LoRa Communication Module

We are living in a technology-based society where we have lots of innovative ideas day by day. These new innovations in IoT communications-based projects come as an ever-growing network that strives constantly to share and gather insight on the latest trends in the industrial IoT Platform.

LoRa technology was developed by Cycleo, a French firm that was bought by Semtech in 2012. Semtech was a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, which today serves as the governing body for LoRa Technology. The LoRa Alliance is one of the most rapidly expanding technological partnerships. This non-profit organisation has over 500 member firms that are dedicated to enabling large-scale deployment of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) IoT through the development and promotion of the LoRaWAN open standard.

LoRa referred to ‘Long Range’ low-power wireless technology designed to provide a cellular-style low-data-rate communications network. LoRa, which is aimed at the M2M and IoT markets, is perfect for delivering intermittent low data rate communication across long distances. The radio interface has been engineered to handle extremely low signal levels, allowing even low power communications to be received over long distances. LoRa modulation and radio interface have been created and optimised to offer the exact sort of communications required by remote IoT and M2M nodes.

Need for LoRa Communication Module

Today’s IoT devices employ a variety of different technologies to facilitate their connections, but none of them are truly optimal for the purpose and application at hand. Wi-Fi is popular at the moment, but it consumes a lot of energy and sends a lot of data. While this is fantastic, it isn’t the best answer for IoT devices that don’t have as much energy or want to communicate little quantities of data. There are also restrictions in the modulation techniques utilized, thus access points can only manage a small number of devices at once.

Bluetooth devices provide local connection; however, their range is quite limited in version 4.0. They also need an excessive amount of electricity. Even newer Bluetooth Low Energy devices utilize far more power than is required. Until recently, the best available technology on the market was thought to be ZigBee low power modules, which transmit across longer distances and at lower transfer rates, often a few kilometres in a clear route.

LoRa Technology:

LoRa is a new wireless protocol intended primarily for long-distance, low-power communications. LoRa, which stands for Long Range Radio, is primarily intended for M2M and IoT networks. This technology will allow public or multi-tenant networks to link many applications that are running on the same network.

LoRa Alliance is a non-profit organization that was founded to standardise LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networks) for IoT. Its membership includes a number of significant market stockholders such as CISCO, actility, MicroChip, IBM, STMicro, SEMTECH, Orange mobile, and many more. This partnership is critical for ensuring interoperability among numerous national networks.

 LoRa is based on chirp spread spectrum modulation, which, like FSK modulation, has low power characteristics yet may be utilised for long-distance communications. LoRa may be used to wirelessly link sensors, gateways, machines, devices, animals, and humans to the cloud. LoRa Technologies works in several frequency bands in different regions: in the United States, it operates in the 915 MHz band, in Europe, in the 868 MHz band, and in Asia, in the 865 to 867 MHz, 920 to 923 MHz bands. Learn more about LoRa frequency bands by clicking here 

How LoRa works?

The LoRa technology-based devices include a modem that connects locally with gateways, which are central process modules. It’s the same way your phone utilises a cell tower to broadcast and receive data. A gateway is a node that connects the sensor to the server. Each LoRa gateway is capable of supporting millions of nodes. Because the signals can travel a long distance, less infrastructure is required, making network construction considerably cheaper and faster to execute.

LoRa also has an adjustable data rate algorithm that helps to enhance node battery life and network capacity. For secure communications, the LoRa protocol contains a number of layers, including encryption at the network, application, and device levels.

Gateways in the LoRaWAN network architecture are connected to the network server via regular IP connections, whilst end-devices communicate with one or more gateways via single-hop wireless communication. End-point communication is normally bidirectional, but it also includes operations such as multicast, which allows for software upgrades over the air or other mass distribution messages to save on-air communication time.

LoRa Network Topology:

Specifications of the LoRa module:

  • Frequency band uses: 433, 868, 915 Mh
  • Mode of Communication: Half-duplex SPI communication
  • Frequency Width: from 300 bps to 125 kbps
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.4g
  • Modulation: Spread spectrum modulation type based on FM pulses which vary (Eg. FSK,GFSK,MSK,GMSK, LoRa)
  • Communication is natively bidirectional and unlimited (to ISM band local regulations)
  • Wide offer in gateways: macro-gateways, pico-gateways for in-home usage, indoor gateways.
  • Lo-Ra wireless modules also support sensors with serial interface (I2C, UART, SDI-12)
  • Lo-Ra physical Layer: Frequency, power, modulation, and signaling between nodes and gateways
  • one LoRa networks can connect thousands of nodes

Comparison of Lora with other Technologies:

Advantages of LoRa module

•      Long transmission distance

LoRa module has become so popular on these days, because under the same power settings, its transmission distance outperforms other wireless module types.

•      Low power LoRa module

There is a long-standing issue in the realm of wireless communication. How can the wireless module’s low power consumption be maintained while preserving the wireless module’s extended transmission distance? This issue was not rectified until the LoRa module was released. This is also a big role in its commercial appeal.

•      Strong anti-interference ability

The LoRa modulation mode of the LoRa module provides excellent anti-interference properties. The LoRa modulation method features superior spread spectrum modulation and forward error correction technology, and it can even recognise and extract data from noise. The better the wireless module’s anti-interference, the steadier and more dependable the sent data.

•      High sensitivity

The LoRa module’s LoRa modulation method applies a unique spread spectrum function to the signal. Its spread spectrum modulation approach may achieve a sensitivity of 8-10dBm greater than standard GFSK, FSK, and other modulation methods under the same data rate circumstance. The longer the wireless module’s transmission distance, the weaker the signal; this is because the greater the sensitivity of the module, the weaker the signal can be received, and it is also the principle that the higher the sensitivity, the longer the transmission distance.

Drawbacks of LoRa module

•      Low transmission rate

Many people are aware of the benefits of the LoRa module’s great transmission distance, but many do not understand why it can transmit so far. In reality, the data transmission rate in the air is sacrificed in order to attain ultra-long transmission distance. In the sphere of wireless communication, the greater the module’s transmission rate, the shorter the transmission distance. Because the greater the rate, the easier it is to attenuate the signal; conversely, the lower the rate, the reverse is true. If our project requires a high transmission rate, using a LoRa module is a bad idea.

•      LoRa module price

Among the many types of wireless modules, the cost of the LoRa module is relatively more expensive than the RF modules of the GFSK and FSK series.

Applications of LoRa Module:

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