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Container Tracking System

The container tracking system includes a computer system for tracking a plurality of container or carriers. For the purpose of easily tracking any individual container or carrier, a transponder is disposed on the body of the container or carrier. The transponder can be inserted into the body of the carrier in a protected and safe manner. The transponder has a memory configured for transmitting and receiving electronic data, like identification codes, location codes etc. The memory of the transponder (first electronic level) exchanges data with read/write units (second electronic level). A plurality of such read/write units is located on a track or a trajectory of the containers, i.e. is disposed relatively close to a track of the transponder. The computer system of the container tracking system is completed by a processing unit disposed remote from the containers (third electronic level). The distant processing unit receives data from the read/write units thereby permitting a monitoring of all data memorized in the transponders.

Features

  • Easily identify and locate containers, equipment etc.
  • Intrinsically safe tags can provide in-field information of assets
  • Verification of tasks and work orders with time-stamps
  • Schedule recurring tasks
  • No filtering through information (Books, manuals) or checking equipment for specifications
  • Client determines desired information stored on asset
  • Manage asset information as they get moved and upgraded
  • Information is mirrored and synchronized with a central database for easy access and modification
  • Anti-collision capability ensures data integrity, when several RFID tags are read simultaneously

Technologies Used

Location tracking is not one, single technology. Rather, it is the convergence of several technologies that can be merged to create systems that track inventory, livestock or vehicle fleets. Similar systems can be created to deliver location-based services to wireless devices.

Current technologies being used to create location-tracking and location-based systems include:

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - For large-scale location-tracking systems, it is necessary to capture and store geographic information. Geographic information systems can capture, store, analyze and report geographic information.
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) - A constellation of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails). A GPS receiver, like the one in your mobile phone, can locate four or more of these satellites, figure out the distance to each, and deduce your location through trilateration. For trilateration to work, it must have a clear line of sight to these four or more satellites. GPS is ideal for outdoor positioning, such as surveying, farming, and transportation or military use (for which it was originally designed).
Concept of GPS satellite constellation

Concept of GPS satellite constellation

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - Small, battery-less microchips that can be attached to consumer goods, cattle, vehicles and other objects to track their movements. RFID tags are passive and only transmit data if prompted by a reader. The reader transmits radio waves that activate the RFID tag. The tag then transmits information via a pre-determined radio frequency. This information is captured and transmitted to a central database. Among possible uses for RFID tags are a replacement for traditional UPC bar codes.
  • Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) - Network of devices that connect via radio frequency, such as 802.11b. These devices pass data over radio waves and provide users with a network with a range of 70 to 300 feet (21.3 to 91.4 meters).

Any location tracking or location-based service system will use one or a combination of these technologies. The system requires that a node or tag be placed on the object, animal or person being tracked. For example, the GPS receiver in a cell phone or an RFID tag on a DVD can be used to track those devices with a detection system such as GPS satellites or RFID receivers.

Technologies

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