Global connectivity provider Lacuna Space and IRNAS, an innovation lab for hardware and IoT products, have signed a collaboration agreement to design, develop and test IoT devices that use LoRa, considered the de facto standard for low power wide area networks (LPWAN). The IoT devices enable users to acquire valuable information and achieve this at an affordable cost.

 

Marine buoy equipped with sensor and LoRaWAN communications module

Marine buoy equipped with sensor and LoRaWAN communication module

 

IRNAS will integrate the Lacuna Space technology into products which will then be deployed by Lacuna Space in field trials in numerous locations around the world. Applications include tracking wildlife in Antarctica and a wave height buoy with LoRaWAN and the global LoRaWAN Lacuna Network. The latter will allow IRNAS to deploy dense sensor networks in a marine environment and support moored applications as well as drifting.

“We are exploring a novel use of LoRa technology with Lacuna Space, opening up a whole new range of connectivity scenarios and use-cases for our global customers,” said Luka Mustafa, CEO of IRNAS. “By using the extremely low-power, long range connectivity offered by Lacuna Space we are able to innovate and envision completely new products that can operate in remote areas for many years.”

The collaboration and test are part of Lacuna Space’s plan of deploying a constellation of 32 small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) to form the Lacuna Network. The LoRa-based Space Gateway on each satellite uses the long-range LoRaWAN communication protocol to receive short data messages from IoT sensors on the ground or at sea. With its satellites orbiting at 500km above Earth, this network will provide ubiquitous communications for devices anywhere in the world, even in regions without wireless coverage. The devices on the Lacuna Network will seamlessly integrate with any LoRaWAN network on the ground when this is in reach.

“We have been eager to get to this point for a long time,” said Rob Spurrett, CEO and co-founder of Lacuna Space. “The global connectivity offered by our network is only one part our solution. We will soon be able to deploy large quantities of devices developed in collaboration with multiple partners that we have worked with for some time, such as IRNAS. There is literally a sea of opportunity in data from sensors in a marine environment. Whether measuring water quality driving policies around pollution, sea temperature for environmental monitoring or tracking sea turtles. The combination of robust devices and connectivity anywhere at sea will open up applications that were considered just impossible until now”.

Lacuna Space and IRNAS have been working together for the last three years to understand user requirements for the internet of things (IoT) and deliver robust and secure solutions.