LoRa® and LoRaWAN™

Technology Overview

RF (Radio Frequency) devices made by Semtech incorporate a patented radio protocol known as LoRa®. It is a reliable Long Range Low Power wireless communication system for the IoT (Internet of Things), connecting sensors and controls through the internet to machine learning systems. LoRa® wireless communication distances are 25km in a rural setting and 3km in an urban setting. Battery life is expectancy is 10 years in both cases.

Semtech LoRa® wireless RF devices are used in PiXCL™ end-nodes and Gateways.

  • Hardware

    • End-nodes

      • Sensors and controls are connected through the end-node to the WAN (Wide Area Network). End-nodes encode and encrypt their uplink data and decrypt and decode their downlink data using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).

    • Gateways

      • Gateways function as a PHY (physical layer), connecting end-nodes to the WAN. The sensor data in the RF (Radio Frequency) signal is formed into a packet and forwarded in an uplink to the LoRa® Gateway Bridge associated with the Gateway.

  • Software

    • LoRa Gateway Bridge

      • The bridge transforms the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) uplink data packets into JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) over MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) and forwards the uplink data to the Network Server.

    • Network Server

      • The Network Server manages the LoRaWAN™ network. Along with the Application Server it manages the end-nodes being authorized to join the network, de-duplicates uplink data, authenticates the uplink data, forwards the encrypted uplink data to the Application Server and asks the Application Server if there is downlink data to send back to the end-node. The Network Server manages the radios in the end-nodes and the gateways as specified by the regional parameters of the LoRaWAN™ specification.

    • Application Server

      • The Application Server performs end-node management per application per organization and gateway management per organization. The Application Server manages the uplink and downlink data through communication with the Network Server. The Application server decrypts and decodes the uplink data and encodes and encrypts the downlink data.

    • MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport)

      • The message Broker uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) to further encrypt the uplink and downlink data as it moves through the wide area network.

  • End User

    • Applications

      • Applications are written for the end user as web pages, facilitating their use on desktops, tablets and cell phones. HTML, CSS and JavaScript, along with various JavaScript library standards ensure reliable operation and long term support.

      • We make use of analytics, looking for trends and patterns in the sensor data, helping us to come to conclusions that contribute to an actionable item. This can be determining that a cow is ill and telling the farmer about it so he can call the veterinarian in a timely manner. Golf course operators only want to irrigate areas requiring water. They need to identify defective irrigation infrastructure, such as leaking valves, damaged pipes and broken pumps.

Quick Summary
This overview is a quick look at the technologies used by PiXCL™ Automation Technologies. Research on the internet provides much greater detail.