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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

New Tech Tuesdays: Real-time Remote Monitoring Using LoRaWAN® Technology Rudy Ramos

New Tech Tuesdays

Join Rudy Ramos for a weekly look at all things interesting, new, and noteworthy for design engineers.

Many use case scenarios exist where companies require real-time systems monitoring and tracking of assets deployed over a large area, confined to spaces with concrete and steel—like multilevel parking garages—or areas too remote for wired sensor nodes to be cost-effective. These applications can greatly benefit from the capabilities of LoRa and LoRaWAN® networks.

LoRa, short for Long Range, is a type of wireless communication technology designed to transmit data over long distances while consuming very low amounts of power. It operates in the unlicensed Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) bands and uses spread spectrum modulation techniques to achieve high receiver sensitivity and immunity to interference. The LoRa specification is controlled by the LoRa Alliance®, a non-profit organization founded in 2015 by a group of companies specializing in IoT solutions. The LoRa Alliance is responsible for the development and promotion of the LoRaWAN® protocol, as well as the certification of devices that comply with the specification.

IoT Networks with LoRaWAN®

LoRaWAN®, short for Long Range Wide Area Network, is a networking protocol built on top of the LoRa technology. It enables the deployment of large-scale, low-power Internet of Things (IoT) networks by providing a standardized communication protocol that allows LoRa-based devices like battery-powered sensor nodes to connect to the internet and communicate with other devices in the network. LoRaWAN networks are typically organized in a star topology, where individual sensor nodes communicate with one or more gateway devices connected to the internet. The gateway devices receive data from the nodes and forward it to a centralized network server, which can then process and store the data or forward it to other systems for further analysis. One of the key advantages of LoRa and LoRaWAN is their low power consumption, which enables battery-powered sensor node devices to operate for years on a single charge.

Use Cases for LoRA and LoRaWAN®

LoRa and LoRaWAN are ideal for a wide range of IoT applications that require long-range communication, low power consumption, and a low-cost, scalable infrastructure. Some examples include:

  • Smart Cities: LoRaWAN can deploy a wide range of smart-city applications, such as smart lighting, waste management, and parking management. These applications can help cities save energy, reduce costs, and improve the quality of life for residents.
  • Agriculture: LoRa-based sensors can monitor soil moisture, temperature, and other environmental factors, allowing farmers to optimize crop yields and reduce water usage.
  • Industrial Automation: LoRa-based sensors can monitor equipment performance, track inventory, and improve supply chain visibility in industrial environments.
  • Asset Tracking: LoRa-based tracking devices can be used to track the location and movement of assets, such as vehicles, containers, and equipment.
  • Environmental Monitoring: LoRa-based sensors can monitor air quality, water quality, and other environmental factors, allowing governments and organizations to take proactive measures to protect public health.

This week’s New Tech Tuesday features a LoRa/LoRaWAN® wireless outdoor module from Advantech that provides reliable, long-range coverage for companies to collect valuable real-time data from remote locations. 

The WISE-4610 LoRa/LoRaWAN® Outdoor Wireless I/O Module from Advantech offers flexible configuration options for public or private LoRa, using the WISE Studio utility via USB. With an optional GPS, solar rechargeable battery, and an IP65-rated enclosure, it is ideal for outdoor IoT applications. The WISE-4610 I/O module enables long-range, low-bit-rate communication of battery-powered sensor nodes with better signal penetration through concrete and steel and less interference than 2.4GHz. IoT applications with small data transmission requirements—a few times per hour—can benefit from a multi-year battery life lasting two to five years and an outdoor transmission range of up to 5km line of sight with a 2dBi antenna. Additionally, the Wise-4610 I/O module supports all major GNSS systems. With the WISE-4610 intelligent modular design, design engineers can easily integrate their preferred I/O module from the WISE series (WISE-S672/S614) into the WISE-4610.

Tuesday’s Takeaway

The popularity of LoRa and LoRaWAN is rapidly increasing due to their ability to support large-scale IoT deployments. LoRa and LoRaWAN networks offer numerous benefits for industrial applications that demand long-range, low-power, low-cost, and scalable communication infrastructure. Advantech's WISE-4610 outdoor wireless I/O module perfectly fits the bill by serving as an outdoor wireless access point, which can connect to multiple LoRaWAN gateways and offer extended coverage to battery-powered sensor nodes and devices in the network. Additionally, it features a ruggedized design, making it appropriate for usage in harsh outdoor environments.

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Rudy RamosRudy is a member of the Technical Content Marketing team at Mouser Electronics, bringing 35+ years of expertise in advanced electromechanical systems, robotics, pneumatics, vacuum systems, high voltage, semiconductor manufacturing, military hardware, and project management. As a technology subject matter expert, Rudy supports global marketing efforts through his extensive product knowledge and by creating and editing technical content for Mouser's website. Rudy has authored technical articles appearing in engineering websites and holds a BS in Technical Management and an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. Prior to Mouser, Rudy worked for National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.

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