February 18, 2019 at 5:24 am #28953
- Topic 973
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Adelaide based nanosatellite operator Fleet Space has opened applications for partners to use its constellation of nanosatellites to connect one million devices via its LoRaWAN/satellite gateways, saying annual costs will be $US2 per device.
It has opened a websitefor what it has dubbed “Project Galaxy” though which potential partners can apply, before 28 February 2019.
The move was announced by CEO Flavia Tata Nardini at The Things Conference for LoRaWAN in Amsterdam (organised by the Things Network, a not-for profit co-ordinator of global, free LoRaWAN connectivity).
Fleet launched the first two of its planned fleet of 100 satellites in December.
Tat Nardini told this author, for Computerworld Australia, last year that Fleet Space had developed its own variant of LoRaWAN, LoRaSAT, because the LoRaWAN protocol is unable to handle the latency of satellite links, limiting the use of LoRaWAN gateways to areas with cellular coverage or where they can be connected to a terrestrial network.
“The way LoRaWAN was designed, it really needs the cloud to operate, it really needs to be connected to 3G,” she said. “So, when you move to remote areas where there is no 3G you need some other form of backhaul.”
Furthermore, she said the LoRaWAN protocol was very chatty which could be costly over satellite links.
“When you use satellites, they are expensive if you have to be constantly talking to the cloud. Every time a LoRaWAN gateway communicates to the cloud it sends a lot of headers and extra information. It ends up being a lot of data.
“We realised that the market was stuck. So, we said ‘what if we insert edge computing and bring the LoRa architecture to the edge?’
“That is what we call LoRaSAT. That means you don’t always have to communicate with the satellites. The sensors can talk to the portal at any time. When the data gets into the portal we have added software that allows you to do edge computing.”
Tata Nardini said the Fleet Space gateways would run a Linux based edge computing platform, developed by Fleet Space, on which users would be able to run applications to suit their requirements.
The company says each gateway can support up to 1000 sensors over a radius of 15kms.
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