June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.222.1 - 15.222.11
Automated Luggage Tracking System
The Automated Luggage Tracking System (ALTS) implements Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) to read the tag on a piece of luggage as it is being loaded onto a plane. In the real world application, an airline employee enters a passenger’s information into the system and then he will associate it to a unique tag. Every time a luggage with the tag passes through an RFID reader, the location status in the airline database will be updated for tracking. This system allows the passenger to check if his luggage has made it safely onto the plane. It also provides inventory control to the airlines in order to improve their services.
During check-in, the passenger data such as name, address, phone number, flight number, destination and unique tag identification per luggage is inputted into the airline database. If requested, the passenger is provided a handheld device to check the current location of his luggage. Every time a luggage passes through an RFID reader, its information is transmitted wirelessly to the airline database as well as the handheld device built around a 16-bit Motorola microcontroller (MC68HC12). RFID is a growing technology that could be used to reduce number of mishandling luggage which was reported by the Department of Transportation to be over 1.1 million between January to June 20092 .
There are many Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) technologies that have been used throughout the years 1930s and 1940s. The most pervasive ones are barcode, magnetic stripe, and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID). Many experiments have been conducted when the barcode was first introduced in the 1940’s. The first patent of the barcode was in 1949 by Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland 8. The first major application of the barcode was in the late 1960s in a rail car tracking system. In the 1970s when the Universal Product Code (UPC) was introduced, it transformed the barcode technology into a business juggernaut4. The barcode technology has been used widely in many industries and organizations. The other use of AIDC was with the magnetic stripe. The magnetic stripe has been widely used on credit, debit, or ID card. During World War II, British Army with their radar systems utilized RFID to identify an allied aircraft from enemy aircraft4. Since then, RFID has been used to identify animals, automatic toll collection, access control, security, equipment tracking, payment at variety of retail outlets, and many other applications. RFID is a growing technology that can be used for a wide variety of applications from security to inventory control. This technology utilizes “radio waves to automatically identify individual item7. The basic elements in an RFID system are the tags, reader, antenna, and a computer network 4.
Currently bar coding has been implemented in the airports to sort, track, and identify people’s luggage. With the bar coding system, there have been a large amount of mishandled luggage. In the August 2009, U.S. Department of Transportation announced that, the total number of mishandled baggage reported between January to June 2009 by U.S. airlines is over 1.1 million 2.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015