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One of the aspects of IoT solutions is obviously connectivity. In areas where there is a wide range of options for connecting to the Internet, power requirements and network range may not be an issue.

However, where communications coverage is poor or even non-existent and where there is not always access to electricity, technologies that can help overcome these shortcomings are welcome.

The contribution of LoRA technology

In this sense, LoRa technology solves both the reach of the network and the lack of electricity. Is that LoRa allows devices to communicate up to 30 km in the open field, with minimal power consumption in remote nodes.

LoRa is a spread spectrum type modulation technology. This allows it to tolerate noise, multiple signal paths, and the Doppler shift, while keeping power consumption very low. The cost of achieving this is bandwidth, which is very low compared to other wireless technologies.

However, this is not a problem when we are talking about sensors that send only a few bytes of information in time windows ranging from seconds to minutes, which is generally the case for sensors used for IoT applications.

lorawan

Low power consumption, with proper design and configuration, can keep a sensor powered by a coin-cell battery for several years (typical cases say 3-5 years). Of course, the duration of the battery charge will depend on many factors, such as the time window in which the device is idle (or active), the hardware involved, and the operating temperature, among others.

Even so, in the worst case, an energy harvesting method can be used, taking it from the environment in the form of solar radiation, heat, vibrations or even electromagnetic energy.

The impact of LoRa on IoT projects

LoRa technology is gaining a lot of momentum in its use through LoRaWAN, which is a medium access control standard. Through this specification, it is possible to manage the communication of wireless devices that use different technologies in the physical layer, including LoRa.

It is important to differentiate both technologies, since LoRa talks about the physical layer (layer 1 of the OSI model), that is, the type of modulation, the bandwidth, the frequency, etc; while LoRaWAN establishes the way in which communications will be carried out (it would correspond to layers 2 and 3 of the OSI model).

There are a multitude of aspects about this technology, but in order not to lengthen this article any longer, I will leave content for the next installment. In the end, the important thing is to know that LoRa and LoRaWAN technologies are here to stay and revolutionize IoT solutions.

If you are interested in learning more about this technology, here are some links.

Site of The Things Networks, where you will find a lot of information, tutorials, communities and more.

https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/docs/

Site of The LoRa Alliance, where you will find all the technical information about LoRa.

https://lora-alliance.org/


3 Comments

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