IRNAS Drone Mapping for LoRa and IoT communications

IoT Drone Mapping

We have developed an automated drone RF mapping solution!

IoT low-power long range networks have become widespread and very useful in applications ranging from outdoor agricultural and nature observation systems to indoor manufacturing, storage and health and safety applications. The common problem of all these deployments is being unable to clearly map and understand the radio coverage in more complex situations as well as to optimize it for cost effective deployments at scale. We have developed an automated drone RF mapping solution, enabling our customers and ourselves to evaluate the performance of their gateway, exactly determine the coverage, understand the effect of the environment on signal coverage as well as rapidly test potential gateway locations prior to prematurely investing in infrastructure and map the radio coverage over large areas and urban environments alike.

Drone Mapping

Key Benefits of IRNAS IoT Drone Mapping

Optimized gateway position to minimize node power consumption and on-site maintenance.
Increasing reliability of the network.
Decreasing the duration of the sensor network roll-out.
Gateway antenna pattern measurement for optimization of geo-location algorithms.
Understanding LoRaWAN public infrastructure coverage in a given area.

Drone Mapping

IRNAS IoT Drone Mapping Offer

Our offer includes drone mapping technology and expertise:

Development of Drone mapping technology:
- open source path generation tools,
- open source datapoint visualisation and processing,
- advanced analysis as a service.
Drone mapping attachment sales.
Decreasing the duration of the sensor network roll-out.
Training of drone operators for RF mapping.
Analysis of drone mapping results as a service:
- 3D antenna pattern analysis,
- gateway positioning optimization consultancy,
- data generation for straightforward import into radio planning solutions.

Drone Mapping

Optimising LoRa gateway position

Gateways in LoRa and LoraWAN networks are the interface between a large area with a significant number of nodes and the cloud. There are a number of scenarios for network coverage provisioning, ranging from public gateway infrastructure to dedicated gateways for specific project and private networks for a particular deployment or a scale deployment of pico gateways. The common factor when rolling out a reliable network is understanding the existing coverage in a given area and determining what coverage has been achieved once gateways have been deployed.

Consider the following scenarios:

Drone Mapping

No gateways in the area

Rolling-out a network to provide connectivity for a new application, where locations of nodes are known. With drone mapping you can rapidly determine the best location for the gateway to provide communication to all nodes. Test the gateway position on a building, tower or other structure by flying the drone next to it, prior to investing into fixed deployment to an incorrect location.

Large-area coverage roll-out

Rrequiring a deployment of multiple gateways. To optimize their placement, avoid coverage blind spots due to land cover and increase the battery life of nodes, the coverage of gateways during deployment can be measured with drone mapping and adjusted in the process to create best coverage with minimal effort and equipment.

Partial public network coverage

Where some nodes will be able to connect to existing infrastructure of which coverage may be unknown and some nodes will have no connectivity. With drone mapping the existing coverage in areas of interest can be rapidly determined, blinds spots identified and the locations of additional gateways determined.

Extending the battery life of node devices

The low power nature of LoRaWAN devices enables their battery only operation for a number of years, however it is significantly depending on the signal quality and spreading-factor required to send the information. For example the lower SF7 rate will transmit the message in about 60 ms, while the higher SF12 will require about 1700 ms for the same message, using 28 times more power when transmitting and the operation on a single charge will be that many times shorter, increasing the operating costs of the devices significantly. For example for 1000 devices with battery operation in a given area, if some operate at SF12, they will need to be replaced annually, creating significant costs which can be minimized by using the drone mapping to find optimal gateway positions. Should 30% of devices in the given example require replacing annually, we project the servicing cost in the range of 60.000 EUR annually for the lifespan of devices. Drone mapping and optimization costs are significantly lower than annual cost of servicing.

Drone Mapping

Easy deployment

Drone mapping and testing is of significant help to the field deployment team and while planning the network. One can easily place a mobile gateway, evaluate its coverage and test how high it has to be mounted to achieve desired connectivity from test nodes. Check if trees, forrest and other obstacles will limit the performance.

Drone Mapping

Advanced radio coverage mapping by real-world antenna radiation pattern characterization

Drone mapping uniquely empowers the network operator to understand the radiation pattern of the antenna measured in real-world and thus this information can be used as an input to radio coverage planning software to produce more accurate coverage patterns and other parameters, such as RSSI based geolocation.

Find out more about IoT drone mapping in the video of a talk that we had at The Things Network conference.

Drone Mapping

Development, Manufacturing and Consulting

We also offer a complete development service of end-to-end IoT solutions for specialized use-cases:

Mechanical engineering

Electronics and firmware development

Software development

Deployment procedure preparation and Field testing

Device manufacturing

On-site support

Contact us with your idea and let's work together to make it a reality!

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