Data backhaul for LoRa networks over Satellite

April 18, 2018

Satellite services are available to provide data connectivity in remote areas where line of site to the sky is available, but no mobile networks are deployed. In the world of Satellite there are several classifications for frequency bands utlilised to transit the data between the Satellite dish and the Satellite itself for relay down to the receiving end.

The terms L-band, Ku and Ka satellites are bandied around quite freely. What they actually mean and the differences between them are as follows -

 

The “band” in use refers to the radio frequencies used to and from the satellite itself:

 

L-band uses frequencies in the 1 to 2GHz range

 

Ku-band utilises approximately the 12-18GHz range, and

 

Ka-band services uses the 26.5-40GHz range segment of the electromagnetic spectrum.

 

 “Ku” actually stands for “Kurz unten” this is German for the band just underneath the “short” or K-band. Not surprisingly “Ka” stands for “Kurz above”. This is because Ku is the lower part of the original NATO K band, which was split into three bands (Ku, K, and Ka) because of the presence of the atmospheric water vapour resonance peak at 22.24 GHz, (1.35 cm), which made the centre unusable for long-range transmission. This point is also important as it governs the potential throughput available.

 

Generally, the higher the frequency the more bandwidth you gain from the system. The difference is, just like an FM radio broadcast being compared with medium wave. The higher frequency VHF radio (100MHz) band gives you greater bandwidth than medium wave/AM (1MHz) and the sound quality is better.

 

 

 

 

Now that is out of the way. We have been working with solutions that cut the footprint for delivering a remote LoRa base station with solar cell for charging, battery pack and small satellite dish allowing Ku data back-haul. These solutions have enabled the use of low cost sensors in agriculture and mining plus monitoring and alerting for disparate desert, mountain or jungle based projects.

 

We have been looking at the bvasestation supporting upton 10K terminals and transmitting  on the

3 MHz Ku-Band allowing us to deliver 100 Kbps (shared) to the terminal and transmitting  1 Kbit every 15 minutes from the terminal at 5 Kbps

A great solution for deploying where there is no mobile network or fixed data back-haul. It obviously requires some access to sunshine to charge the batteries though, but the LPWAN footprint means even that is very minimal.

 

 

 

 

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