Wireless Sensor Network, 2010, 2, 85-91
doi:10.4236/wsn.2010.21012 ublished Online January 2010 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/wsn/).
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. WSN
Research on the Security Monitoring of the Amusement
Ride of Tourist Sites Based on RFID
Jian SHANGGUAN1, Yingchun LV2, Mu ZHANG1*
1Department of Tourism Manageme nt , Shenzhen Tou ri s m C oll e ge of Jinan University, Shen zhen, China
2Department of Business English, Shenzhen Tourism College of Jinan University, Shenzhen, China
Email: {sgj0214 , zhangmu}@163.com, lv_yc@sz.jnu.edu.cn
Received September 23, 2009; revised October 19, 2009; accepted October 22, 2009
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a new techn ology making use of radio frequency to do non-touch-
ing, two-way data transit between the reader and the electronic tag to identify target and exchange data. Be-
cause it is non-touching; it can work from long distance; it is fit to work in an unfavorable environment; it
can identify moving target, it is widely used in industry, commerce, storage, transportation. This paper in-
troduces the application of the RFID technology and its state of development and discusses the general situa-
tion of its application in different fields. Moreover, this paper takes the tourist mini-train as an example, de-
signs a security monitoring system based on RFID and discusses its application in tourist industry.
Keywords: RFID, Tag, Amusement Ride, Security Monitoring
1. Introduction
The use of RFID dates back to 1948, which was first
used in military field and then put in civil use in the 70s
of the 20th century. The focus of its study was mainly in
the medium range (below 13.56 MHz) and low range
(125–150 kHz) of frequency. The amount of transmitting
was 100 per second, which had limited the development
of RFID. These two problems were solved in the 90s of
the 20th century after the change to the study of high fre-
quency (433 MHz and abov e 860–960 MHz).
In recent years, with the development of large scale
integrated circuit, net communications, and the technol-
ogy of information security, the technology of RFID has
been in its applied and commercial use, which has also
been widely used around the world. Its study in applied
fields in many developed countries such as Japan,
America and Europe has reached quite a high level.
Many software and hardware suppliers including IBM,
Motorola, Philips, TI, Oracle, Sun, BEA, SAP have all
shown strong interest in the technology of RFID and its
performance in its applied fields, and have allocated
large fund to promote its development.
According to Sanford C. Bern stein, through the use of
RFID, Walmart can save $8.35billion; and the technol-
ogy can reduce 25% theft and stock level. The American
marketing research institutions have also projected that
the value of RFID production can reach $21b illion in the
year 2013, the annual increase of which is 44.2%, whose
potential is huge. So someone describes it as the second
IT revolution.
As people’s living standard has been raised and the
tourism industry has developed very fast, the number of
China’s domestic tourists’ sites is large. However, the
number of tourists in the tourist sites has also increased
tremendously due to the large population in China. The
tourist sites similar to the the me parks are focused on the
large amusement facilities. However, due to the limit of
its capacity, damage of the facilities may have implicit
danger. Therefore, the application of RFID in order to
have real-time monitoring is realistic and significant.
2. RFID Technology and the General
Situation of Its Application
2.1. The Composition and Its Working Process
of RFID System
A set of complete RFID system consists of reader, elec-
tronic tag (also called responding device), and applied
software system. The basic composition of the RFID
system is shown as Figure 1.
RFID automatically identifies the targeted object and
obtains information and communication through the spa-
tial integration of electronic magnetic wave. Its working
RF module
Interface module
Control module
Data management system
Figure 1. Framework of the RFID system.
principle is to stick, insert, suspend, or implant identify-
ing tag on the targeted object, which once enters in the
reading range of the reader, the tag and the reader com-
municate through the antenna sending frequency signals
and the stage sends its own information (such as ID
number) to the reader, the reader receives the informa-
tion and decodes it and sends it back to the control com-
puter to process it. It can work in unfavorable co nditions
and can be used in almost all trades.
2.2. The General Situation of the Application of
RFID Technology
RFID technology has existed for several years and has
good prospect in many fields and has been gradually
applied to some fields, but there exist many factors to
limit its fast development.
Cost is one of the most important factors to affect the
extensive use of the technology. At present, the price of
RFID tag is relatively ok compared with that of freight
container and cargo pallet and it is also fit for so me high
priced freight, but for ordinary freight its price is still
high. As the technology is constantly improved with the
increase of its production, the cost will reduce. At pre-
sent it still in its small-scale experimental stage.
No unified standard is one of the reasons to limit its
mass production. No unified standard (especially the sta-
ndard for data framework) is the main factor to restrict
its development, and the standardization of data involves
the interest and security of ever y coun tr y. Th e non- stan d-
ardization makes the products of different RFID from
different producer incompatible with each other, preven-
ting different RFID products from inter-communicating
and development [1].
Another problem facing the application of this tech-
nology is how to integrate RFID technology into the ex-
isting system, realizing information interchanging and
the management its affiliating equipment, and at the
same time accomplishing its complicated application of
information exchange with its up per level. The RFID tag
has a strong tracking capability. Its wide spread will
bring new threat to the problem of privacy, which is
caused by the basic function of RFID tag, which can be
scanned from long distance, and the tag will automati-
cally respond to reader and indistinguishably transport
information and any one who has access to reader can
track and know about things other people carry [2].
3. The Applied Fields of RFID Technology
Typical applied fields of RFID are transportation, Door
security system, husbandry, storage and logistical field,
such as the automatic identifying system of the train
number of the railway. The North American railway and
Swiss railway have used the RFID technology to settle
and manage assets electronically. China’s train number
identifying system also has similar RFID application [3 ].
American toll highways and automatic managing system,
automatic toll management of south east Asian toll ways,
the automatic identification and the sorting of airway
passengers’ luggage, and operating management have all
used RFID technology. Parking lot, trash lot, the entry
and exit control of cement lorry, campus card, food card,
public transport card (repeatedly usable charge card and
electronic paper ticket), member card, driving card,
health card, ID card and the like have all successfully
used RFID. It has also been used in the automatic control
of the production line of some products processing, in
large-scale feeding and raising farms and family cattle
raising farms for identifying cattle and animals. It is also
frequently used in logistical companies, automatic man-
agement of storage [4], and automatic identification of
gas containers [5]. Besides, RFID is also widely used in
car remote control door lock, train position tracking and
automatic rail changing system, rail transport (including
railway, subway and city rail), the transit sub-system of
the car-ground responding system of the train control
system, and the city bus rapid transit system.
Because of different requirement of the technology in
different fields suitable equipment to fit the different
frequency identifying system and the cost of develop-
ment should be taken into account to meet different re-
quirements in various situations. In China, tourism in-
dustry is very promising, but promoting its service level
is still a tough task. At present, the application of RFID
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. WSN
is still limited, which is incompatible with its wide ap-
plication in other fields.
The application of RFID in tourism industry is rela-
tively few, an applied case is in a museum, for example,
an interactive RFID-enhanced museum exhibits let visi-
tors continue their scientific exploration beyond the mu-
seum walls [6]. The application is also discussed in the
development of electronic tourism community. With the
help of RFID, an e-tourism community have been de-
veloped to connect and coordinate, which has been indi-
cated by many researches as the requirements [7], Wang
Bin et al. in-depth research on simultaneous monitoring
of the number of real-time tourists in tourist sites has
been done based on RFID and the best monitoring plan
of real-time monitoring of the number of tourists has
been put forward. Based on it, th e main functions of real
time tourists’ monitoring and information managing sys-
tem and the interface model have been analyzed [8]. Fu
et al. put forward geographic information supporting
base based on GIS, and collect information about tour-
ists’ position making use of RFID, so that real-time
monitoring of tourists has been realized [9]. Su designed
a RFID system in tourist sites and exhibition hall, which
consists of electronic tickets, reader, touching computer,
server, working station, computer network and applied
software [10].
RFID is gradually applied in tourist industry, and the
security monitoring system of entertainment facilities in
tourist sites is an example of new applicatio n of RFID in
tourist industry.
4. Security and Monitoring Design and
Experiment with RFID
4.1. The Purpose and Task of Security and
Monitoring of Amusement Ride
The Happy Line is an item of OCT(Overseas Chinese
Town) Tourist Resort, which adopts the international
first class one-rail intelligent train. Along the way, tour-
ists can enjoy the world-famous tourist sites such as
Splendid China, China Folk Culture Village; Window of
the World, China Arts Center, Shenzhen Bay Hotel, Sea-
view Hotel, Seaside Mangroves Park, an d Happy Valley,
and all the beautiful views of Overseas Chinese Town
are within view.
Happy Line is one-rail electronic train with 3.88 kilo-
meters long on an elevated rail bridge. It includes alto-
gether 3.88 kilometer long circular closed operating line
and a 0.48 kilometers maintenance branch line. There are
7 stations along the whole line and one maintenance
workshop. The speed of the train is about 20 kilometer
per hour. Tourists ne ed about 20 minutes to tr avel around
through the line. The train can hold 26 tourists each time.
Air conditioning is provided in every train. Two-way
speaker facility and background music and tourist ex-
planation along the way are also provided in the train.
All the system in the train was imported from Switzer-
land. The main equipment in the train is the frequency
changing and the speed adjusting facility. In normal
situations, 5 trains can travel at the same time on th e rail.
Security is the precondition and base for all work. At
present in our social life of production, security accidents
have constantly occurred, so safe production including
safe tourism has become a heated issue. At present, there
exist two security problems in the Happy Line:
1) The Burst of the Tire
In operation, the tire may burst, which affects the sta-
ble running of the line. It may cause the train to bump or
tilt. It may cause rain to derail as well, which threats the
passengers’ security.
2) The Sudden Malfunction of the Brake
In operation, the train often uses the brake to control
the train, but the brake sometimes may malfunction,
which makes the rollin g rubbing become sliding rubbing
between the wheel and the rail, which makes the tem-
perature of the wheel rise quickly, affecting the whole
operation of the line. The problem affects the tourists’
mood, and may also the collision of the trains.
The sudden malfunction of the brake and the burst of
the tire are the biggest problems facing the line, which
often cause the line to have some problems, such as un-
able to pull over at the station, affecting the normal op-
eration of the line and the tourists’ experience. The two
problems are directly linked with the temperature of the
tire. According to some investigation, when the tem-
perature surpasses 75 centigrade (normal state), the pos-
sibility for the two problems to occur is the big. However,
at present, it is very difficult to monitor the temperature
of the wheel while in operation without affecting the
operation of the line, so the only thing the line manage-
ment can do is to check the wheel regularly by the staff
to prevent the two problems from happening and to deal
with the problems when they occur (The wheel is shown
in Figure 2 and Figure 3.
Figure 2. Front section of the happy line.
Figure 3. Lateral drawings of the happy line.
opyright © 2010 SciRes. WSN
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. WSN
4.2. The Design of the of Security and
Monitoring System of the Happy Line
Feedback (If the monitoring data is not within the scope of safety, the
inspection of Happy Line is carried out in order to ensure the safe operation)
Guara ntee of th e betimes
and reliab i lit y i n networ k
Collection of the
required monitoring
Inner sensors
with RFID chipReader
Happy Line
Guarantee of th e accur acy
and noise immunity in
data tra ns mission
Central Controller
(Monitor or P C)
The system accomplishes two main tasks. First, Monitor
the Happy Line all-roundly and along the whole line;
Second, real-time (there exist a certain amount of ac-
ceptable time-lag) measurement of the temperature of the
surface of the rail and wheel to provide warning data to
prevent sudd en malfunction of the wheel. Figure 4 is the
working route of the system. Figure 4. The technical route of the safety monitoring of
happy line.
Detailed Design of the Software System
Different information identifiable RFID tags are put
on one side of the rail along the line every x meters and a
reader is put in the train. When th e train enters in the tag
identifiable range, the reader receives the information on
the tag and sends it back to the center control through
wireless communications technology (the cost is to be
considered. If the cost is too high, double rubber wire
connection will be used). The staff in the center control
will get the information abou t the position of the train.
Realization of its Software Sy stem
1)Set comm uni cat i on parameter before ope n t he port .
Click “Port Set,” the parameters can be set as above
(See Figure 6).
2) After finish the set, click “Port Open” to open the
port (See Figure 7).
MSG ORDER: Click the button, messages would be
displayed by sort ascending.
The tags with temperature sensor can be put in the
wheels of the Happy Line (the RFID chips are clearable),
and also the reader in the train can send the information
about the temperature to the center control so that the
staff in the Centre control will know the information
about the temperature. When the temperature surpasses a
certain degree, the train in a certain position will be
warned against sudden malfunction of the wheel. Figure
5 is the chart or the principle of the monitoring and con-
trol of the system.
MSG RESET: clear the screen messages.
CTRL OPT: Reader parameters set window.
Thereafter, open the parameters window of the
Set Address: Set reader address. The “Address.” can
only be set once in order to ensure reader’s security. If
you want to reset the “Address.”, you should initialize
the reader first.
Set Mode: There’re two modes in communication.
Track of the train
RFID Reader
Different chips are identified by the reader
Inner temperature sensor
embedded in the tire o
the Happy Line
Temperature data are transmit ted t o the reader
Reader sent the wireless signal back to the center controller
Passive RFID chips are identified by
the reader when the trai n pass by and
used for positioning.
The direction of train movements
Figure 5. Principle of the happy line monitoring system .
Figure 7. Reader order menu.
Figure 6.Communication parameters.
Figure 8. Reader parameters window.
Figure 9. Interface of the temperature reading.
Direct Mode: The reader sends to host once received
data from tags.
Buff Mode: The reader doesn’t send to host until re-
ceived a command from host. In Buff Mode, the reader
can save 100 pieces of latest messages.
Set Interval: Interval is the permission time th at no tag
data is received. It’s set in Buff Mode but used in Direct
Thus, you should choose Buff Mode to set interval
first, then choose Direct Mode. For instance, if set inter-
val as “10”, the reader will send a sentence “0D 0D 07
55 FF FF 52” that means no data received from tags
within 10 seconds.
Set clock: Set real time clock in the read er.
3) After the parameters have been set, the Debugging
program would work now. Click “Direct Mode”, it will
show messages in the reader window (See Figure 8).
No.: Number of tags that sent messages to readers.
ReaderAddr: Add of readers
CardNo: Tag’s number
State: State of battery in a tag, if power is enough, it
would show “OK ”, or it would show “low” which means
the power is not enough now.
Count: Amount of messages that a tag transmitted
AllTime: Total time that tag detected by a reader, in
other word, it’s the time sum from the first time the tag
detected to the latest time it done.
Div: Average interval that the tag received, “All-
Interval: Time between the latest message and its last
second message of a tag
Max: The largest interval
Min: The shortest interval
When too many messages display in the window, and
you want to clear it, please click “CLR”.
If click “Buff Mode”, message will not display unless
you click “Read Buf Data”, then the messages would
display in the Command window.
4) If want to stop the test, please click “Close” to quit
(See Figure 9).
4.3. ExperimentalTtest and Data Analysis
Identification of the maximum transmission distance
between the chips on the temperature sensor and the
1) Measurements in meters (See Table 1).
2) After the first step, if a signal is found in n meters,
but not in n+1 meters, then measurement in centimeters
will be taken between them (See Table 2).
So we can get that the maximum transmission distance
between the chips on the temperature sensor and the
reader is 3.9meters.
Test of the Respondi ng Time
1) Measure the time interval between the first catch of
the temperature data by the device in the software of the
Table 1. Measurement of the maximum transmission distance.
Distance 1m2m 3m 4m N m
Receive Signal or Not YesYes Yes No
Table 2. Further measurement of the maximum transmis-
sion distance.
Distance(n+0.1)m(n+0.2)m(n+0.3)m (n+0.4)m (n+0.9)m
Signal or
Not Yes Yes Yes Yes
opyright © 2010 SciRes. WSN
central control and the first time it began to collect the
data. Then identify the relation of the time interval and
the distance between the chips and the reader (See Table
The average data in the above table tend to increase
with the distance. So the longer the distance between the
chips and the reader, the longer the time the software in
the central control takes to catch the first temperature
2) The relation of the time to renew the temperature
data and the distance between the chips and the reader
(See Table 4).
The average data in the above table tend to increase
with the distance. So the longer the distance between the
chips and the reader, the longer the time the software in
the central control takes to update the temperature data it
has caught.
The Influence of Barriers and the Source of Distur-
bance on the Transmission of the Data
1) In a normal and valid distance, the reader and the
chips are put on the opposite side of a barrier such as
glass, concrete and iron board respectively. The signals
are tested to be received or not (See Table 5).
2) The reader and the chips are put in the maximum
distance available and the wireless disturbance source in
Table 3. Relation of the time interval and the distance be-
tween the chips and the reader.
(s) Test2
(s) Test3
(s) Test4
(s) Test5
(s) Average
Close 5.6 6.6 10.1 5.8 7.1 7.0
1m 11.2 6.0 8.1 7.1 11.38.7
2m 13.8 6.8 10.4 8.9 14.110.8
3m 15.5 12.3 7.1 22.0 8.9 13.2
Distance 15.5 17.1 7.8 9.3 6.8 11.3
Table 4. Relation of the time to renew the temperature data
and the distance.
(s) Update2
(s) Update3
(s) Update4
(s) Update5
(s) Average
Close 29.0 29.4 22.7 29.1 16.9 25.4
1m 27.7 14.9 15.3 22.3 21.8 20.4
2m 28.0 25.0 30.0 28.4 29.2 28.1
3m 30.1 89.0 22.3 34.4 68 48.7
Distance 34.0 31.3 77.0 50.5 22.5 43.1
Table 5. Test of barriers.
Barrier Receive Signal or Not
Glass Yes
Concrete No
Steel Sheet Yes
Table 6. Test of disturbance source.
Disturbance Source Receive Signal or Not
Mobile Phone Yes
Interphone Yes
working state such as mobile phone and interphone are
also put between them. Then signals are tested to see its
reception (See Table 6).
From it, it can be concluded that the main barrier to
affect the transmission of data is concrete. Those that
cannot affect the transmission include iron board, glass,
mobile phone and interphone.
5. Conclusions
The authors try to apply RFID technology based on the
working features and the applied state of the technology
of RFID to the monitoring of the entertaining facilities in
theme parks. The Happy Valley which has a high level of
management domestically is chosen as the object and the
Happy Line is chosen as the object of research, and
through the experimental design, the applied plan for the
RFID monitored rail train is tested, the result of which
indicates that RFID technology is effective in monitoring
the security and running of the facilities in tourist sites.
The paper has designed a software and hardware sys-
tem for the security and monitoring of the amusement
equipments in the tourist sites based on RFID. In the
future, when the RFID is used in other fields and indus-
tries, the hardware and the software modules of the sys-
tem can also be modified accordingly. On the basis of
this paper, other RFID system can be designed to collect
various data. For example, the application of RFID tags
on containers, the recognition and tracking of animals,
the anti-breaking electronic locking door and many other
usages in industrial management. The main deficiency of
the design is that the sensitivity of the tag to the tem-
perature data is not good enough, the data collecting
speed is not fast enough, and the integrating degree is
low. Through further research and study, it can be im-
proved and used better in more fields.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. WSN
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. WSN
6. Acknowledgments
This paper is a part of the research result of the 2008
National College student Innovative Experimental Pro-
ject “The Software and Hardware System of the Security
and Monitoring of Amusement Ride in Tourist Sites
based on RF I D”.
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