Digital Beamforming Techniques for Passive UHF RFID Tag Localization

PhD Thesis

Cremer, M (2016). Digital Beamforming Techniques for Passive UHF RFID Tag Localization. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Engineering
AuthorsCremer, M
TypePhD Thesis

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is on the way to substitute traditional
bar codes in many fields of application. Especially the availability of passive ultra-high
frequency (UHF) RFID transponders (or tags) in the frequency band between 860 MHz
and 960 MHz has fostered the global application in supply chain management. However,
the full potential of these systems will only be exploited if the identification of objects
is complemented by accurate and robust localization.
Passive UHF RFID tags are cost-effective, very small, extremely lightweight, maintenancefree,
rugged and can be produced as adhesive labels that can be attached to almost any
object. Worldwide standards and frequency regulations have been established and a
wide infrastructure of identification systems is operated today. However, the passive
nature of the technology requires a simple communication protocol which results in
two major limitations with respect to its use for localization purposes: the small signal
bandwidth and the small allocated frequency bandwidth. In the presence of multipath
reflections, these limitations reduce the achievable localization accuracy and reliability.
Thus, new methods have to be found to realize passive UHF RFID localization systems
which provide sufficient performance in typical multipath situations.
In this thesis, an enhanced transmission channel model for passive UHF RFID localization
systems has been proposed which allows an accurate estimation of the channel
behaviour to multipath. It has been used to design a novel simulation environment and
to identify three solutions to minimize multipath interference: a) by varying the channel
interface parameters, b) by applying diversity techniques, c) by installation of UHF
absorbers. Based on the enhanced channel model, a new method for tag readability
prediction with high reliability has been introduced. Furthermore, a novel way to rate
the magnitude of multipath interference has been proposed. A digital receiver beamforming
localization method has been presented which uses the Root MUSIC algorithm
for angulation of a target tag and multipath reducing techniques for an optimum localization
performance. A new multiangulation algorithm has been proposed to enable
the application of diversity techniques. A novel transmitter beamforming localization
approach has been presented which exploits the precisely defined response threshold
of passive tags in order to achieve high robustness against multipath. The basic technique
has been improved significantly with respect to angular accuracy and processing
times. Novel experimental testbeds for receiver and transmitter beamforming have been
designed, built and used for verification of the localization performance in real-world
measurements. All the improvements achieved contribute to an enhancement of the accuracy and especially
the robustness of passive UHF RFID localization systems in multipath environments
which is the main focus of this research

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Print01 Aug 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Feb 2018
Publisher's version
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