Youngsters develop RFID-based access control system for Alathur mosques

System with inbuilt temperature screening facility grants access as per COVID-19 protocol

A team of five young engineers, stuck in Alathur during the lockdown, has developed an access control system based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) for mosques to manage the COVID-19 challenge. According to the team members, the system can be effectively used to maintain any public utility.

The automated access system has been installed at seven mosques in and around Alathur. The system with inbuilt temperature screening facility identifies the person seeking entry into the mosque and grants access as per the COVID-19 protocol. Those below 10 years of age and above 60 years will be denied entry. Entry is also denied when there are 60 or 70 people inside the mosque. The door will be opened only if the person’s temperature is normal.

“People are praying by maintaining a space of six feet between them. If there are enough people inside, the door will be opened only after a person leaves,” said Ramshad Basheer, one of the team members.

Data including a person’s age, travel history, entry and exit time, and temperature will be stored locally on a chip as well as on Cloud. Using a single card, a person can enter any mosque within the network.

Mahal committees have enthusiastically come forward to distribute RFID cards to the people. “What began as a simple experiment has reached a professional level now. Hundreds of cards have been distributed,” said Mr. Ramshad.

He said with the automated system in place, contacts of a person could easily be traced in case the person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Apart from Mr. Ramshad, who is an electrical and electronics engineer, the others who worked on the system were Ameen Ahsan, instrumentation and control engineer, Manzoor, embedded systems engineer, Mohammed Arif, civil engineer, and Akheel Ahsan, architectural scholar. They said the system could be controlled remotely from home or office.

“We used RFID in order to avoid touching. The card can be carried in a wallet and held against the reader to gain access to the mosque,” said Mr. Ramshad.

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