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DoD Plans To Deploy RFID In Operations With 24 Nations

The goal to share information and create interoperability among nations hasn't been easy to pull off.

The Department of Defense said Thursday it intends to move forward on plans to use active radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to support collaborative military coalition operations with 24 countries. The partner list was made final late last month.

The group, including Japan, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) country members will use consistent standards to share information based on International Organization for Standards (ISO) data formats.

Final details are being hashed out and closely defined among the group, but at the AIM Global conference in Newport Beach, Calif., Dan Kimball, lead technical advisor for the Department of Defense Logistics AIT Office, said the government agency has received letters of intent from the 24 nations that intend to participate.

The goal to share information and create interoperability between nations hasn't been an easy task. "Herding kittens is sometimes easier than getting something like this done," Kimball said. "Clearly the most difficult problem we have is language."

The tag data routing code stored at the beginning of the active RFID tag, which requires a power source to transmit the data signal, will identify the country of origin. Coalition members have agreed to transmit securely via the Web the tag number and when and where it was read. Kimball said unless someone has access to the host nation's database that connects the tag number with the manifest.

While the Department of Defense embeds the entire manifest on the tag, the NATO countries do not. Kimball said each country participant will control the amount of information on the tag.

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