Airport being the most important means of international transport, it is observed that each year more than 31 Million passengers and 34 Million bags are influenced by baggage mishandling which resulted in loss of $3,300 Million to aviation industry. A passenger wastes around 1.7 days of his vacation or business trip waiting for the mishandled bag 1. In the recent years, RFID has proven to be a boon for object tracing purpose and is one of the most promising areas for research. The RFID is a very effective, feasible and cost-effective technology for object identification. The fundamental RFID system consists of three components: Tag, Reader, and Backend Application.
The tag consists of a microchip and antenna which is assigned a unique serial number to identify the object and can also store information such as including the name of the Airlines, flight number, bag nature and mobile number of the passenger. The tag is passive and receives both information and energy to operate from RF signal 4. The tag specification is operated in the UHF range because UHF works well in the dry non-metallic environment and is usually used in aviation baggage application. RFID have its place in a group of technologies referred to as Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC). AIDC methods automatically identify objects, collect data about them, and write those data directly into computer systems with little or no human intrusion. RFID methods utilize radio waves to accomplish this. Some tags are even featured with certain computing capability to detect simple data cryptograph and access control. The reader consists of the RF module, control unit, and coupling element to interrogate tags via RF communication.
It has a secondary interface to communicate with backend systems for the transmission of the information stored in tags. The backend applications not only aggregate, filter, and calculate the data gathered by readers but can process the dynamic product data (e.g. location, history and current analysis).
The RFID virtually creates a remote database which travels with the item by making use of RF communication to exchange data between tags and backend applications 15.The RFID technology is being promising not only in supply chain management but also in the aviation logistics industry. It provides a significant improvement in efficiency and security over the barcode that is used in most airports around the world. International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed the plan for the adoption of RFID in the aviation industry (e.g. baggage tag, baggage track, boarding pass, and employee pass). When RFID technology is implemented, losses in aviation industry will decrease by 10% which include mislaid baggage, lost baggage and damaged 2 3. RFID collects information wirelessly as the tags are read by the reader, the received data is to be processed and controlled remotely and this is where IoT comes into play.
The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure 13, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems 612 which helps reducing manpower involved and reduces the complexity. IoT is one of the emerging technologies for future because it has wide application and spin-off 4. In system processors by 2020 IoT will be the third industrial revolution and second digital revolution behind the Internet.
Many companies and organizations are providing IoT services using different sensors. Therefore by combining the IoT and RFID, perfect application is being designed for the Aviation Industry. In reference to other papers in this direction people tried their best to make the baggage handling system more effective using many different technologies. One such method made use of Boarding Pass and the long Baggage Tag (Bag Tag) with a barcode at the departure control system (DCS) 8.
Presently it is done for domestic airlines considerations. They used it for writing data along with RFID and barcode which then led to high costing. Other example is use of cameras so as to have perfect tracking of each and every bag 10. Similar projects were also implemented on few airports but it used only RFID for regular passengers 9. However the use of RFID brought good results hardly l out of 1000 bags were misplaced due to improper input data, but along with these advantages RFID has some problems such as weak safety function and risk via device/tag damage. This is why Airports are using RFID for custom clearance or terminal only, some airlines are using RFID for their domestic flights.
This paper proposes an IoT based air-baggage tracking system for cost reducing and improving convenience.