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The enabling infrastructure of smart cities

Network server ptNetSuite

The Network Server is the heart of a  network to which all gateways connect, transferring the information collected by the end-nodes. It receives and stores information, eliminating unwanted or duplicate packets.

A2A SMARTCITY SOLUTION

PtNetSuite network, developed by Patavina Technologies S.r.l., has many years of experience in development and field testing.

The LoRa® modulation

LoRa®  is acronym of Long Range. It is a technique conceived by Semtech that enables long-range communications competitive with today’s technologies. The modulation is based on  spread spectrum techniques and on the frequency variation (chirp) of the spectrum, with FEC error correction.

LoRa® improves the receiver’s sensitivity by using the entire channel band to transmit a broadcast signal. This makes it robust to noises and insensitive to frequency offsets, typical of low price devices. Moreover, unlike many FSK (Frequency Shift Keying) systems, it can demodulate signals with SNR down to -19.5 dB.

LoRa® modulation is the physical (PHY) layer that can be implemented on different network topologies and protocols such as Mesh, Star, 6lowPAN, etc.

LoRaWAN®  protocol

The LoRaWAN® protocol has been defined by the LoRa Alliance® leveraging the LoRa® physical layer to ensure interoperability between the various networks of different countries.

The standard defines the architecture, protocols and applications of the “Low Power Wide Area Network” or LPWAN, i.e. networks designed to manage sensors with integrated battery at the regional or national level.

LoRaWAN®  architecture has also been designed to locate and track mobile objects for data tracking, and has been developed for adoption by major operators. LoRa Alliance® has standardised it to ensure interoperability between the various networks of different countries.

The LoRaWAN®  technology can be used in both private and public networks and ensures:

  • communication capability over distances of several km;
  • low sensor power consumption; 
  • data security.

 A cell can ensure a wide coverage, potentially even greater than a mobile cell, using less power, which is important in the implementation of long-lasting services.

The protocol is optimised to use low battery consumption sensors and includes different classes of end points, depending on battery life or minimisation of network latency. It is an entirely bi-directional protocol, designed by security experts to ensure reliability and protection.

The LoRaWAN® technology provides the right connectivity for asset-based IoT applications, enabling on one hand low-power and long-range communications, on the other ensuring that the network will be supported throughout the life of the assets and the related products.

Benefits of the solution

Long Range: it penetrates in urban areas with a coverage of 5 km and in suburban areas with a coverage of 10 km.

Low Power: the sensor batteries can last up to 10 years without the need for a mains connection.

High Capacity: it handles millions of messages for each monitoring/sensor station.

Geolocation: it supports geolocation service without GPS and without additional battery consumption.

Standardised: it ensures interoperability between applications, IoT Service Providers and Telecom Service Providers.

Security: it ensures privacy and data protection through an Embedded end-to-end AES-128 encryption system.

Low Cost: the infrastructure and the nodes have low maintenance and energy consumption costs.

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

FLEXIBILITY Various heterogeneous services enabled by the LoRa® network are supported, creating solutions tailored to customer needs.

FUNCTIONALITY All functionalities compatible with LoRaWAN® technology such as joining, new end-node authentication and authorisation, automatic rate adaptation, dynamic frequency, parameter negotiation, etc. are supported. Data access is guaranteed through DB queries, REST-BASED web services and MQTT-based services, ensuring interoperability with all systems and data security.

RELIABILITY The modular architecture ensures a reliable and flexible solution at all levels.
USABILITY This is ensured through the MQTT protocol, which provides a well defined and easy to use standard, capable of interacting with multiple platforms, even those custom designed by the user.

 

 

EFFICIENCY Another main driver of this solution. The Publisher/Subscriber (push) model, ensured by MQTT, offers advantages in terms of security, responsiveness and scalability compared to other solutions. The structure, reliable and efficient in all its components, ensures a large amount of available resources and considerable energy saving of the peripheral nodes.

MAINTAINABILITY Simplified, thanks to the modular nature that ensures ease of analysis and quick troubleshooting.

PORTABILITY Various elements of the architecture can be distributed in different locations or devices or loaded on different hardware. The entire platform (except gateways and sensors) can be put in the cloud.

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NETWORK SERVER PtNetSuite