Savi Technology, Inc.

March 26, 2005
Continuous cargo management system links RFID, GPS, satellite

Savi Technology, a provider of RFID supply chain solutions, and Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp, (a subsidiary of Comtech Telecommunications Corp., a provider of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), satellite and other advanced communications systems, have developed an integrated product that continuously tracks and manages both transport vehicles and the cargo they carry while in-transit and "on-the-move." Both military and commercial customers can mount the two-way communication kit to the roof of the driver's cab, enabling them to automatically locate, manage and now redirect cargo in near real-time while and wherever it's being transported.

Comtech's next generation Movement Tracking System integrates the Savi Mobile Reader (SMR-650) active RFID reader board with Comtech's mobile satellite transceiver (MT-2012) and Comtech's worldwide GPS location and satellite communications system. The Savi SMR-650 reader board reads Savi's active RFID tags affixed to containers and other cargo transported by the vehicle. Then, Comtech's MT-2012 uploads that data (including GPS location) via an embedded satellite modem to a satellite system that communicates with the customer's server and software system. Comtech's Movement Tracking System also provides the driver with near-real-time messaging capability.

Developed initially for the U.S. Army and also available to commercial customers, Comtech's product is dome-shaped and about the size of an old-fashioned breadbox. Logistics personnel communicate back and forth via two-way text messaging with the vehicle's crew about their location, environmental conditions and diversions from scheduled routes, and can redirect the shipment to where it's most urgently needed at the time.

Further, the power level of the Savi SMR-650 reader board can be adjusted. When turned up to a higher power, vehicles can continuously drive past stockpiles of tagged cargo at supply depots or staging areas in theater and automatically read and relay captured data via satellite to software systems - in the Army's case, the In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network, which already leverages Savi's fixed reader infrastructure at key supply chain checkpoints. These new capabilities provide a "mobile infrastructure" that is able to continuously track and manage consignments, supplies and materiel from the factory and ever closer to the foxhole.

"This alliance with Comtech is especially significant because it serves such a highly valued mutual customer, and it kicks off Savi's 'Powered by Savi' OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) alliance program, an important strategic direction for us," said David Stephens, Savi's senior vice president - public sector. "This packaged offering -- literally in a box -- brings a new level of in-transit visibility between supply chain chokepoints, providing end-to-end visibility from the shipment's origin to its ultimate destination, while also enabling users to dynamically manage their shipments in support of the customer.

"Continuous and remote in-transit visibility of cargo on the battlefield has been a concept for a long time, and the opportunity to partner with Savi Technology makes it a reality that brings new benefits to our mutual customer - the U.S. Army," said Tim Moore, Comtech Mobile Datacom's executive vice president, himself a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. "With the integration of these proven technologies, we anticipate this to be a win-win for all parties involved, and are looking forward to the official product release in June of this year."

The embedded SMR-650 reader board acts as an interrogator that commissions and identifies Savi RFID tags at ranges up to 100 feet over the 433.92 MHz radio frequency. Savi's active RFID tags, including the Savi Tag ST-654 and Savi Tag ST-410, which are affixed to containers, air pallets and heavy equipment, have read-write capabilities and can hold up to 128 kilobytes of data, which can include data about the asset as well as the contents it's carrying.

Designed for the U.S. Army and also available to commercial customers, Comtech's MT-2012 is a mobile, two-way text messaging system designed to track vehicles and communicate with their crews while on and off the road. The embedded GPS receiver provides automatic "hands free" position reports and other messages, such as location, environmental conditions and emergency information.