HARTING RFID - dynamic race

Dynamic RFID race

How fast may a vehicle go and still be detected with maximum reliability using RFID? This question is highly relevant in real-world practice, as demonstrated by areas of application such as rail transport.

The RFID team at HARTING Technology Group investigated the question of "how fast is fast" in a joint effort with the Ignition Racing Team (IRT) of the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences. As part of the Formula Student project, the IRT develops and builds their own racing cars. The performance metrics are spectacular: up to 1400 Nm of torque accelerate the race cars from zero to 120 kmh on a 75m track – a normal car requires a multiple of this.

The experimental setup for the HARTING RFID test was exceptionally simple: each race car was equipped with an RFID transponder. An RFID reader and antenna was built alongside the track. And, in order to obtain realistic conditions, only standard products were used. In addition, the results were evaluated in real time in Ha-VIS middleware and written to a file – in exactly the same setup as would be implemented in an actual customer application.

Test run

As a warmup exercise, an electric racecar drove past the RFID antennas at 80 kmh. All systems functioned successfully and the car was reliably detected. The second race: an electric racing car at 120 kmh – no problem here either, as the vehicle was reliably detected. However, the electric racecars top out at a maximum speed of 120 kmh since the Formula Student project only uses a narrow track or a 75m sprint. Consequently, in the third round a race car with a combustion engine was used, reaching a top speed of 160 kmh (which is extremely fast for the Formula Student racecars).

Still, the test run failed to push the RFID technology to its limits. Therefore, a roadster of a famous German manufacturer was driven in one last run. The result was startling: even at 200 kmh, the vehicle was quickly and reliably detected!