How TO USE UHF RFID In Airport Baggage Automatic Sorting System?

- Apr 13, 2018-

With the continuous deepening of domestic economic reforms and opening up, domestic civil aviation industry has achieved unprecedented development, the number of passengers entering and leaving the airport has continuously increased, and luggage throughput has reached a new height. The handling of baggage has always been a large and complex task for large airports. In particular, the ongoing terrorist attacks against the aviation industry have also put forward higher requirements for baggage identification and tracking technology. How to manage the mountainous baggage and effectively improve the processing efficiency is an important issue for airlines.

1. Background

In response to the new challenges posed by passenger baggage handling capacity of airport transportation systems, UHF RFID read-write devices have been used in more and more airports to automatically sort bags. This system uses the bar code label to identify passengers' luggage. During the process of transport, the passenger's luggage can be sorted by identifying the barcode. The global airline's baggage tracking system has been relatively mature. However, even in the most ideal situation, the bar code system can only correctly read 8 to 9 items out of 10 bags, which means that the airline needs Constantly invest a lot of time and effort in manual operations to transfer the sorted luggage to different flights. At the same time, due to the high directionality of bar code scanning, this also adds extra workload to airport staff when performing bar code packaging.

Simply using barcodes to match and sort baggage will be a work that requires a lot of time and effort, and may even cause serious delays in flights.

It is of great significance to improve the degree of automation and sorting accuracy of airport baggage automatic sorting systems, to protect public travel safety, reduce the intensity of airport sorters, and improve the overall operating efficiency of airports.

RFID radio frequency identification technology is widely regarded as one of the most promising technologies in the 21st century. It is a new technology that has caused changes in the field of automatic identification after the barcode technology. Its non-line-of-sight, long-distance, low directivity requirements, fast and accurate wireless communication capabilities, is increasingly focused on the airport baggage automatic sorting system. In October 2005, IATA (International Air Transport Association) unanimously passed a resolution to use UHF (Ultra High Frequency) RFID tagging as the sole standard for airline baggage tags.

2. System Architecture

RFID baggage automatic sorting system is to attach RFID electronic tags to the baggage that are randomly checked in to each passenger. The electronic tags record passengers' personal information, departure port, arrival port, flight number, parking position, departure time and other information; baggage flow. The various control nodes, such as branches, installations, and baggage claim offices, are equipped with electronic tag reading and writing devices. When baggage with tagged information passes through each node, the RFID reader reads this information and passes it to the database. Realize the information sharing and monitoring of baggage in the whole process of transportation. 

3. System flow

Passengers departing from the airport check baggage at the check-in counter. The staff completes the check-in and prints the RFID baggage tag according to the passenger boarding pass. The RFID baggage tag is installed on the baggage and placed in the baggage conveyor. The conveyor is equipped with an RFID collection channel. When the baggage passes through the RFID collection channel, its relevant information is collected and uploaded to the conveyor control system. The conveyor control system can correctly sort the baggage to the corresponding flight according to the obtained information. Luggage room slot. The last porter forwards the baggage of the corresponding flight to the trunk and the towing vehicle to the cargo hold of the aircraft.

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The airport baggage automatic sorting system uses RFID technology to identify the baggage through electronic tags and use radio frequency signals to automatically identify the target baggage. Even for multiple high-speed movements of baggage objects, simultaneous identification can be performed without human intervention and the operation is quick and easy. With the adoption of RFID technology, the mechanization rate can reach 95% or more, which means that the possibility of baggage loss, delay and mishandling will be greatly reduced. At the same time, RFID can work in various harsh environments. This will enhance passengers’ baggage security and greatly reduce their error rate and other issues.

In addition, each RFID reader can be connected to the server through the network. It can effectively record tracking and monitoring in all aspects of baggage delivery and finally to the passengers. The entire process can be grasped in a timely manner and the management can be performed dynamically. Based on this statistical data and the status of various links, targeted management can be achieved, and the information and intelligence of airport baggage handling management can be improved as a whole.

4. System key technologies

The automatic air baggage sorting system should aim at achieving maximum efficiency, safety, reliability, and ease of maintenance. In the entire system, RFID data collection is particularly critical.

High-speed data acquisition

In order to meet the growing number of passengers at the airport, especially in large and medium-sized airports, the conveyor speed is increasing. Higher transmission speeds have higher requirements for the RFID reader's acquisition speed;


The aviation airport baggage sorting system is continuously operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The RFID equipment must meet the stable operation in this environment.


The baggage sorting system must accurately obtain the information of each piece of baggage in order to correctly complete the sorting. This requires the RFID equipment to have a very high reliability, and accurately collect every piece of baggage information.


The central control part of the baggage automatic sorting system generally uses PLC. In order to achieve the purpose of high-speed and accurate sorting, how the PLC obtains the data collected by the RFID device is also very critical, which requires that the RFID device must be compatible with the PLC. RFID devices that support instruction set control can be well compatible with PLCs.

5. PLC product selection

The requirements for RFID equipment for the airport baggage sorting system: The integrated UHF RFID reader, high-speed reading capability, can adapt to the normal reading at the speed of 180Km/h, and meet the data of the airport baggage automatic sorting system The requirements of the acquisition speed can be connected to multi-path antenna work to cover a wider range of multi-angle reading baggage tags, greatly improving reliability. , At the same time with superior anti-jamming capabilities, can adapt to a variety of harsh industrial environments, dual power optimization and good cooling can guarantee long-term stable operation of the equipment, suitable for airport baggage sorting system requirements for equipment stability.