Accurate Spatial Calibration of RFID Antennas via Spinning Tags

Chunhui Duan, Lei Yang, Yunhao Liu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Recent years have witnessed the advance of RFID-based localization techniques that demonstrate high precision. Many efforts have been made locating RFID tags with a mandatory assumption that the RFID reader's position is known in advance. Unfortunately, calibrating reader's location manually is always time-consuming and laborious in practice. In this paper, we present Tagspin, an approach using COTS tags to pinpoint the reader (antenna) quickly and easily with high accuracy. Tagspin enables each tag to emulate a circular antenna array by uniformly spinning on the edge of a rotating disk. We design an SAR-based method for estimating the angle spectrum of the target reader. Compared to previous AoA-based techniques, we employ an enhanced power profile modeling the signal power received from the reader along different spatial directions, which is more accurate and immune to ambient noise as well as measurement errors caused by hardware characteristics. Besides, we find that tag's phase measurements in practice are related to its orientation. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to point out this fact and quantify the relationship between them. By calibrating the phase shifts caused by orientation, the positioning accuracy can be improved by 3.7×. We have implemented Tagspin withCOTS RFID devices and evaluated it extensively. Experimentalresults show that Tagspin achieves mean accuracy of 7.3cm with standard deviation of 1.8cm in 3D space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2016 IEEE 36th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2016
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781509014828
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2016
Event36th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2016 - Nara, Japan
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016


Conference36th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2016


  • reader localization
  • RFID
  • Tagspin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software


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