The US Air Force has approved the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) asset tracking and security devices aboard all configurations of government, commercial, passenger or cargo, fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft that transport US Department of Defence supplies.
RFID tags have been used aboard military aircraft for several years, the new USAF certification, however broadens the range of uses after receiving approved under MIL-STD-46IF and MIL-STD-464A, which addressed electromagnetic interference issues.
Eight of the RFID tags developed by Lockheed subsidiary Savi Technology can be fixed to supplies, unit load devices, containers, pallets and other transport conveyances.
Savi Technology CEO David Stephens said the US Air Force certification of the RFID tags extends the ability of the DoD to further automate monitoring of its supplies end-to-end across all modes of transportation.
The RFID can be used for applications such as simple asset tracking, security monitoring, checking the health of assets by monitoring environmental changes such as temperature, humidity and shock when embedded with sensors.
The tracking tags transmit micro-watts of power intermittently in short data packets and can be de-activated, providing safe aboard aircraft as per USAF evaluations.
Presently, the RFID aids US defence and allied European and Pacific Asian forces in tracking over 35,000 shipments by air, rail, ship and trucks in 50 countries.