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RFID testing image

SAIT’s Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Test Lab is one of only three in the world accredited to perform official standardized electronic tests for RFID tags.

Revamping the lab’s equipment started in 2013 with a $475,000 grant from the Province of Alberta. By 2015, it was accredited by the International Standard Organization (ISO), and the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) in 2016.

The lab is part of SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services new Centre for Innovative Information Technology Solutions, created in 2016.

Research area and purpose

The ISO-certified RFID Test Lab evaluates new animal recording and tracking technologies against regulatory requirements on behalf of ICAR. In addition, the lab’s specialized RFID equipment allows organizations to develop novel RFID solutions in a vendor-neutral environment prior to full-scale roll out.

Lab service offerings

Accredited testing services

SAIT’s RFID Test Lab offers testing aligned to the ISO 24631-1, evaluation of conformance of RFID transponders with ISO 11784 and ISO 11785 (including granting and use of a manufacturer code). There are three testing categories in the ISO 24631-1 standard:

  • Category A, full conformance: 50 specimens are tested for data accuracy
  • Category B, limited conformance: 10 specimens tested for data accuracy
  • Category C, listing update: 10 specimens tested against submitted manufacturer codes

Non-accredited testing services (pre-testing)

Some countries, including Canada, require more stringent testing for local weather conditions, according to recent framework outlined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The framework outlines electrical and mechanical testing at much more extreme temperatures than specified in the ISO 24631-1 and ISO 24631-3 standards. For the electrical transponder tests, the RFID lab performs the ISO 24631-1 listing update test under three environmental conditions: -35C (low humidity), +20C,+40C (40 – 80 %RH). The RFID lab also provides testing for mechanical insertion and decoupling of animal identifiers. Testing is performed on an Instron 8801 test system.

Facility highlights

  • Ultra-high frequency (UHF), Radio-frequency identification (RFID) label printers
  • 10 enterprise-grade, fixed, UHF-RFID scanners (30-dBm reader, up to 10 meters)
  • Two enterprise-grade, mobile, UHF-RFID scanners (20-dBm reader, up to 5 meters)
  • Nine directional UHF-RFID antennae systems
  • Cisco wireless domain services (WDS) system
  • Aeroscout Real-Time Location System (RTLS)
  • National Instruments PXI (PCI Extensions for Instrumentation), UHF-RFID development unit
  • Fixed, modular UHF RFID gateway
  • Enterprise level HP servers and Cisco switching equipment
  • Electronics development and testing tools
  • Rugged HD video and photo capture equipment
  • Field-programmable gate array (FPGA) development kits

For more information:
Robert Davies
Manager, Principal Investigator