(19)
(11)EP 2 149 127 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
20.11.2013 Bulletin 2013/47

(21)Application number: 08734672.2

(22)Date of filing:  19.03.2008
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G08B 13/18  (2006.01)
G08B 25/10  (2006.01)
B65D 90/48  (2006.01)
G08B 13/20  (2006.01)
B65D 79/02  (2006.01)
H04M 11/04  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2008/002199
(87)International publication number:
WO 2008/113574 (25.09.2008 Gazette  2008/39)

(54)

METHOD FOR MONITORING A PACKAGE, SENTINEL INDICATOR SYSTEM AND LOGISTICS SYSTEM

VERFAHREN ZUR ÜBERWACHUNG EINER VERPACKUNG, SENTINELINDIKATORSYSTEM UND LOGISTIKSYSTEM

PROCÉDÉ DE SURVEILLANCE D'UN CONDITIONNEMENT, SYSTÈME INDICATEUR SENTINELLE ET SYSTÈME DE LOGISTIQUE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 22.03.2007 US 919715 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
03.02.2010 Bulletin 2010/05

(73)Proprietor: Deutsche Post AG
53113 Bonn (DE)

(72)Inventor:
  • JOHNSON, Brian
    Surprise, AZ 85379 (US)

(74)Representative: Jostarndt, Hans-Dieter 
Brüsseler Ring 51
52074 Aachen
52074 Aachen (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 1 626 252
DE-A1- 10 052 941
WO-A-00/70579
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a method and a system for monitoring a package for storage and/or transport of at least one item.

    Background and state of the art



    [0002] It is known, to monitor physical properties of packages during their transport. A method for securing and monitoring of containers and a container with securing and monitoring means is known from the international patent application with the publication number WO 2006/072268.

    [0003] Another international patent application with the publication number WO 00/70579 describes a container carrying a component of a telemetry system. The container mounted unit transmits via its antenna a signal containing data indicating the status of the container. This signal is received by shipboard transponder including an antenna, a first transceiver for communication with shipboard devices such as the container module, a control unit which monitors and buffers signals for retransmission and routes incoming signals, and a second transceiver which transmits and receives signals to and from the satellite via its antenna. Thus signals from the container mounted module may be relayed via the shipboard relay, the satellite and the communications network to the receiver station.

    [0004] Furthermore the European patent application EP 1 626 252 discloses a device for transmitting information about a status of a storage. A monitoring device in the storage contains several sensors, i.e. an ultrasonic sensor, a magnet sensor and a scale to monitor storage areas. A transmitting device generates standardized SMS messages based on the sensor signals and transmits these messages to a receiving device of a supplier via a mobile network to cause an action.

    Description of the invention



    [0005] It is desirable to create a method which allows an improved maintenance of the transport of items.

    [0006] It is furthermore desirable to create a sentinel indicator system capable of carrying out this method.

    [0007] Furthermore it is desirable to create a logistics system which comprises this sentinel indicator system.

    [0008] According to the invention this object is solved by a procedure according to claim 1, a sentinel indicator system according to claim 7 and a logistics system according to claim 16.

    [0009] The invention includes a method for monitoring a package for storage and/or transport of at least one item, wherein data about properties of the item and/or about influences on the item are measured.

    [0010] This method is carried out in a way that at least two sensors are equipped in a way enabling them for measuring the data, wherein a transmission unit relates the data of the at least two sensors.

    [0011] This method is carried out in a way that at least two sensors are equipped in a way enabling them for measuring the data, wherein a transmission unit receives the data of the at least two sensors and executes a decision about a selection of data to be transferred.

    [0012] This allows e.g. a flexible choice, if different data should be transmitted from the transponder to a receiving unit.

    [0013] An example for this is, that e.g. the position data of the item - respectively the package are transmitted, whereas other properties, e.g. the temperature of the item are not transmitted.

    [0014] This allows different qualities of service/service levels

    [0015] According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the method is carried out in a way, respectively the sentinel indicator system is configured in a way, that the transmission unit is a transponder.

    [0016] It is furthermore advantageous, that the transmission unit operates according to a mobile communication standard.

    [0017] According to a further improvement of the invention a logical node of a logistics system decides about a selection of data which is transmitted from the transmission unit to the receiving unit.

    [0018] According to a preferred embodiment of the method, the sentinel indicator system and the logistics system, that at least one of the sensors is equipped in a way, that it is capable of detecting an influence of parameters which require a change of the transmission of data.

    [0019] It is especially advantageous, that a controlling unit sends information to the units (transponders) about a desired selection of data.

    [0020] In an advantageous implementation a user is enabled to make the selection of the types of data to be transmitted.

    [0021] Advantageously the user is enabled to perform this selection at a webpage.

    [0022] The invention allows an implementation of this selection in an operation of a logistics system and/or in the operation of a sentinel indicator system.

    [0023] The order of the user is transmitted to the sentinel indicator system in an appropriate way, e.g. using communication means for communication between the sentinel indicator system and logical nodes of the logistics system.

    [0024] Sensors, which control parameters of the item, the items, or the package transporting them are called sentinel sensors, because the data measured by them allows to assure, that the items can protected from hazardous influences.

    [0025] To improve the functionality of this sentinel function, the invention includes a sentinel indicator system, comprising:
    • a sending unit including an integrated circuit coupled with an antenna;
    • at least two sentinel sensors that monitor at least two physical parameters of an item
    • a determining module for receiving time- and temperature dependent measurement data from the sentinel sensor and determining a current status by applying the measurement data to the trend data from the memory module;
    • a communication interface to the transmission unit permitting a reader to retrieve current status data corresponding to the status determined by the determining module; and
    • a power management module.
    • wherein the integrated circuit comprises alert and sensor status data and program instructions for relaying communications between the receiving unit and the sensor.


    [0026] An implementation of the invention further comprises one or more additional sentinel sensors also communicatively coupled with said RFID transponder permitting the same or a different RFID reader, or both, to retrieve item data measured by the one or more additional sensors.

    [0027] According to an implementation of the invention at least one of the sensors is connected to a memory module which stores predefined/or measured data.

    [0028] In one embodiment the memory module further comprises a RFID transponder portion for controlling the RFID transponder, and a dedicated sensor portion comprising the sensor data.

    [0029] According to an implementation of the invention, the RFID transponder portion comprises alert and sensor status data, and program instructions for relaying communications between the RFID reader and the sensor.

    [0030] In an implementation of the invention the monitoring module compares the status data to one or more predetermined trends, and provides an alert when an impact factor for the item has reached a critical value.

    [0031] Examples for impact factors are temperature, pressure, humidity or radiation.

    [0032] According to an implementation of the invention the sentinel indicator system further comprises one or more additional item integrity sensors also communicatively coupled with said transponder permitting the same or a different reader, or both, to retrieve item data measured by the one or more additional sensors.

    [0033] In one embodiment of the invention, the memory module comprises a transponder portion for controlling the transponder, and a dedicated sensor portion comprising the sensor data.

    [0034] According to an implementation of the invention, the transponder portion comprises alert and sensor status data, and program instructions for relaying communications between the reader and the sensor.

    [0035] According to an embodiment of the invention, the power management module periodically activates the monitoring component from a sleep or other low power state to gather the sensor measurements.

    [0036] The invention furthermore comprises a logistics system for a transport of the package with at least one item from a starting point to a receiving point, which is characterized in that it contains a logical node, which is capable of sending controlling information - to at least two sensors of a sentinel indicating system and that it furthermore contains at least one reading unit for receiving data from the sentinel sensors.

    [0037] A preferred embodiment of the logistics system is characterized in that the controlling information is transmitted by a transponder.

    [0038] It is furthermore advantageous, that the controlling information is transmitted according to a telecommunication standard.

    [0039] The invention further includes, that logical node of a logistics system decides about a selection of a data which is transmitted from the transmission unit to the receiving unit.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0040] 
    Fig. 1
    a schematic presentation of a preferred embodiment of a package according to the invention;
    Fig. 2
    a preferred embodiment of a package with a protective coating;
    Fig. 3
    an advantageous implementation of a package with means for registering items and
    Fig. 4
    a combination of a sending unit with two sensors.

    Detailed description of the preferred embodiments



    [0041] The invention can be carried out in a huge number of implementations.

    [0042] It is especially advantageous to implement a sentinel indicator system which allows a monitoring of influences on one or more items.

    [0043] The one or more items are preferably packed in an appropriate package 10. The package can consist on various materials as wood, plastic, metals or combinations there from.

    [0044] It is furthermore possible to implement a protective coating 100.

    [0045] Such a package with a protective coating is represented in fig.2. In an especially advantageous implementation of the invention the protective coating 100 comprises a bottom 110.

    [0046] To calculate impact factors derived from measured data of the sensors, the sensors are connected to a computation means 40. The computation means contains preferably a calculation means for calculating impact factors - especially derived from a comparison of measured data with a desired and/or allowed data - Furthermore the computation means 40 comprises in an advantageous implementation at least one storage means.

    [0047] It is furthermore useful to integrate at least one power management module. The power management module comprises in an advantageous implementation a power source and means for regulating a power flow from the power source to the sensors and/or the transponder.

    [0048] It is especially advantageous to implement at least one position determination means 50 for determining the position of the package, respectively the item/items contained in the package.

    [0049] One suitable way for implementing a position determination means 50 is the usage of a receiver according a global navigation satellite system.

    [0050] Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is the standard generic term for satellite navigation systems that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. A GNSS allows small electronic receivers to determine their location (longitude, latitude, and altitude) to within a few metres using time signals transmitted along a line of sight by radio from satellites. Receivers on the ground with a fixed position can also be used to calculate the precise time as a reference for scientific experiments.

    [0051] As of 2007, the United States NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only fully operational GNSS. The Russian GLONASS is a GNSS in the process of being restored to full operation. The European Union's Galileo positioning system is a next generation GNSS in the initial deployment phase, scheduled to be operational in 2010.

    [0052] Alternatively it is possible to use a position sensors functioning with different methods. For example it is possible to determine the position between the transponder and one or more readers.

    [0053] It is possible to use at least one module operating according to a RFID standard, a WIFI standard, or a mobile communication standard as Bluetooth, GPRS, GSM or UMTS or capable of performing satellite communication. The usage of a Bluetooth module, a GSM module, GPRS or a UMTS module is especially advantageous as it allows a determination of the position as well as a transmission of a measured data.

    [0054] The usage of the transponder combines the advantages of a position determination with a transmission of data.

    [0055] It is possible to combine one or more different position determination means.

    [0056] The package or a container containing the package may contain one or more sensors. The sensors control e.g. atmospheric conditions, temperature, humidity, pressure or shock.

    [0057] It is furthermore advantageous to implement at least one item deducting means in the package. The item deducting means operates for registering the items in the package and is capable of transmitting data about the registered items to a data processing unit.

    [0058] An example of the item deduction unit is an antenna which is integrated into the package. In this case it is especially advantageous to implement separate receivers into the items.

    [0059] By a registration of the items it is useful to register at least the number of items contained in the package and to transmit this number to the data processing unit. In a preferred embodiment the package contains a communication module 80, which is connected to the data processing unit 40.

    [0060] The communication module 80 is in a preferred embodiment a transponder.

    [0061] This transponder allows a continuous transmission of data or alternatively a transmission of data by occurrence of an event or after a certain period of time.

    [0062] For example it is possible, to operate the transponders in a way, that they transmit data only if they are ordered to do so.

    [0063] Fig. 3 shows a simultaneous surveillance of several transponders 21. This occurs e.g. after a loading procedure of the package. A sensing device 90 for items 20 allows reading out data from the respective transponders 21. These information could contain the measured data as well as identification information, e.g. to identify the items and/or the package or packages.

    [0064] The communication module 80 furthermore allows a transmission of information to a receiver 61 or to a surveillance central 60 about an incorporation of items to a package or about influences on the package or the items contained in it.

    [0065] In the case, that the communication module 80 is equipped respectively it could send a text notification to the surveillance central 60 or to the receiving means 61. By this way it is possible to inform an original shipper about a correct number and correct transport/storage conditions of items in a package.

    [0066] Preferred and alternative embodiments are described below relating to RF smart labels and sensors, software and processes particularly for monitoring and analyzing the transport influence of an item product. The described sensors and sensors act as "live" dates that tell consumers if a product is fresh and that alert before items become perished.

    [0067] The sensor monitors temperature, integrates it over time while referencing a data table containing the transport influence parameters for the tagged product, as may be previously provided or understood by an item producer.

    [0068] The Sentinel Smart Module is a small multi-purpose device that is designed for use when shipping high value items or items where special care is needed.

    [0069] With very small dimensions - preferably a few centimetre, e.g. 1 centimetre to 20 centimetre to each of its directions, it is designed to be placed inside an item to provide real-time data transfer of any combination of the following information:
    • Item temperature data
    • Shock and vibration data
    • Light data
    • Sound/decibel data
    • Moisture/Humidity data
    • Item content tamper alerts
    • GPS location
    • Environmental pressure data


    [0070] Designed for use with either rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries, the device uses a variety of ways to communicate and pass data. With cellular, Wi-Fi, Satellite or RFID scans, the data received from the internal sensors can be transmitted in real-time or on demand. To insure that the device is not operational while on aircraft, three redundant detection methods are used to determine if the module is on a plane.
    1. 1.) The first method was using an internal sensor that detects the transponder signal that is emitted by an aircraft. With a range of up to 400 yards, the sensor could be fine tuned to ensure reliable transponder detection. When a transponder signal was detected, the module would not send data and would wait until no signal was detected.
    2. 2.) The second method was using an internal sensor to detect aircraft pressurization. If pressurization was detected, the module would not send data until depressurization occurs.
    3. 3.) The 400 cycles sound that is emitted from an aircraft is detected and the module will not send data until the engines are shut down.


    [0071] The module collects data from all on-board sensors such as temperature, GPS, vibration etc. and caches the information until it can be sent safely via the desired communications method. Once information is received it is updated on the server and the data is then distributed through a variety of dynamic interfaces. A small audible siren contained within the module can be manually activated to emit a loud piercing sound to enable individuals to quickly locate an item in an area that may have many packages. The module sends email and SMS alerts to shippers and/or item recipients to proactively provide item location and environmental conditions such as temperature. Additionally, if the item environment falls outside of a predetermined tolerance, an audible alert on the item can be initiated and/or the shipper and/or the recipient can be notified.

    [0072] The invention implements the idea to implement various individual sensors in/or to a package and to use these sensors together for a specific purpose or use for the transportation industry and the use in the individual shipments of a customer.

    [0073] The ability to locate high- value and sensitive shipments is essential. With the ability to monitor numerous environmental conditions such as temperature, sensitive shipments such as pharmaceuticals can be monitored and total item visibility can be provided.

    [0074] The combination of digital sensing and a radio frequency (RF) for input and output of sensing data makes possible a new class of sensors, including sensors that monitor and report the integrity of a product, (e.g. how well the quality of the product has been maintained over time). It is desired to have a system that utilizes RF technology for the communication of precision, temperature-dependent shelf-life and other time-dependent sensor monitoring of item products.

    [0075] A sentinel indicator system is provided in accordance with the invention that includes a RFID transponder and a sentinel sensor. The RFID transponder includes a RF integrated circuit coupled with an antenna. The sensor monitors the time and temperature of the item. A determining module receives time- and temperature-dependent measurement data from the item integrity sensor and determines a current status. A communication interface to the RFID transponder permits a RFID reader to retrieve current status data corresponding to the status determined by the determining module.

    [0076] The system further includes a power management module.

    [0077] According to one aspect of the invention, a memory module contains data representing one or more predefined temperature-dependent shelf-life trends. The determining module determines the current status by applying the measurement data to the trend data from the memory module.

    [0078] According to another aspect, one or more memory media contain a RFID transponder program portion for controlling the RFID transponder, and a dedicated sensor data portion that contains the status data, or special commands for retrieving the data, or a combination thereof. The data is directly accessible by a RF reader without disturbing the sensor.

    [0079] In a further aspect, the power management module periodically activates the monitoring component from a sleep or other low power state to gather the sensor measurements.

    [0080] In a further aspect, a system for monitoring sentinel over multiple segments of product supply chain includes multiple sentinel indicator systems configured for transferring status data from at least a first indicator system to a second indicator system.

    [0081] According to another aspect, the status data includes a transport influence log that tracks time at fractions of transport influence lost. In a further aspect, a custody log tracks information relating to multiple custody periods over an item product's transport influence.

    [0082] To improve the described functions, it is especially advantageous that the transponder relates the data from the sensors independently.

    [0083] This allows a choice of services for a data transmission. For example a customer can choose, if he wants to monitor one or more of the following measured data: position of items, influence of shock, influence of temperature, influence of atmosphere or their impact on the item, e.g. the temperature of an item within the container.

    [0084] This allows e.g. a flexible choice, if different data should be transmitted from the transponder to a receiving unit.

    [0085] An example for this is, that e.g. the position data of the item - respectively the package are transmitted, whereas other properties, e.g. the temperature of the item are not transmitted.

    [0086] This allows different qualities of service/service levels.

    [0087] It is advantageous, that a logical note of a logistics system decides about a selection of data which is transmitted from the transponder to the receiving unit.

    [0088] It is advantageous, that unit sends information to the transponder about a desired selection of a data.

    [0089] A user is enabled to make the selection of the types of data to be transmitted.

    [0090] Therefore the user is enabled to perform this selection at a webpage.

    [0091] Fig. 4 shows a schematic overview of a combination between a transmission unit T and two sentinel sensors S. The transmission unit T and the two sentinel sensors S are connected through a communication link C.

    [0092] Those skilled in the art understand, that a combination of one transmission unit with two sentinel sensors S is only one example of a combination between one or more transmission units with sentinel sensors.

    [0093] The invention includes a various combination of sentinel sensors and transmission units.

    [0094] For example it is possible, to combine more sensors of a same type to obtain a two or three dimensional picture of a unit to be measured, e.g. to obtain a graphical representation of temperatures measured.

    [0095] However, it is especially advantageous to implement different sensors to allow a measurement of a different data as e.g. temperature, humidity or influence of radiation.

    [0096] It is furthermore advantageous, to implement a different transmission units. This allows e.g. an operation with a different operation conditions, e.g. with different operation frequency e.g. UHF, HF.

    [0097] It is furthermore advantageous to implement more transmission units of the same kind to improve reading quality or reading velocity. Such implementations are especially advantageous if a reading of data has to be performed quickly and/or especially reliable.

    [0098] In such a case it is advantageous to give the transponders a certain geometry - e.g. in the form of a net.

    [0099] Especially are comprised:
    • several sentinel sensors of the same type with one transmission unit;
    • several different sentinel sensors with one transmission unit T;
    • several transmission units T with several sentinel sensors as of the same type;
    • several transmission units of the same type with several different sentinel sensors;
    • several different transmission units with several different sentinel sensors S and
    • several different transmission units T with sentinel sensors S of the same type.


    [0100] The connection between the transmission unit and the sentinel sensors S can be carried out in different ways, e.g. wireless or via a certain connector. The connecting element according to the invention includes of course as well wireless connections as connection with at least one wire.

    [0101] Of course it is possible, to utilize all kinds of geometry to connect one or more transmission units T with the sentinel sensors S.

    [0102] In one embodiment of the invention, the connecting unit C is formed as a stripe.

    [0103] A formation as a stripe has the advantage, that the sentinel indicator system can be implemented in the package easily.

    [0104] It is of course useful to integrate a sentinel indicator system in a Shipment control and management system.

    [0105] Advantageously measurements are carried out after a certain time, or at a certain event, e.g. by reaching a certain place, e.g. a carrier or a warehouse for storing the package.

    [0106] However, it is also possible to stimulate the sensors to carry out a measurement by a certain signal.

    [0107] Such a signal can be emitted by a control unit.

    [0108] Especially advantageous places for carrying out a measurement and/or for stimulating a measurement are a clients warehouse, a freight terminal, a truck, a plane, a ship, a freight forwarder warehouse and a destination.

    [0109] The invention allows an improvement of the logistics system for a transport of a package from a starting point to a receiving point.

    [0110] The logistics system is equipped in a way, that it contains a logical node, which is capable of sending controlling information - to at least two sensors of a sentinel indicating system and that it furthermore contains at least one reading unit for receiving data from the sentinel sensors.

    [0111] Various units can be used to transmit data to the controlling unit. It is especially useful, to utilize transmission units, which can also be used for other purposes, such as a transponder.

    [0112] Preferred communication standards are according to RFID transmission standards and/or according to mobile communication standards, as for example blue tooth, GSM, GPRS or UMTS or satellite communication standards.

    List of reference numerals:



    [0113] 
    10
    package/container
    20
    items
    21
    transponder
    30
    sentinel sensor
    40
    computation means
    50
    determination means
    60
    surveillance central
    61
    receiver, receiving means
    70
    humidity control
    80
    communication module
    90
    sensing device
    100
    protective coating
    110
    bottom of the package.



    Claims

    1. Method for monitoring a package (10) for storage and/or transport of at least one item (20), wherein data about properties of the item (20) and/or about influences on the item (20) are measured,
    wherein at least two sensors (S, 30) are equipped in a way enabling them for measuring the data, wherein a transmission unit (T) receives the data of the at least two sensors (S, 30) and wherein the transmission unit (T) executes a decision taken by a logical node of a logistics system for transport of at least said package (10) about a selection of data transmitted to a receiving unit (61), wherein a control unit sends information to the transmission unit (T) about a desired selection of data and wherein a user is enabled to make the selection of the types of data to be transmitted.
     
    2. The method according to claim 1,
    characterized in,
    that the transmission unit (T) relates the data from the sensors (S, 30) independently.
     
    3. The method according to claim 1 or claim 2,
    characterized in,
    that the transmission unit (T) is a RFID transponder (21).
     
    4. The method according to any of the claims 1-3,
    characterized in,
    that the transmission unit (T) operates according to a mobile communication standard.
     
    5. The method according to any of the previous claims,
    characterized in,
    that at least one of the sensors (S, 30) is equipped in a way, that it is capable of detecting an influence of parameters which require a change of the transmission of data.
     
    6. The method according to any of the previous claims,
    characterized in,
    that the user is enabled to perform this selection of the types of data at a webpage.
     
    7. A sentinel indicator system for monitoring a package (10) for storage and/or transport of at least one item (20), comprising:

    - a transponder (21) including an integrated circuit coupled with an antenna;

    - at least two sentinel sensors (S, 30) capable of monitoring at least one physical property of the item (20);

    - a memory module containing data representing one or more predefined temperature-dependent shelf-life trends;

    - a determining module (50) for receiving time- and temperature-dependent measurement data from the sentinel sensors (S, 30) and determining a current status by applying the measurement data to the trend data from the memory module;

    - a communication interface to the transmission unit (T) permitting a reading unit to retrieve current status data corresponding to the status determined by the determining module (50);

    - a logical node for taking a decision about a selection of data which is transmitted from the transmission unit (T) to a receiving unit (61); and

    - a power management module,

    wherein the transmission unit (T) comprises alert and sensor status data for a selection desired and made by a user and program instructions for relaying communications between the transmission unit (T) and the sensor (S, 30).
     
    8. The system of claim 7, further comprising one or more additional sentinel sensors (30) also communicatively coupled with said transponder (21) permitting the same or a different reader, or both, to retrieve item data measured by the one or more additional sensors (30).
     
    9. The system of claim 7 or 8, wherein the memory comprises a transponder portion for controlling the transponder (21), and a dedicated sensor portion comprising the sensor data.
     
    10. The system of claim 9, wherein the transponder portion comprises alert and sensor status data, and program instructions for relaying communications between the reader and the sensor (S, 30).
     
    11. The system of any of the claims 7 to 10, wherein the monitoring module compares the status data to one ore more predetermined trends, and provides an alert when at least one impact data has reached a critical value.
     
    12. The system of any of the claims 7 to 11, further comprising one or more additional item integrity sensors also communicatively coupled with said transponder (21) permitting the same or a different reader, or both, to retrieve item data measured by the one or more additional sensors.
     
    13. The system of any of the claims 7 to 12, wherein the memory module comprises a transponder portion for controlling the transponder (21), and a dedicated sensor portion comprising the sensor data.
     
    14. The system of any of the claims 7 to 13, wherein the transponder portion comprises alert and sensor status data, and program instructions for relaying communications between the reader and the sensor (S, 30).
     
    15. The system of any of the claims 7 to 14, wherein the power management module periodically activates the monitoring component from a sleep or other low power state to gather the sensor measurements.
     
    16. System comprising:

    a sentinel indicator system according to any of claims 7 to 15; and

    a logical node, which is capable of sending controlling information to at least two sensors (S, 30) of the sentinel indicator system and that it furthermore contains at least one reading unit for receiving data from the sentinel sensors (S, 30).


     
    17. System according to claim 16,
    characterized in,
    that the controlling information is transmitted by a transponder (21).
     
    18. System according to claim 16 or 17,
    characterized in,
    that the controlling information is transmitted according to a telecommunication standard.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Überwachen eines Pakets (10) für die Lagerung und/oder für den Transport mindestens eines Objekts (20), wobei Daten über Eigenschaften des Objekts (20) und/oder über Einflüsse auf das Objekt (20) gemessen werden,
    wobei mindestens zwei Sensoren (S, 30) in einer Weise eingerichtet sind, die ermöglicht, dass sie die Daten messen, wobei eine Sendeeinheit (T) die Daten der mindestens zwei Sensoren (S, 30) empfängt und wobei die Sendeeinheit (T) eine durch einen logischen Knoten eines Logistiksystems für den Transport mindestens des Pakets (10) getroffene Entscheidung über eine Auswahl von an eine Empfangseinheit (61) gesendeten Daten ausführt, wobei eine Steuereinheit Informationen über eine gewünschte Auswahl von Daten an die Sendeeinheit (T) sendet und wobei ein Nutzer in der Lage ist, die Auswahl der Typen zu sendender Daten zu treffen.
     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass die Sendeeinheit (T) die Daten von den Sensoren (S, 30) unabhängig in Beziehung setzt.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass die Sendeeinheit (T) ein RFID-Transponder (21) ist.
     
    4. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1-3,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass die Sendeeinheit (T) in Übereinstimmung mit einer Mobilkommunikationsnorm arbeitet.
     
    5. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass wenigstens einer der Sensoren (S, 30) in einer Weise eingerichtet ist, dass er in der Lage ist, einen Einfluss von Parametern, die eine Änderung der Sendung von Daten erfordern, zu detektieren.
     
    6. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass der Nutzer in der Lage ist, diese Auswahl der Typen von Daten auf einer Webseite auszuführen.
     
    7. Markierungsanzeigersystem zum Überwachen eines Pakets (10) für die Lagerung und/oder für den Transport mindestens eines Objekts (20), wobei das System umfasst:

    - einen Transponder (21), der eine mit einer Antenne gekoppelte integrierte Schaltung enthält;

    - mindestens zwei Markierungssensoren (S, 30), die in der Lage sind, mindestens eine physikalische Eigenschaft des Objekts (20) zu überwachen;

    - ein Speichermodul, das Daten enthält, die einen oder mehrere im Voraus definierte temperaturabhängige Lagerfähigkeitstrends repräsentieren;

    - ein Bestimmungsmodul (50) zum Empfangen zeit- und temperaturabhängiger Messdaten von den Markierungssensoren (S, 30) und zum Bestimmen eines gegenwärtigen Status durch Anwenden der Messdaten auf die Trenddaten von dem Speichermodul;

    - eine Kommunikationsschnittstelle mit der Sendeeinheit (T), die ermöglicht, dass eine Leseeinheit gegenwärtige Statusdaten, die dem durch das Bestimmungsmodul (50) bestimmten Status entsprechen, ausliest;

    - einen logischen Knoten zum Treffen einer Entscheidung über eine Auswahl von Daten, die von der Sendeeinheit (T) an eine Empfangseinheit (61) gesendet werden; und

    - ein Energiemanagementmodul,

    wobei die Sendeeinheit (T) Alarm- und Sensorstatusdaten für eine durch einen Nutzer gewünschte und getroffene Auswahl und Programmanweisungen zum Weiterleiten von Kommunikationen zwischen der Sendeeinheit (T) und dem Sensor (S, 30) umfasst.
     
    8. System nach Anspruch 7, das ferner einen oder mehrere zusätzliche ebenfalls kommunikationstechnisch mit dem Transponder (21) gekoppelte Markierungssensoren (30) umfasst, die ermöglichen, dass dasselbe oder ein anderes Lesegerät oder beide durch den einen oder die mehreren zusätzlichen Sensoren (30) gemessene Objektdaten ausliest bzw. auslesen.
     
    9. System nach Anspruch 7 oder 8, wobei der Speicher einen Transponderabschnitt zum Steuern des Transponders (21) und einen dedizierten Sensorabschnitt, der die Sensordaten umfasst, umfasst.
     
    10. System nach Anspruch 9, wobei der Transponderabschnitt Alarm- und Sensorstatusdaten und Programmanweisungen zum Weiterleiten von Kommunikationen zwischen dem Lesegerät und dem Sensor (S, 30) umfasst.
     
    11. System nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 10, wobei das Überwachungsmodul die Statusdaten mit einem oder mit mehreren vorgegebenen Trends vergleicht und einen Alarm bereitstellt, wenn mindestens eine der Einflussdaten einen kritischen Wert erreicht hat.
     
    12. System nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 11, das ferner einen oder mehrere zusätzliche ebenfalls kommunikationstechnisch mit dem Transponder (21) gekoppelte Objektintegritätssensoren umfasst, die ermöglichen, dass dasselbe oder ein anderes Lesegerät oder beide durch den einen oder die mehreren zusätzlichen Sensoren gemessene Objektdaten ausliest bzw. auslesen.
     
    13. System nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 12, wobei das Speichermodul einen Transponderabschnitt zum Steuern des Transponders (21) und einen dedizierten Sensorabschnitt, der die Sensordaten umfasst, umfasst.
     
    14. System nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 13, wobei der Transponderabschnitt Alarm- und Sensorstatusdaten und Programmanweisungen zum Weiterleiten von Kommunikationen zwischen dem Lesegerät und dem Sensor (S, 30) umfasst.
     
    15. System nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 14, wobei das Energiemanagementmodul die Überwachungskomponente von einem Schlafzustand oder von einem anderen Niederenergiezustand periodisch aktiviert, um die Sensormesswerte zu erheben.
     
    16. System, das umfasst:

    ein Markierungsanzeigersystem nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 15; und

    einen logischen Knoten, der in der Lage ist, Steuerinformationen an mindestens zwei Sensoren (S, 30) des Markierungsanzeigersystems zu senden, wobei es darüber hinaus mindestens eine Leseeinheit zum Empfangen von Daten von den Markierungssensoren (S, 30) enthält.


     
    17. System nach Anspruch 16,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass die Steuerinformationen durch einen Transponder (21) gesendet werden.
     
    18. System nach Anspruch 16 oder 17,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass die Steuerinformationen in Übereinstimmung mit einer Telekommunikationsnorm gesendet werden.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de surveillance d'un colis (10) pour l'entreposage et/ou le transport d'au moins un objet (20), dans lequel des données sur des propriétés de l'objet (20) et/ou sur des influences sur l'objet (20) sont mesurées,
    dans lequel au moins deux capteurs (S, 30) sont équipés de manière à leur permettre de mesurer les données, dans lequel une unité de transmission (T) reçoit les données des aux moins deux capteurs (S, 30) et dans lequel l'unité de transmission (T) exécute une décision prise par un noeud logique d'un système de logistique pour le transport d'au moins ledit colis (10) concernant une sélection de données transmises à une unité réceptrice (61), dans lequel une unité de commande envoie des informations à l'unité de transmission (T) concernant une sélection de données souhaitée et dans lequel un utilisateur est en mesure de faire la sélection des types de données à transmettre.
     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1,
    caractérisé en ce que,
    l'unité de transmission (T) attribue les données des capteurs (S, 30) de façon indépendante.
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1 ou 2,
    caractérisé en ce que,
    l'unité de transmission (T) est un transpondeur RFID (21).
     
    4. Procédé selon l'une des revendications 1-3,
    caractérisé en ce que,
    l'unité de transmission (T) fonctionne selon une norme de télécommunications.
     
    5. Procédé selon l'une des revendications précédentes,
    caractérisé en ce que,
    qu'au moins un des capteurs (S, 30) est équipé pour être en mesure de détecter une influence de paramètres qui nécessitent une modification de la transmission des données.
     
    6. Procédé selon l'une des revendications précédentes,
    caractérisé en ce que,
    l'utilisateur est en mesure d'effectuer cette sélection des types de données sur une page web.
     
    7. Système indicateur sentinelle pour surveiller un colis (10) pour l'entreposage et/ou le transport d'au moins un objet (20), comprenant :

    - un transpondeur (21) comprenant un circuit intégré couplé à une antenne ;

    - au moins deux capteurs sentinelles (S, 30), en mesure de surveiller au moins une propriété physique de l'objet (20) ;

    - un module de mémoire qui contient des données représentant une ou plusieurs tendance(s) prédéfinie(s) de durée de stockage en fonction de la température;

    - un module de détermination (50) pour recevoir des données de mesure en fonction de la durée et de la température par les capteurs sentinelles (S, 30) et pour déterminer un statut en cours en appliquant les données de mesure aux données de tendance du module de mémoire ;

    - une interface de communication avec l'unité de transmission (T) qui permet à une unité de lecture de récupérer des données de statut en cours qui correspondent au statut déterminé par le module de détermination (50) ;

    - un noeud logique pour prendre une décision sur une sélection de données transmises par l'unité de transmission (T) à une unité de réception (61) ; et

    - un module de gestion de la puissance,

    dans lequel l'unité de transmission (T) comprend des données de statut d'alerte et de capteur pour une sélection souhaitée et faite par un utilisateur et des instructions de programme pour transférer des communications entre l'unité de transmission (T) et le capteur (S, 30).
     
    8. Système selon la revendication 7, comprenant en outre un ou plusieurs capteur(s) sentinelle(s) (30) supplémentaire(s) également couplés au dit transpondeur (21) de manière à pouvoir communiquer et permettant au même lecteur ou à un autre lecteur ou aux deux de récupérer des données d'objet mesurées par le ou les capteur(s) (30) supplémentaire(s).
     
    9. Système selon la revendication 7 ou 8, dans lequel la mémoire comprend une section de transpondeur pour commander le transpondeur (21) et une section de capteur dédiée comprenant les données de capteur.
     
    10. Système selon la revendication 9, dans lequel la section de transpondeur comprend des données de statut d'alerte et de capteur et des instructions de programme pour transmettre des communications entre le lecteur et le capteur (S, 30).
     
    11. Système selon l'une des revendications 7 à 10, dans lequel le module de surveillance compare les données de statut à une ou plusieurs tendance(s) prédéterminée(s) et lance une alerte si au moins une donnée d'impact a atteint une valeur critique.
     
    12. Système selon l'une des revendications 7 à 11, comprenant en outre un ou plusieurs capteur(s) d'intégrité d'objet supplémentaire(s) couplés également au dit transpondeur (21) de manière à pouvoir communiquer et permettant au même lecteur ou à un autre lecteur ou aux deux de récupérer des données d'objets mesurées par le ou les capteur(s) (30) supplémentaire(s).
     
    13. Système selon l'une des revendications 7 à 12, dans lequel le module de mémoire comprend une section de transpondeur pour commander le transpondeur (21) et une section de capteur dédiée comprenant les données de capteur.
     
    14. Système selon l'une des revendications 7 à 13, dans lequel la section de transpondeur comprend des données de statut d'alerte et de capteur et des instructions de programme pour transmettre des communications entre le lecteur et le capteur (S, 30).
     
    15. Système selon l'une des revendications 7 à 14, dans lequel le module de gestion de puissance active périodiquement la composante de surveillance d'un état de veille ou d'un autre état de faible puissance pour prélever les mesures des capteurs.
     
    16. Système comprenant :

    un système indicateur sentinelle selon l'une des revendications 7 à 15 ; et

    un noeud logique en mesure d'envoyer des informations de commande à au moins deux capteurs (S, 30) du système indicateur sentinelle, dans lequel celui-ci comprend en outre au moins une unité de lecture pour recevoir des données des capteurs sentinelles (S, 30).


     
    17. Système selon la revendication 16,
    caractérisé en ce que,
    les informations de commande sont envoyées via un transpondeur (21).
     
    18. Système selon la revendication 16 ou 17,
    caractérisé en ce que,
    les informations de commande sont envoyées selon une norme de télécommunications.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description