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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 713943, 10 pages
Research Article

Near Field UHF RFID Antenna System Enabling the Tracking of Small Laboratory Animals

Department of Innovation Engineering, Salento University, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Received 12 April 2013; Revised 31 May 2013; Accepted 1 June 2013

Academic Editor: Iñigo Cuiñas

Copyright © 2013 Luca Catarinucci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is more and more adopted in a wide range of applicative scenarios. In many cases, such as the tracking of small-size living animals for behaviour analysis purposes, the straightforward use of commercial solutions does not ensure adequate performance. Consequently, both RFID hardware and the control software should be tailored for the particular application. In this work, a novel RFID-based approach enabling an effective localization and tracking of small-sized laboratory animals is proposed. It is mainly based on a UHF Near Field RFID multiantenna system, to be placed under the animals’ cage, and able to rigorously identify the NF RFID tags implanted in laboratory animals (e.g., mice). Once the requirements of the reader antenna have been individuated, the antenna system has been designed and realized. Moreover, an algorithm based on the measured Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) aiming at removing potential ambiguities in data captured by the multiantenna system has been developed and integrated. The animal tracking system has been largely tested on phantom mice in order to verify its ability to precisely localize each subject and to reconstruct its path. The achieved and discussed results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed tracking system.