Smart irrigation and environmental monitoring in the fields of Trentino Alto Adige
We are deploying and testing smart irrigation systems and environmental monitoring solutions for improving wine and apple and production in different areas of our region. Through our LoRaWAN network infrastructure we gather in real time soil and environmental conditions data (soil moisture and temperature, air temperature and humidity, frost conditions and others) in different parts of farmers' plots and for different types of crop. Monitored data are then stored in a common IoT platform but securely shared individually with different end-users (farmers and agronomists) as in the case of Cantina Roverè della Luna experimentation and apple orchards deployments in South Tyrol. Through these collaborations we also study the design of specific applications that help optimise and track irrigation water usage and execution of plant treatments.
Prototyping and Test of a LoRaWAN-enabled GPS Tracker
Geo-positioning of connected devices can enable valuable services in an outdoor setting: this feature can find applicability in multiple cases like: fleet tracking, elderly or disabled people, animals, valuable items and many more. LoRa technology can offer support to geo-localization services with a certain grade of approximation, but when the need is to be capable to position connected objects in the range of meters, a suitable solution is to combine of a GPS sensor with LoRaWAN as communication infrastructure, to allow real time tracking of a given object. In this experiment, performed jointly by FBK OpenIoT Research Group and Universitè Nice Sophia Antipolis, a prototype has been developed using open hardware and open software and tested on the ExpLoRaNet infrastructure to evaluate position communication, energy efficiency and durability of a battery-powered LoRaWAN GPS traker. Different factors influence durability of batteries: primary influence is given by the frequency of GPS data communication and by energy consumption of the specific hardware selected for the GPS sensor; secondly, also relevant are the energy consumption levels of the processing board and of LoRa transceiver. Other relevant factors to be considered are the efficiency of the antenna and the different implementations for software logic to manage the state of the device (management of “sleep” mode).
In the SenSAT project ExpLoRaNet infrastructure has been used to demonstrate applicability of IoT connectivity in mountain regions. FBK together with students of different schools in Trentino have developed a smart solution to monitor the air quality in mountain lodges, in order to contribute to the hospitality offered, and to become an additional tool as far as facility safety is concerned, allowing for detection of possible fire events in their initial stages. In this context, LoRaWAN connectivity allows to collect data from remote sensors and to implement a centralized monitoring solution to control different mountain locations at the same time from a central office.
Environmental Monitoring of FBK Buildings
LoRaWAN is a wireless technology capable to penetrate dense materials and thus suitable for indoor monitoring applications. In this experiment we have tested and used a portion of the ExpLoRaNet infrastructure deploying two LoRaWAN Gateways on the roofs of two nearby buildings of FBK, to connect small and low cost environmental monitoring nodes positioned within different FBK offices and laboratories. These sensors allow to monitor in real time a set of relevant environmental parameters (temperature, humidity and air quality levels) impacting quality of work environments. In this experiment we have also created a map of RSSI and SNR levels to evaluate specific coverage of LoRaWAN signal in the various portions of buildings, under different protocol configurations and evaluating the related performances of communication.