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How to Select the Best RFID Antenna

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Apr 08, 2024
  • RFID
How to Select the Best RFID Antenna

Despite all the clear benefits of RFID technology in businesses, it is still a fact that it has been a slow transition from other methods. This is because implementing RFID can often be challenging and downright painful. For example, look at all the types of RFID Antennas in the market. How to select the best RFID antenna for your business?

Well, that is exactly what I will answer today. So, keep on reading to learn all you need to know about RFID antennas.

What is an RFID Antenna?

An antenna is an integral part of an RFID system, both the RFID tag and the reader system have an antenna. We simply talk about antenna; we mean the antennas attached to a reader. An RFID antenna acts as a transmitter, it broadcasts and receives radio signals in a certain frequency range.

RFID antennas are an important aspect of an RFID reader. They are responsible for facilitating communication between a tag and a reader. A reader can be equipped with up to 32 antennas at a time. The type and power of an antenna affect the range and alignment of the entire RFID system.

So, let’s discuss more of these antennas.

Types of RFID Antennas

There are several ways to classify RFID antennas into different classes, like- Range, Integrated Antennas, Polarization, etc. So, let’s briefly discuss each criterion.

Read/Broadcast Range

As the title suggests, based on the broadcast range of an antenna, we can divide them into two classes. Near-Field Communication (NFC) antenna & Far-Field Communication (FFC) antenna. NFC antennas are usually used for applications where the tags must be close to the sensor, like billing counters. FFC are usually applicable in supply chain management and security purposes.

Integrated/Separate Antenna

In most RFID systems, antennas are a separate piece of instrument that you must connect with the reader. However, one kind of reader, known as an integrated reader, used an internal antenna to broadcast & receive signals. Although you can connect 2 additional antennas to these readers. Integrated readers have shorter read ranges than readers with external antennas.

Antenna Polarization

This is the most important thing to keep in mind while selecting an antenna. Polarization refers to the direction or planes of travel, of your signal. There are two types of polarization, linear & circular. Linear Polarized antennas only broadcast along a single plane. Circular polarized antennas broadcast in a circular pattern, along multiple planes. Due to this, Linear antennas have a bigger range than circular, but they need the tags to be in a single alignment and angle, to work.

Things to Remember While Selecting an RFID Antenna

Being an important investment while setting up an RFID system, we think it’s best you catch up on how to select the right antenna for you.

Size of Your Facility

The first thing to remember is the area where you need RFID coverage. Depending on the size of your facility, the type and number of antennas you need to employ will differ greatly. In addition, you also need to keep in mind what you’ll use the antennas for. To clarify, at what distance do you want to keep the tags unaffected by the reader?

Antenna Gain

This is a phenomenon that refers to the relationship between the linear range of a signal and the width of the area it covers. As radio waves travel, they also expand and become weaker in signal strength. This is called gain; this means the relationship between the range and width of a signal is inversely proportional. That is to say, the more a signal expands, the further it can travel.

Presently, one of the most popular types of antennas is the, 9 dBi Antennas. These have a moderate range and decent width of the signal.

Orientation of the tags

Another important thing to keep in mind is the orientation of tags. In short, if the tags are oriented/kept along a single plane, then they can be read by both linear & circular antennas. However, if they are not, then using a linear polarized antenna is useless for you. And you best get a circularly polarized antenna.

Connectors

There are many types of connectors that manufacturers can install on their products. Usually, this isn’t a problem if you buy from the same manufacturer. But, just to be safe, before buying an antenna, you should check the type of connector installed into your reader. And buy the antennas that are compatible with it.

Environmental Interference

Many things can affect the effectiveness of a signal, like metal surfaces and wires, moisture, fog, dust, etc. Therefore, keep in mind the climate and environmental elements in the vicinity of your facility. And if they are present, then choose an interference-resistant antenna.

RFID Antenna FAQ:

Q1. Which type of antenna is used in RFID?

Ans: RFID systems use antennas that act as transmitters, meaning they are capable of both receiving and broadcasting signals. These antennas come in all shapes and sizes, but you can divide them into a few different types-

(A). Near-Field Communication Antenna

(B). Far-Field Communication Antenna

(C). Linear Polarized Antenna

(D). Circular Polarized Antenna

(E). Internal Antenna

(F). Outdoor Antenna

Q2. What is the range of RFID antenna?

Ans: The broadcast range of RFID antennas can differ vastly based on factors like power input, gain, polarization, frequency, etc. An RFID antenna can have a range starting from a few centimeters to more than 300 meters.

Q3. What is the function of RFID?

Ans: RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, it is a system of communicating wirelessly, using radio signals in a particular frequency range. RFID technology uses tags and readers to communicate data about products/items like names, product codes, groups, etc. You can use this technology for a variety of applications, like security, asset tracking, inventory management, etc.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.


  • Created on Apr 11, 2023
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