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Architecting Future Smart Agriculture with LoRa

The Global Smart Agriculture Market is estimated to increase to USD 15.3 billion by 2024 comparing to USD 6.5 billion in 2017, with a CAGR of 13%, according to Value Market Research. It is well known that the nature of agriculture is to deal with a great number of crops or livestock in a wide range of area. Crop production, livestock health indicators, and infrastructure efficiency, quality, etc. are what farmers care about. In many use cases, collecting and analyzing the relevant data and taking actions to enhance the process or environment would benefit farmers a lot. A low-power and long-range wireless technology would be a sagacious option as the solution. In a nutshell, LoRa technology could be chosen from all.

As TechDesign has introduced in the previous article “Discover the Most Promising Wireless Technologies in IoT world: BLE, Wi-Fi, and LoRa”, LoRa is a radio modulation (CSS modulation) technology for a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) and suits the applications with low data rate, low power and long range requirements. It implements the physical (PHY) layer for the RF communication while LoRaWAN implements the media access control (MAC) layer protocol.

LoRa / LoRaWAN architecture (Source: LoRa Alliance)
LoRa / LoRaWAN architecture (Source: LoRa Alliance)

The reason why LoRaWAN introduced here is that it is the most widely used network that apply LoRa technology in its transmission process. As a whole, it basically includes LoRa modulation and acts more like a system. The system usually includes sensors (end nodes), gateways, a network server and an application server. There are two popular ways to utilize LoRa for sensor data collections. One is to utilize LoRaWAN, which requires either a 3rd party public LoRaWAN service provider that complies with the LoRaWAN specifications or deployment of on-premise LoRaWAN servers. The other is to adopt proprietary LoRa protocol and place a proprietary LoRa gateway with TCP/IP connectivity which acts as the server on the field and communicate with a common public cloud service or an on-premise private cloud inside customer’s own facility.

Now at TechDesign, Gplus IoT and Reyax both have provided LoRa module solutions for but not limited to smart agriculture applications. The LoRa modules of Gplus IoT are operated in the frequency of 868 / 915 and 434 / 470 MHz with helical and IPEX antenna. The important specifications of LR1276HA-A-868, LR1276HA-A-915, LR1276UA-A-868, LR1276UA-A-915, LR1278HA-B-434, LR1278HA-B-470, LR1278UA-B-434 and LR1278UA-B-470 are listed in the table below for reference.

LoRa ModuleTX PowerRX SensitivityData RatePower ConsumptionRangeDimensionAntennaFrequency
LR1276HA-A-868+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2Helical868MHz
LR1276HA-A-915+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2Helical915MHz
LR1276UA-A-868+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2IPEX868MHz
LR1276UA-A-915+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2IPEX915MHz
LR1278HA-B-434+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2Helical434MHz
LR1278HA-B-470+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2Helical470MHz
LR1278UA-B-434+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2IPEX434MHz
LR1278UA-B-470+20 dBm max-148 dBm<300kbps
(LoRaWAN: 0.3~50kbps)
RX@9.9mA
TX@10mA@+10dBm
<10km15x22x3.2IPEX470MHz

 

For Reyax, SoC of Semtech SX 1276 and SX 1262 are equipped in its LoRa modules with the frequency range of 410~525 MHz and 862~1020 MHz; the maximum transmission distance is around 15km and the data rate is up to 500KHz. Again, the specifications of RYLR400, RYLR405, RYLR406, RYLR490, RYLR890, RYLR895, RYLR896, and RYLR900 are listed in the table below. Moreover, LoRa mini PCIe card solutions are also provided at Reyax as well.

LoRa ModuleSoCTX PowerRX SensitivityData RatePower ConsumptionRangeDimensionAntennaFrequency
RYLR400Semtech SX1276+15 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@11.5mA
TX@29mA@+13dBm
4km13x11x2.2N/A410~525MHz
RYLR405Semtech SX1276+15 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@16.5mA
TX@43mA@+15dBm
typical 4.5km;
15km max
21.4x16.5x3.2N/A410~525MHz
RYLR406Semtech SX1276+15 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@16.5mA
TX@43mA@+15dBm
typical 4.5km;
15km max
53.5x18.36x5.5Helical410~525MHz
RYLR490Semtech SX1262+22 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@5.3mA
TX@118mA@+22dBm
typical 4.5km;
15km max
11x8.3x2.2N/A410~525MHz
RYLR890Semtech SX1276+15 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@11.5mA
TX@29mA@+17dBm
4km13x11x2.2N/A862~1020MHz
RYLR895Semtech SX1276+15 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@16.5mA
TX@43mA@+15dBm
typical 4.5km;
15km max
21.4x16.5x3.2N/A862~1020MHz
RYLR896Semtech SX1276+15 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@16.5mA
TX@43mA@+15dBm
typical 4.5km;
15km max
53.5x18.36x5.5Helical862~1020MHz
RYLR900Semtech SX1262+22 dBm max-148 dBm≦500kHz; default 125kHzRX@5.3mA
TX@118mA@+22dBm
typical 4.5km;
15km max
11x8.3x2.2N/A820~960MHz

Now, you could start to prepare for the worldwide evolution of smart agriculture. Reach TechDesign to get advice and explore what you need!

 

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