Our certification process is in development. We currently have installation guidelines that we send to our partners and customers. We have been developing a complete certification process that will be conducted annually in Ohio at our Innovation Center. To-date, our partners have been able to achieve excellent results with over-the-phone training with our NeWave technical personnel.
The Wave antenna can be used with any reader system. Thus, one only needs the RF cables that go from the reader system of your choice to the antennas. Our antennas use a reverse TNC connector and we supply cables with reverse TNC connectors on both ends in specific lengths from 5' to 20'. So the cabling is very simple.
The reader system used with our antennas is completely your choice. Thus, you can choose one that best fits your needs, such as POE and/or wireless. The RFID reader will not interfere with other wireless devices.
The Wave antenna has been specifically designed to cover a range from 2x2x2 ft to 10X10X10 ft, which we consider, based upon extensive testing, to be an optimal RFID zone. This read zone is simply controlled by adjusting the power setting and after doing so , tag read rate accuracy of 99+% is maintained within the desired zone.
However, any radiating system will tend to see beyond this zone and read some tags outside this coverage zone. These outside the zone reads have typically been classified as system failures.
NeWave antenna has addressed this issue based upon the design of the Wave antenna. Since it radiates cylindrically around the entire length of the antenna and the size of the read zone is readily adjustable by the power setting the Wave reads far less extraneous tags than a Patch antenna solution. An independent OSU/ESL study referenced above found that “at a distance of 30 feet the NeWave tag reads dropped to 1.7% while the patch was still reading 34.2%”. The study also reported, “Patch antennas are more directive, so they read at longer distance. The NeWave read rate (outside the targeted zone) is very low, as desired” for an RFID item-level solution.
So, when tags outside the zone are read, how is this situation resolved? It is a simple matter to collect the tag data at a central computer site. Then where there is an issue of multiple tags reads, one simply determines the proper zone by comparing the RSSI (received signal strength) levels and/or tag read rates. Since the tag is located clearly in one zone, this zone data will have much higher RSSI levels and read rates as compared to the out-of-zone results; importantly one can begin to determine whether a given tag is located very close to the border between zones. In this case, the RSSI levels and read rates will be very similar for both these zones indicating the item time is on the zone border. Therefore, one can use this information to provide even finer item location resolution. Thus this can actually be a benefit and a powerful tool for RTLS applications.
The Wave (Zone coverage) antenna system has been specifically designed to provide complete coverage within the user’s desired Zone. The 2X2X2 to 10X10X10 ft zone is optimal for determining the location of a tag while balancing that against the cost of the solution and this leads to a positive Return on Investment (ROI). The Wave antenna eliminates the fading issues in an optimal way. As a result, one can use much lower power levels than have been used in previous Patch antenna systems. This becomes a very important issue because very high power levels are required for Patch solutions in order to handle the fading problem, but these very high power levels result in reading tags at very large distances and in many cases well outside any of the desired zones. The Wave antenna does not have this problem because it directly solves the fading using multiple beam diversities much like done in mobile phone systems. Since the fading is naturally solved within the antenna system design, one can use much lower power levels and greatly reduce the out of zone tag reads seen using patch antennas.
Since our antenna creates cylindrical wave fronts, one can reduce the input power to the antenna and reduce the range of coverage. The coverage zone will be a cylinder in all cases, but the radius of this cylinder and therefore the coverage zone will decrease uniformly as the input power to the antenna is decreased. The Wave continues to read 99+% of the tags within the selected cylinder size.
The Wave antenna has been optimally designed to work in the most difficult environments like metal shelving systems and liquid products. These environments create problems that result from very complex beam scattering that creates tremendous fading issues. Some solutions have to deal with the metal shelves but also the many liquid and metal contents found within the items located on these shelving systems. This is especially true for most of the items found on the Organized Retail Crime (ORC) lists. ORC is reported to be between a $15 to possibly $30 billion problem in North America alone. Therefore, this is a very serious issue.
Each Wave antenna provides multiple beams (direction-of-arrival) and maximum polarization diversity. Spatial diversity is provided using multiple antennas to cover a zone. These diversities are the same as those used in mobile phone systems, which have been continually refined to provide better and better service, less dropped calls and better reception. We have applied this vast knowledge in designing our patented Wave antenna. The fading caused by the metal shelving and/or items is handled in the same way using all these diversities. With these diversities, one can successfully deal with very complex scattering environments. In fact, boxes and other items can be stacked right up next to the Wave antenna without affecting its performance. This is because the Wave is the only a distributed RFID radiator, meaning the radiation comes from the entire length of the antenna rather than from one spot like a Patch. Blocking part of the antenna will not affect the radiation from the other parts. A point radiator, such as a patch antenna, could be completely blocked by a single item sitting in front of it. As stated in the OSU/ESL study reference above, “A patch antenna is smaller in size; hence it is more likely to be blocked by large items”.
There are harsh environments related to dealing with hazardous waste materials, harsh warehouse cases, outdoor transit applications, etc. that provide challenges for most RFID systems. Our initial product line was devoted to indoor item-level applications that avoided these harsh environments. However, we have more recently developed new products that can handle these use cases very well. NeWave has applied our unique composite and exotic material expertise to solve these issues in a very cost-effective and novel way. If you are interested in these very unique products, please contact our NeWave Sales Department at 888-677-7343 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the start of our RFID antenna development, we found that our item-level applications typically resulted in having four antennas per zone. Since the cost of the antennas is much less than the reader, it makes great sense to put as many antennas as possible on one reader until the total cost of the antennas is about equal to that of one reader. Each port of a typical four port reader can be used as a Wave coverage zone. To implement this solution, one uses a remote set of RF switches to fan-out each reader port output into four ports, which are digitally controlled by the reader GPIO. The reader is software-controlled to sequentially read through each of the sixteen antennas. Then through software processing, the four antenna results per port are combined together to properly define what items are found in each Zone. Using this approach results in considerable savings in infrastructure cost. For example, we have found using this approach that one can cover a complete 32' retail shelving section using just a single reader and 16 NeWave antennas and the tagged items can be located with 99+% accuracy down to a resolution as small as a 4' section.
The Wave antenna is continually being certified by more and more reader companies as they see its tremendous value. Please check with us relative to your proposed application if you have any concern about this issue. The Wave also has ETSI Certification for the European Union.