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Detection, Identification, Location, and Remote Sensing Using SAW RFID Sensor TagsThe Electromagnetic Systems Branch (EV4) of the Avionic Systems Division at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX is studying the utility of surface acoustic wave (SAW) radiofrequency identification (RFID) tags for multiple wireless applications including detection, identification, tracking, and remote sensing of objects on the lunar surface, monitoring of environmental test facilities, structural shape and health monitoring, and nondestructive test and evaluation of assets. For all of these applications, it is anticipated that the system utilized to interrogate the SAW RFID tags may need to operate at fairly long range and in the presence of considerable multipath and multiple-access interference. Towards that end, EV4 is developing a prototype SAW RFID wireless interrogation system for use in such environments called the Passive Adaptive RFID Sensor Equipment (PARSED) system. The system utilizes a digitally beam-formed planar receiving antenna array to extend range and provide direction-of-arrival information coupled with an approximate maximum-likelihood signal processing algorithm to provide near-optimal estimation of both range and temperature. The system is capable of forming a large number of beams within the field of view and resolving the information from several tags within each beam. The combination of both spatial and waveform discrimination provides the capability to track and monitor telemetry from a large number of objects appearing simultaneously within the field of view of the receiving array. In this paper, we will consider the application of the PARSEQ system to the problem of simultaneous detection, identification, localization, and temperature estimation for multiple objects. We will summarize the overall design of the PARSEQ system and present a detailed description of the design and performance of the signal detection and estimation algorithms incorporated in the system. The system is currently configured only to measure temperature (jointly with range and tag ID), but future versions will be revised to measure parameters other than temperature as SAW tags capable of interfacing with external sensors become available. It is anticipated that the estimation of arbitrary parameters measured using SAW-based sensors will be based on techniques very similar to the joint range and temperature estimation techniques described in this paper.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Barton, Richard J.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Kennedy, Timothy F.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Williams, Robert M.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Fink, Patrick W.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Ngo, Phong H.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Electronics And Electrical Engineering
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2010 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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