Savi Technology Becomes First FAA Certified Wireless RFID Technology

Oct. 1, 2003
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Savi Technology, a leading provider of real-time solutions for asset management and supply chain security, announced that the U.S.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Savi Technology, a leading provider of real-time solutions for asset management and supply chain security, announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Supplemental Type Certification (STC) to the Savi 602 system, a dual-frequency supply-chain tracking and asset management device based on the company's EchoPoint(tm) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) platform. Savi is the first company to receive certification for RFID technology - which transmits data over radio frequency waves -- from the FAA.

"Systems that help assure efficient and secure handling of cargo in both passenger and cargo aircraft operations are critical to the public's safety, and to the reputation and profitability of the carriers," said Blair LaCorte, Savi's executive vice president of Business Development and Marketing. "Certification of our technology for aircraft use will let the industry benefit from real-time solutions to manage and secure aviation assets and their contents globally. Now this technology can be applied for interoperability across all transportation modes, encompassing air, ocean and land, for end-to-end real-time visibility."

LaCorte pointed out that this FAA certification now makes available technology that addresses industry demand that has been growing over the past two years, as well as federal legislation aimed at improving air freight security. For example, earlier this year Sens. Dianne Feinstein D-California, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas introduced a bill that calls for electronic seals on all cargo containers to ensure that freight isn't tampered with before being loaded onto planes.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that air cargo tonnage will increase more quickly than passenger traffic in the coming years. Air freight was a $13-billion business in 2001 and currently accounts for about 10 percent of airlines' revenue, according to the General Accounting Office.

Airlines and cargo services can use Savi RFID tags and system software to improve the tracking and management of Unit Load Devices (ULDs), and to help in identifying and locating suspicious commercial cargo or baggage. Tracking systems based on this technology can also be used to locate meal carts, removable flight equipment, as well as tugs, carts and other ramp equipment that often gets misplaced or borrowed by other carriers. The RFID tags are capable of communicating with a variety of sensors to detect environmental changes, such as temperature, atmospheric conditions or light, which can enhance real-time detection of potential security threats.

The certification testing was completed with the assistance of United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) at their facilities in Louisville, KY. UPS provided a Boeing 767 aircraft for the ground and flight tests. Savi will pursue additional certifications for other air cargo planes later this year.

The Savi 602 RFID system provides both wide area and precise spot-location information for shipping containers, aircraft subsystems and other supply chain assets, and it serves as core technology for the Savi SmartSeal(tm) security system. The multi-frequency tag and reader system uses highly integrated RF technology to provide both near-range (up to 4 meter) and medium-range (100 meter) location and status data. Based on the Savi EchoPoint platform and Universal Data Appliance Protocol (UDAP), the 602 system integrates seamlessly with Savi's web-based software for asset tracking, management and security, which alerts users in real-time when goods in shipments arrive at designated checkpoints. It also provides a seamless feed of information into existing legacy systems and to government agencies.

Certification of the 602 RFID system strengthens Savi's portfolio of solutions for the air cargo industry. According to industry figures, there are approximately one million ULD-type containers in use worldwide, most of which are tracked using manual or legacy mainframe-based systems. Advancing to a web-based, real-time system offers tremendous potential for operational improvements.

As a result of significant commercial certification experience Savi was able to assist the FAA in developing certification criteria for airborne wireless devices.

Certification of the tag technology involved rigorous testing of the RFID equipment to assure that radio frequency signals emitted from the Savi-designed tags will not interfere with aircraft avionics such as radios, navigation, and flight instruments. It also demonstrated that the tags comply with regulations for manufacturing, flammability and failure.

Savi already has extensive experience in the global aviation industry with commercial and government applications for the company's real-time software and hardware solutions. For example, Savi's RFID tags and readers have been used for years on air cargo planes deployed by the U.S. Department of Defense to move mission-critical military supplies during times of peace and conflict. In addition, Envirotainer AB, the world leader in providing temperature-controlled air cargo solutions for sensitive products, has integrated the Savi SmartChain® software platform, and Asset Management System(tm) and Transportation Security System(tm) applications as the foundation of a real-time tracking and information solution for ULDs and their contents. Singapore Airlines also has used Savi's technology to manage and track ULDs in a sortation facility.

The 6th-generation RFID technology is the same that has been deployed in Smart and Secure Tradelanes, the world's largest industry initiative involving 65 members that are implementing a global security network capable of tracking intermodal cargo containers affixed with RFID sensor systems. SST reader infrastructure has been installed in 15 major seaports throughout Asia, the United States and Europe, and the status of nearly 1,000 cargo containers with RFID sensor systems have been monitored in real-time, which provides greater supply chain efficiency and security.

With over 14 years of global logistics infrastructure experience, Savi is a proven leader in real-time supply chain asset management and security For additional information, visit