Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID Technology

Midstream Technology is working on several innovations in RFID technology, such anti-cloning techniques, and the ability to use passive RFID tags as remote sensing - for shot counts in weapons to chain-of-custody details.

Give us a few days to find prettier pictures. Otherwise this topic can be pretty boring despite how much time and money it can save. Oh look, the RFID tag goes through the portal . . . and another one went through the portal . . . and another one. Kind of like watching golf when you are not playing.

RFID Programs

We are currently working on RFID programs that involve the ability to track weapons and other critical/expensive equipment within warehouses, vaults, and armories, and as evidence in criminal proceedings. Part of this work focuses on accountability, such as assigning weapons to personnel through the use of biometric signatures (fingerprints or iris scans), identity cards, personal RFID tags, and common access cards. These programs tend to focus on installations or vaults that have thousands of weapons that are hard to track, or have a large number of people that frequently interact with the weapons and equipment.

Passive RFID vs Active RFID

A Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tag is simply a computer chip attached to an antenna that identifies whatever it is attached to, usually with a serial number. The most common difference is that between "passive" and "active" RFID tags. The term passive just means the tag does not have a battery, and it gets the energy necessary to transmit its information from the RFID "reader" or "interrogator" trying to read that RFID tag. Passive RFID tags are the most common tags found in the world, they are less expensive and smaller than active tags (some as little as a few cents each), and generally have a short read range, from less than a centimeter to as much as 25 meters.


An active RFID tag means it has a battery, so these tags generally transmit a lot further, some over 100 meters, they store more information, and some are outfitted with different sensors for light, sound, vibration, temperature and humidity. However, the lines between passive and active tags get grayer all the time. These hybrid tags include battery-assisted passive (BAP) tags and some passive tags now incorporate sensors and more memory to store information.