LoRa Network - In's and Out's
So what is a LoRa network? That is a question that is a bit hard to answer in a way that makes it easy to understand.
It is a network protocol that operates beneath the noise floor.... Now that got a bit techy! What is a noise floor?
It can be compared to a large room full of people that all talk loudly amongst each other, but you and your friend are deaf, so you communicate with hand signals! This in turn means that your communication is uninterrupted by all the noise and everything that you say to each other is perfectly understood!
The following picture shows an illustration of the concept. The LoRa protocol uses a "Chirp Spread Spectrum" communication at low frequency. This ensures that in almost ALL environments the communication signal will propagate unaffected by the general noise and other wireless communications "polluting" the air!
Furthermore, the signal is exceptionally good at penetrating objects, such as walls, floors, etc.
Enough about the capability of this protocol/technology!
When we started out investigating the apparent advantages of this type of communication, we were very skeptical! Could it really be true, that with a few cheap gateways, we could actually establish communication over a LARGE area?
This picture is of our offices in Denmark. There are three blue circles indicating the location of three gateways.
The location of the three gateways allowed us to create a LoRa network that we use for testing. Remarkably, these three gateways using standard dipole antennas formed a network covering the entire area! From the basement to the farthest corners!
In most our tests, connectivity showed at least two reachable gateways, some even all three!
Of course this is by no means a guarantee for the same results at your site/building, but it gives an idea of the power of this type of a network.
An important factor is the height at which the gateway antennas are placed! This plays a BIG role in the coverage.... The higher the better seems to be the conclusion. All three gateways were placed either on the roof or on top floor just below the ceiling!
If you are interested in exploring the use of such a network for your site/building, we ALWAYS conduct analysis of the best location of the gateways and perform an comprehensive test of coverage.
We document it as a part of a validation process if you are using it for GxP data collection where you require detailed documentation of the network quality!
Please get in touch with us; together let us investigate the network architecture that would effectively cover your area/building!
Use the contact form on the home page, or send us an email at email@example.com!
Long Range network, in short LoRa.... A network protocol developed years ago, used by the military, but now revived as a method of connecting "things" to the internet, the major advantages of this protocol is it's remarkable low power consumption!
Often it is stated that battery life for components using this protocol will last from 7-10 years...
But there are many factors that impact the life of batteries in these products: how often they update, how far they are from the nearest gateway and so on.
As a general rule, you need to read information about this protocol with some skepticism. You should start by contacting us to have an open discussion about your requirements and the advantages and disadvantages when considering building a new system based on LoRa.
In this section we explain how and what this networks is perfect for. We also give you an idea of the considerations that need to be taken into account when planning your project!