements of maintenance operations in the aviation industry.

The transponder, which will be manufactured by HARTING AG Mitronics, a subsidiary of HARTING in Switzerland and a specialist in 3D-MID technology, is to be used for the permanent identification of aircraft components. This tag enables the identification of components located outside of the aircraft cabin for the first time. The technology deployed enables contactless radio identification of clear system data over a distance of several meters.

The transponder is attached to the components and then recognized by a reading device. This joint development excels thanks to its minimal size and weight, dependable operation on metal components and conformity with all common RFID standards. The transponder is also resistant to extreme mechanical, chemical and thermal stresses in aviation operation. It conforms to SAE Aerospace Standard 5678, RTCA Standard DO-160 and protection class IP 69K certification. It is also compatible with the RFID standards ISO 18000-6c and EPC Class1 Gen2 and enables coding which conforms to ATA Spec 2000 Chapter 9-5. The transponder, which is currently at the certification and authorization stage, can be obtained with the aviation certification EASA Form One.

This development represents significant progress in the deployment of RFID technology. The application opportunities extend across the entire aircraft component value-added chain, covering production, aircraft manufacturing and maintenance processes throughout the aircraft’s total lifespan. Lufthansa Technik AG plans to use the tag in its self-developed Cabin Management & Inflight Entertainmentsystem nice®.