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The “Rabbit” (Radio Automated Belt for Baggage Information and Tracking) project is procedure that controls, manages and tracks baggage, conceived for application in ports and airports.
This system enables the presence of a baggage items to be known along a pre-set journey. It is particularly useful for airport baggage handling. The procedures currently used in airports do not indeed allow lost baggage to be searched for automatically, and baggage can be matched with its owners only after costly manual intervention as the system used is based on barcode reading and requires that the baggage label be seen directly.
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The “Rabbit” project overcomes all the problems arising from barcode-based baggage handling as it is based on RFId (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. This system detects the identity, characteristics and location of baggage with 100% certainty by means of radio waves.
RFId technology allows access to an unlimited amount of data saved on a label that does not need to be seen directly. The data can therefore be automatically exchanged remotely without any physical contact between chip and reader and without the need for operators to make visual or manual checks of the baggage. The system consists of an RFId label applied onto the baggage items, reader aerials located along the journey to monitor (between baggage departure and arrival stations) and an IT system to process the data picked up from the chip-label. The RFId label is applied to the baggage at check-in together with the barcode. The reading process starts here and continues at pre-planned stages along the route: check-in, screening, loading into the airplane hold, and delivery at the destination airport.
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The Rabbit Project ensures that baggage and passengers are matched automatically and it certifies that the baggage has passed through security screening. Last but not least, it allows for automatic baggage searching. The advantages from using the “Rabbit” system are therefore both organizational and financial. The complete automation of the system means that:
• operator intervention is reduced;
• baggage search times and costs fall;
• airplane waiting times and costs are reduced;
• security screening of all the baggage is guaranteed;
• the system integrates with current working procedures.