The LoRaWAN specification is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect ‘things’ to the Internet and targets key Internet of Things (IoT) requirements such as bi-directional communication, end-to-end security, mobility, and localization services.
It wirelessly connects devices to the internet and manages communication between end-node devices and network gateways. An end device can connect to a network with LoRaWAN in two ways:
- Over-The-Air Activation (OTAA): A device has to establish a network key and an application session key to connect with the network.
- Activation By Personalization (ABP): A device is hardcoded with keys needed to communicate with the network, making for a less secure but easier connection.
To know more about LoRaWAN, checkout this blog:
Our Experience with LoRaWAN
At WeMakeIoT, we developed a LoRa based wireless data logger device that reads and saves temperature data at user defined intervals, and sends data to LoRaWAN gateway.
The system is battery based, and we used Class A LoRaWAN communication. In the STM32 controller we implemented low power mode for reducing the power consumption. To know more about data logger, checkout this blog: https://www.wemakeiot.com/data-logger/
We have configured Dragino and Milesight gateways to receive LoRaWAN data. We have also worked on the RAK gateway using the RAK2245 module. One popular LoRaWAN gateway we have used is the Dragino LPS8 LoRaWAN gateway. To know more about Dragino LPS8 gateway, checkout this blog: https://www.wemakeiot.com/dragino-lps8-lorawan-gateway/
We have used LoRaWAN in an aquaponics system we developed, to automate pond water conditioning and maintaining a favourable ecosystem for the fish. It consists of a master-slave system, the master has several peripherals like pH & dissolved oxygen pumps that communicate with slaves which consists of a LoRaWAN gateway using LoRaWAN protocol. To know more about LoRaWAN in Aquaponics, checkout this blog: https://www.wemakeiot.com/lorawan-in-aquaponics/
Due to its low power consumption and long-range capabilities, LoRaWAN is a popular technology for trackers. It is used for multiple applications because of its low power capability. To know more about LoRaWAN technology based trackers, checkout this blog: https://www.wemakeiot.com/lorawan-technology-based-trackers/
We have used LoRaWAN in smart poultry solutions. The feeder in the poultry farm will be capable of monitoring the health of the poultry birds by using sensors placed at various locations in the poultry house. To know more about Smart Poultry Farming with LoRaWAN, checkout this blog: https://www.wemakeiot.com/smart-poultry-farming-with-lorawan/
There are limitations in achieving very long distances through LoRaWAN communication. Theoretically, it is said to be 5 kms in urban areas, but there are a lot of factors like transmission power, antenna length, obstacles, buildings and weather conditions that affect the transmission range. From our experience, we are able to achieve around 1 km line-of-sight in urban areas.
Despite these limitations, LoRaWAN has the potential to become the future IoT mainstream standard. In the future, the global, national and regional networks have to support billions of devices. With the cost, coverage and battery advantage, LoRaWAN can play a significant role in providing a smart, low cost and highly efficient network for future applications.