November 20, 2007 Lockheed Martin subsidiary Savi Technology has begun deploying solar-powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers and signposts, saving energy and negating the need for installing electrical infrastructure in remote areas.
Designed for use in the defense and commercial sectors, the solar-powered signposts activate RFID tags attached to vehicles or pieces of equipment. The tags then report the assets’ positions to nearby RFID readers, which relay the information to Savi Site Manager software that automatically updates the assets’ latest location. The system is capable of tracking more than 25,000 tags per day.
“We continue to have challenges with providing adequate power for the installation of RFID sites in austere locations,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Burden, U.S. Army Product Management Office of Joint Automatic Identification Technology (PM J-AIT). “We are always looking for innovative ways to address these critical issues to support Warfighter needs.”
Savi engineers have mounted solar panels and RFID signposts on poles located at a major U.S. Army supply facility in Kuwait and plans are underway with the U.S. Department of Defense to expand the use of solar-powered applications to other areas in the Middle East and beyond.
In the commercial sector, Savi Networks operates an RFID-based network in Colombia that also leverages solar energy to power Savi RFID signposts and readers that track the status and security of containerized cargo shipments.