Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne, Evigia finalize licensing agreement for next-gen RFID sensor technology

By Angela HardinJuly 16, 2012

System enables monitoring, tracking and securing of nuclear material

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and ARGONNE, Ill. (July 16, 2012)—Evigia Systems and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory announced today that they have finalized a licensing agreement under which Argonne's patented, application-specific radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensor/seal technology and its custom-developed ARG-US software suite will be further developed and marketed by Evigia as a comprehensive nuclear and hazardous material handling solution.

The system, jointly developed by Evigia and Argonne, adds sophisticated sensing, monitoring and communication capabilities directly to drum-type packages, using affixed battery-powered RFID tags that combine a full-range of sensors, onboard memory and secure wireless communications (based on the ISO18000-7 international standard). Argonne’s ARG-US tags are based on Evigia’s EV3 wireless sensor platform and offer real-time, continuous monitoring of tampering and seal breakage, physical shock, temperature/humidity, radiation level, battery status, and identification, alarm and detailed data logging functions.

Our licensing agreement with Evigia will facilitate technology transfer to the marketplace, one of the key goals of the DOE national laboratories encouraged by Energy Secretary Chu.  – Yung Liu

The award-winning ARG‑US RFID system provides continuous, near-real-time tracking and monitoring of the status of packages during transport, in-transit stops and storage.  The system integrates ARG-US RFID tags, interrogators, control computers, software, a database and satellite and cellular-based communications.

The licensing agreement between Evigia and Argonne highlights the value of ARG‑US technology to industry. “Our initial goal was to develop RFID tags to support DOE in reducing operating costs, modernizing its management of the life-cycle of nuclear materials and enhancing safety, safeguards and security for years to come,” said Yung Liu, a senior nuclear engineer at Argonne. "However, the need for ARG-US technology has grown beyond the initial application as a result of demonstrated performance, ongoing development and industry recognition of the technology’s value in the broader market. Our licensing agreement with Evigia will facilitate technology transfer to the marketplace, one of the key goals of the DOE national laboratories encouraged by Energy Secretary Chu.”

According to Dr. Navid Yazdi, President of Evigia, the agreement “enables us to immediately enter new markets with the Evigia EV-3 platform and Argonne’s ARG-US technology and deliver a complete, readily deployable wireless sensing solution for these vitally important nuclear material transportation and storage operations.”

Argonne’s development work is sponsored by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management in support of its Office of Packaging and Transportation (OPT) Packaging Certification Program.  The OPT Director, Stephen O’Connor, said “There is a lot of opportunities for cost savings, worker dose reductions, and enhanced security for DOE in using these devices.  One application in which we are already seeing significant benefits is the use of the ARG-US RFIDs to monitor environmental conditions on radioactive material transportation packages in interim storage conditions.  Doing so allows DOE to extend the package seal life and reduce the maintenance costs and worker dose for performing the annual seal replacement and leak testing on these packages.”

About Evigia

Evigia is the industry leader in the development and deployment of integrated sensor and ASIC technologies to dramatically improve the functionality and cost of wireless and sensing products. The third-generation EV3 platform delivers smaller size, higher energy efficiency and lower cost products that allow significant improvement in the performance and cost of wireless sensing networks. Products in the EV3 family are fully compliant and interoperable within ISO 18000-7 systems.

About Argonne

The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.