Carrier Pigeons Win the Race with RFID
RFID Tags Make Measuring Flight Time Easy
Centuries ago, the Egyptians and the Persians used carrier pigeons to send messages. Nowadays, carrier pigeons are primarily bred for racing, much like dogs and horses.
A few clever people are using RFID systems to make races of carrier pigeons easier to decide. They are following the lead of marathon organizers, who have long used such systems to help race officials time how long it takes each participant to cross the finish line.
When carrier pigeons compete, it’s crucial to find out which pigeon makes it back to its home base fastest. Without RFID, it is often difficult to calculate times, since each home base is, of course, in a different location.
To keep the race fair and to keep scores accurate, organizers can tag each bird with a tiny RFID ankle bracelet. Before each race, the tag is read to identify the pigeon. When the pigeon makes it back home, the tag is read once again, and the time is recorded.
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