The LoRaWAN Project



At the moment CShark is working on the definition of a new project, which we are you sure you will find pretty interesting. We are planning to launch a geostationary satellite into orbit in order to control every LoRa device located in Europe and North Africa. Sounds amazing, right?
If you are eager to learn more, keep reading this article to discover all details related to this new revolutionary technology.


What is LoRaWAN?

LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) is a communication protocol developed by LoRa Alliance, an open nonprofit association created in 2015 with more than 500 members. Among them, IBN and our partner Microchip Technology Inc. LoRaWAN is a LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) networking protocol, created to allow to sensors connected to batteries to connect to one another and send and receive signals while consuming a reduced amount of energy. LoRaWAN has been developed to permit the communication among smart objects through regional, national and global networks: for this reason the protocol can communicate in a bidirectional way and is characterized by mobility, end-to-end security and localization services.
Why did LoRaWAN catch our interest? Because it presents many qualities such as safe data transmission through AES-128 encryption, reduced power consumption, wide communication range (up to 2 kms in high population density areas and up to 15 kms in rural areas). The communication range depends on the position of both the device and the gateway: gateways located on an elevated position grant a wider range compared to ground level gateways.


Technical characteristics:

LoRaWAN employs three different device classes:

  • Class A - Battery powered devices which open two windows for commands as soon as an uplink is sent to the server;
  • Class B - Battery powered devices with two windows and an extra window for downlinks. The additional window is opened in planned times and it is synchronized with the server through a gateway beacon. The window allows the server to know when the device is "listening";
  • Class C - Devices powered electrically with windows for downlinks always open (except during the transmission process).


For communication security LoRaWAN uses two types of symmetrical keys, which are unique for each LoRa device.

  • NwkSkey: Used to guarantee the integrity of the message from the device to the network server;
  • AppSkey: Used for end-to-end AES-128 encryption from the device to the application server.


Today LoRaWAN is employed for a wide range of services:

  • Smart Parking;
  • Air Pollution Monitoring;
  • Fire Detection;
  • Home Security;
  • Smart Lighting;
  • Waste Management;
  • Fleet Tracking;
  • Agriculture Processing.


Satellite & Picocells

The CShark team aims to launch a geostationary satellite with gateway function in order to allow the connection and communication among over 65.000 devices. Being into orbit, the satellite will have the possibility to act on a bigger number of devices compared to any ground level gateway. This means it will no longer be necessary to use picocells, small radio cells with low transmission capacity mainly used to transmit signals in enclosed settings. Consequently it will be possible to save resources needed for the realization of radio cells and to optimize costs. Another confirmation that satellite technology and radio-communications can be mixed in a winning combination for today's society.