A field-measurements-based LoRa network planning tool

Susanna Spinsante, Luca Gioacchini, Lorenzo Scalise


Long range (LoRa) transmission technology enables energy-constrained devices such as the tiny sensor systems used in internet-of-things applications that are distributed over wide areas while still being able to establish appropriate connectivity. This has resulted in the development of an exponentially increasing number of different solutions and services based on LoRa, be they dedicated to the long-term monitoring of distributed plants and infrastructures or to human-centred applications such as safety-oriented sensor systems for use in the workplace. In dense LoRa networks, predicting the number of supported nodes in relation to their position and the propagation environment is essential for ensuring reliable and stable communication and minimising costs. In this paper, after comparing different path loss models based on a field measurement campaign for LoRa received signal strength indicator values within a university campus, two main modifications of the LoRa simulator tool were implemented. These were aimed at improving the accuracy of the prediction of the number of sustainable nodes in relation to the target data extraction rate set. The simulations based on field measurements demonstrated that through an improved path loss evaluation and the use of three gateways, the number of nodes could be increased theoretically from around 100 to around 6,000.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21014/acta_imeko.v9i4.725