NATO Samples New GPS-Based Tags, Expands Active RFID Use

Feb 06, 2019—

U.K.-based asset-tracking solutions company SCT Technology has been granted catalog listing status by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)'s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), for use by NATO members and partner nations seeking military shipment and asset-tracking hardware, software and services. The technology includes 433 MHz active RFID, as well as GPS and cellular functionality, to identify the status and locations of assets such as containers, palletized goods and vehicles as they move around the world.

SCT (an acronym for "supply chain tracking") acquired the international defense division of Savi Technology in 2017, including Savi's RFID- and GPS-based consignment-management application (CMA). This software platform enables the management of military shipments for NATO member countries and allied nations, says Eric Gill, SCT Technology's founder and CEO, and formerly Savi's VP of international operations. The CMA provides users with a centralized platform for asset tracking data across nations.

NATO Samples New GPS-Based Tags, Expands Active RFID Use

Eric Gill

NATO has been leveraging active RFID technology for asset tracking since 2004 (see NATO Rolling Out System for Sharing Data and As Part of Lockheed, Savi Spreads RFID Around NATO). Like the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), NATO has been tracking assets via active RFID technology compliant with the ISO 18000-7 protocol, much of which has come from Savi. However, the United States has its own management software known as the ITV server.

For more than a decade, NATO has worked with Savi, then SCT, using common standard agreements (STANAGs) to manage the locations of containers, pallets and vehicles as they are transported from or to NATO or allied nations for use during global missions. The RFID technology has helped the organization to identify containers and other large items as they are read via fixed or handheld readers at some locations by participating nations.

The listing of SCT Technology products in the NSPA catalog means countries can purchase the hardware and software directly from the NSPA at a discounted price, which makes access easier and could further the proliferation of RFID for asset tracking by NATO. Last year, SCT also launched its CMA Interoperability Suite to enable STANAG-compliant communication between NATO, the DoD's ITV system and other partner nations' systems.