Multibeam Antenna

Detecting and reading RFID tags precisely

In the future, the use of RFID technology will continue to increase and it should be possible to read more and more RFID tags simultaneously. Currently, this development is presenting commercially available reader systems and their antennas with almost insurmountable challenges.

The multibeam antenna from Fraunhofer IIS, on the other hand, can read all RFID chips securely and reliably. Its areas of application lie in industry, logistics and retail, where it can be used to support transport and manufacturing processes or electronic article surveillance (EAS).

High reading rates

The multibeam antenna is a programmable 2x2 group antenna with a feed network for RFID applications. The multibeam antenna is so innovatively designed that it offers a higher reading rate than conventional reader antennas. The directional beam of the antenna can be adjusted individually in up to nine directions. This allows RFID transponders to be addressed and read in a targeted manner, also reducing collisions. The reading rate becomes faster and the probability of intercept becomes greater. This guarantees reliable reading of all transponders.

Test measurement of the multibeam antenna
© Fraunhofer IIS/Sabine Metzger

Innovative antenna design

The 2x2 group antenna with integrated feed network allows up to nine beam alignments. The multibeam antenna is comprised of four emitters, which are right-handed circularly polarized. The associated feed network that actuates the four individual antennas is based on the principle of the 4x4 butler matrix. The complete system is built with microstrip lines and the network comprises Wilkinson power splitters, squaring hybrids, rat-race hybrids, and delay lines. The larger visible area and the option of synchronizing the nine active beams with the position of the pallet to the reading gate guarantee maximum reading rates with a low number of antennas.

© Fraunhofer IIS/Thomas Endres

Flexible use in industry, logistics and retail

Wherever reliable and secure reading of RFID chips is needed, the multibeam antenna is suitable for enhancing the performance of RFID systems with little effort.

In the area of gateway passages, in particular, high reading rates and strong reading reliability are of great importance. Products in various quantities and designs that are fitted with RFID transponders can thus be counted immediately and precisely identified. Furthermore, the multibeam antenna captures movements and changes of direction in order to differentiate between incoming and outgoing goods. Such additional information generated through the antenna results in enormous time savings for several applications in industry and logistics. The antenna can also be easily deployed in electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems, thus ensuring intelligent and reliable theft protection in retail.

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Multibeam antenna for RFID applications

Expert consultancy and development

Together with you and taking well-founded scientific methods as our basis, we determine your requirements, advise you individually, and support you with technical and economic feasibility analyses. We are also happy to help you embed the antenna into your system or with commissioning.

As an independent development facility, we are able to offer you an established hardware design flow from simulation to the end product. We can offer you modern simulation tools, measuring instruments and techniques, and our own antenna measuring chamber.

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