Evaluating LoRa Physical as a Radio Link Technology for use in a Remote-Controlled Electric Switch System for a Network Bridge Radio-Node

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: This report explores the design of a system for remotely switching electronics on and off within a range of at least 15 km, to be used with battery driven radio nodes for outdoor Wi-Fi network bridging. The application of the network bridges are connecting to remote networks, should Internet infrastructure fail during an emergency.The problem statement for the report was “What is a suitable radio link technology for use in a remote controlled electrical switch system and how should it best be put to use?” To answer the question, delimitation was done to exploring Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) link technologies, due to their prior use within power constrained devices.Long Range-radio, abbreviated LoRa, is a LPWAN radio modulation technique and was determined to be a good candidate as a suitable link technology for the remote electrical switch system. The range of LoRa is achieved by drastically lowering the data rate of the transmission, and is suitable for battery-powered or energy harvesting devices such as those found in the field of Internet of Things.A LoRa-based transmitter and receiver pair was implemented, and measured to have a packet delivery ratio of over 95% at a distance of 2 km, measured between two bridges. Data at further distances could not be accurately determined, because of the LoRa transceiver giving faulty readings.No conclusion could be made about the suitability for using a LoRa based system to solve the problem, partially due to an improper method for testing the radio performance was used, and partially due to an inconclusive measurement result.

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