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Digital Angel Completes RFID Antenna Project at Bonneville Dam

  • April 10 2006, 1:00am EDT

Digital Angel Corporation, an advanced technology company in the field of rapid and accurate identification, location tracking and condition monitoring of high-value assets, announced that its 16-foot by 16-foot RFID (radio frequency identification) antenna designed to electronically track the salmon population in the Columbia River in Oregon will be installed today near the Bonneville Lock and Dam. The antenna, thought to be the world's largest RFID tower, was developed by Digital Angel in conjunction with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

The antenna will be placed in the Bonneville Corner Collector, a high-flow, multi-million dollar surface bypass route developed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the BPA to move fish safely past the Bonneville Lock and Dam. The antenna is capable of electronically detecting previously tagged fish in only 1/30th of a second. Digital Angel is a leader in developing microchips for tagging fish and large RFID antenna systems that, despite their size, can detect and read the standard fisheries encapsulated tags only 12 millimeters long.

When salmon tagged with the passive integrated transponder (PIT) microchips pass through the antenna, the antenna turns on the PIT tag and the PIT tag in turn sends a unique identifying number to operators of the database where important information such as the species, journey origin and age of each fish is logged. Such information is critical for maintaining healthy ecosystems for the indigenous fish population.

Since the early 1990s, Digital Angel has been developing, manufacturing and installing implantable passive integrated transponders and reader systems for the federal Columbia and Snake River hydroelectric projects. For the past two years, the Company has been working on the development of large antenna systems, specifically for the Bonneville Corner Collector.

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