LoRaWAN: The key to intelligent connection

LoRaWAN: The key to intelligent connection

November 21, 2023 Topics 0

LoRaWAN, acronym for Long Range Wide Area Network, is a wireless communication protocol, based on LoRa technology, characterized by low power and long transmission range, developed specifically for IoT (Internet of Things) applications.

The LoRaWAN protocol has been standardized by the LoRa Alliance: an organization of industry leaders working together to promote and develop the LoRaWAN network globally.

LoRaWAN was designed to provide a reliable, low-cost and low-power wireless connection.

The LoRaWAN network is built on the basis of (at least) 3 structural elements:
– IoT device
– Gateways
– Network Server

The various IoT devices, located in a certain area, transmit data in LoRaWAN to the Gateway covering that area. The set of Gateways (which constitute local data collection cells) in turn transmit to a Network Server via INTERNET (in Wi-FI, fiber optics, etc.). The end user (who benefits from the data collected and sent by the IoT devices) can connect to the Network Server to access all the information collected.

Characteristics and potential of the LoRaWAN protocol

LoRa devices are equipped with a low-power radio chip, enabling them to transmit data over a distance of more than 10 km in the wide area, allowing a battery life in the order of ten years (using a certain number of transmissions and receptions, appropriately weighted according to the specific application).
This is why LoRaWAN is ideal for IoT applications that require long-distance transmission, such as: precision agriculture, environmental monitoring, water resources management, hydrogeological instability control.

One of the most interesting features of LoRaWAN is its possibility to support a large number of devices, making it suitable for applications such as urban traffic management and public safety. It also supports two-way communication between devices and the central server. Which means, individual devices can receive instructions from the server and send them feedback (if required).

LoRaWAN is highly secure, using end-to-end encryption, data transmitted from devices is encrypted before being transmitted and only decrypted when it reaches the central server. 

In terms of costs, LoRa technology is a very economical option compared to other IoT technologies. Thanks to the reduction in energy consumption and the vast coverage range, the costs of implementing the technology are lower than broadband connections.

LoRaWAN application areas

Thanks to its unique characteristics, LoRaWAN has numerous application areas in different sectors: 
Environmental monitoring: LoRaWAN is widely used to monitor environmental parameters such as air quality, temperature, humidity and pressure. LoRaWAN-based sensors can be placed in various geographic areas to collect real-time data and aid in environmental resource management.
Smart Agriculture: The agricultural sector is benefiting from LoRaWAN for crop monitoring, irrigation control, animal tracking and equipment management. This technology allows farmers to collect essential data to make informed farming decisions, improving efficiency and overall yield.
Smart cities: Smart cities leverage the potential of LoRaWAN to monitor and manage a wide range of services, including traffic monitoring, smart street lighting, waste management, monitoring pollution levels and more. LoRaWAN’s energy-efficient infrastructure and long-range coverage are perfectly suited to the needs of a smart city.
Logistics and supply chain: LoRaWAN offers an efficient solution for tracking and managing goods during transportation.
Health monitoring: LoRaWAN also finds use in remote health monitoring, allowing doctors to collect vital data from patients without the need for frequent visits to the hospital.

Our LoRa node: MAMWLE-DVK-CB01

To facilitate the creation and development of LoRaWAN® systems dedicated to environmental and industrial monitoring, our R&D team has created: MAMWLE-DVK-CB01.
This is a complete development kit consisting of a carrier board that mounts a LoRa node. The LoRa node, compact and versatile, is a radio board that can be easily connected to various types of antennas and interfaced with different sensors or actuators via analog or digital inputs/outputs.

The Carrier Board allows simple connection of the LoRa node to a wide range of sensors or actuators thanks to its connectors compatible with the ARDUINO UNO R3 shields.

MAMWLE-DVK-CB01 has already been integrated in several IoT applications, e.g. in a landslide warning IoT system and for the prototype of a smart bin lock, but it is suitable for multiple uses in various sectors.


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