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Tags and sensors are very popular and used for various applications such as location and inventory of items such as documents or equipment.  The challenge with currently available tagging technology is that they either must contain a battery power source, which must be replaced periodically, or are powered by a conventional continuous wave (CW) radio frequency (RF) wave or magnetic field, which has severely limited range and subject to multipath fading.  


LLNL researchers have developed a novel Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), tracking, powering system and method using coded Ultra-wideband (UWB) signaling. The RFID system is capable of remote powering (activating) multiple passive UWB tags that are located some distance away, which is further than conventional RFID tags. Once the tags are activated, the tags are able to communicate with the RFID system.


Waltjen, K, Romero, C, Azevedo, S, Dowla, F, Spiridon, A, Benzel, D, & Haugen, P. Ultra-wideband Communications.

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Does not have the limitations of currently available tagging technologies, namely:
•    Battery-powered, which requires periodic replacement of batteries; no batteries are needed with LLNL’s technology!
•    CW RF wave or magnetic field powered, which has a severely limited range. With LLNL’s method of remote powering, the distance can be significantly greater and by using UWB, multipath fading is mitigated.

Potential Applications

Remote RF powering (battery-less) of general electronics circuitry, including tags, geo-location devices and sensors

Development Status

Current stage of technology development:  TRL 5

LLNL has patent(s) on this invention.

U.S. Patent No. 8188841 Method of remote powering and detecting multiple UWB passive tags in an RFID system published 5/29/2012

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