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Near-Field Focused Phased Array and Scanning Antennas for RFID Applications. Greg Mendolia Vice President, Product Strategy Office: 443-259-0140 x 130 Fax: 443-259-0451. Paratek Microwave, Inc. 6935 Oakland Mills Road, Suite G Columbia, MD 21045.

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Near-Field Focused Phased Array and Scanning Antennas for RFID Applications

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Near-Field Focused Phased Array and Scanning Antennas forRFID Applications

Greg Mendolia

Vice President, Product Strategy

Office: 443-259-0140 x 130

Fax: 443-259-0451

Paratek Microwave, Inc.

6935 Oakland Mills Road, Suite G

Columbia, MD 21045

Paratek Confidential and Proprietary


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Founded in 1998 to develop innovative RF components based upon the company’s proprietary materials technology, ParascanTM

The Parascan™ materials science enabled the development of Paratek’s thin film, thick film and bulk material electronically tunable capacitors

Electronic tunable RF components led to development of smart scanning antennas

Independent, multi-beam, 360° steering

Frequency coverage from 30MHz to 3 GHz

Fast scanning in azimuth, elevation and frequency

Re-configurable aperture for wide beam acquisition and then narrow steerable beam

Maintain uninterrupted communications, increased LPI/LPD, higher capacity through frequency reuse

Null steering for increased anti-jam

Higher gain

Horizontal and vertical polarization diversity mitigates multipath

Paratek Microwave, Inc.


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Accurate reading of 100% of the tags is essential

RFID Technology Challenges

Tags inside moving payload

- - B U T - -

  • Technical limitations reduce tag read rates

    • Reader reception of tag data vulnerable to obstruction and de-tuning from metal, liquid and dense materials

    • Conventional reader antennas do not track and “stare” at moving tags

- - I M P A C T - -

  • Slow industry adoption due to technology shortfalls


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Near Field Focused, Scanning Phased Array (NFA)

Paratek Solution

  • Antenna power is surgically directed at – and focused on – targeted RFID tags by increasing power levels in the near field without polluting spectrum in the far field

    • Antenna RF power is focused at the tag instead of spread over the entire area

      • More signal power delivered at the tag => more tags read and better ability to write to tags

    • Multipath and interference problems reduced => decreased tag contention

    • Antenna tracks tags as they pass by

      • Increased beam dwell time on tag => longer read time

    • Direction of tag movement can be detected

      • Are items entering or leaving the area?

  • KEY RESULT: Dramatically improved tag read rates for RFID unfriendly materials


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Paratek NFA vs. Conventional Reader Antenna

Tag

Tag

Conventional Reader Antenna Energy Distribution

Paratek Near Field Focused Phased Array Antenna

Lower field intensity

in near field

6dBi gain limit in far field

Higher field intensity

in near field

6dBi gain limit in far field

  • Near Field Focused Phased Array amplifies and focuses RF to increase power in the near field

    • Arrays of elements are used to control energy focus and distribution

  • RF power decays quickly so that power levels in the far field are comparable to standard antennas

    • Compliant with FCC energy levels in far field

    • Permits higher near field energy intensity at the tag location


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Paratek NFA vs. Conventional Phased Array Antenna

Tag

Tag

Conventional Far Field Focused Array Antenna

Paratek Near Field Focused Phased Array Antenna

Lower field intensity

in near field

6dBi gain limit in far field

Higher field intensity

in near field

6dBi gain limit in far field

  • Conventional arrays focus energy in the far-field, not near field

  • Paratek re-engineers the phase of each element in the array, focusing the energy in the near field where the tags are located

  • The depth and direction of the focused region can be easily steered with standard phased array electronics


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Paratek NFA vs. Conventional Array Reader Antenna

Paratek NFA Antenna

Directivity: 0-3 meters

Conventional 1x8 Far-Field Array Antenna

Directivity: 0-3 meters

Near Field EIRP

RF energy focused on tags

RF energy not where its needed


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Paratek NFA vs. Conventional Array Reader Antenna

Paratek NFA Antenna

Directivity: 0-30 meters

Conventional 1x8 Far-Field Array Antenna

Directivity: 0-30 meters

Far Field EIRP

High far field RF energy

(pollutes spectrum)

Far field RF energy dispersed


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Paratek NFA vs. Conventional Array

9 dB Improvement Over Conventional Antennas in

Near Field / Far Field Ratio

Target focus range:

NFA is 4.5 dB higher

NFA is 4.5dB lower


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Paratek NFA vs. Conventional Array

Comparative Statistical Read Rate

(tags on surface of cases of bottled water)

Same far-field EIRP

275% greater

read rate @ 5’

1,060% greater read rate @ 6’


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Paratek Scanning Antenna

17”

9.5”

9.5 lb

Pattern

  • Antenna Characteristics:

  • 862 - 928 MHz

  • Passive Tx/Rx, 30 dBm max

  • Gain 6.3 – 8.4 dBi

  • Dual linear polarization V/H

  • 27 dB isolation V-H ports

  • Full 360° azimuth scan range

  • 50° Azimuth beam (-3dB)

  • 70° Elevation beam (-3dB)

  • < -10 dB Side/back lobe

  • > 12 dB Return loss, 50 ohm

  • < 1 ms Beam switch/scan


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8dBi

10dB

Paratek Scanning Antenna

RFID Vertical Beam

Elevation Plane

Azimuth Plane


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Video 1

Conventional Far Field Focused Array Antenna


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Video 2

Paratek Near Field Focused Phased Array Antenna


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Summary

  • Paratek’s Near Field Focused, Scanning Phased Array (NFA) antenna dramatically improves tag read rates under all conditions, especially RFID unfriendly materials, while also enhancing the ability to write to tags

  • Electronic steering enables tracking of tags for increased acquisition time => Results in dramatically improved read rates, as well as identification of direction of travel for tagged products

  • Directed and controlled RF energy reduces tag contention and multipath issues

  • NFA transmitted RF energy (EIRP) decays at a faster rate over distance => Results in lower far field interference to other products or to other RFID systems


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