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LoRaWAN coverage on the North Sea

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

Borssele Alpha Met Lora op zee

SkyLab, in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat, CFNS (Connectivity Fieldlab North Sea), TenneT, and Dekimo, has installed the first LoRaWAN gateway on the North Sea on the TenneT platform of the Borssele Alpha wind energy park. LoRaWAN stands for long-distance communication with low energy consumption, enabling small sensors to operate for years or even indefinitely on solar power. SkyLab's gateways, equipped with unique multi-network forwarders, can concurrently host multiple LoRa networks (public, open, commercial, and private), reducing total ownership costs, lowering expenses and space requirements, and increasing deployability. This infrastructure can be used without any telecommunication costs (Fair Use Policy) where available. Currently, most coastal areas of the North Sea are covered, and SkyLab's idea extends this coverage to the North Sea.

Previously, SkyLab, in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat, had placed a public LoRaWAN gateway at the Offshore Expertise Center (OEC) in Stellendam. The MIVSP project from OEC operates to deploy sensors on TenneT platforms in the North Sea, with successful test results leading to the expansion of LoRaWAN connectivity.

Lora Gateway van skylab op Borssele Alpha

A single gateway at height can receive and transmit sensor information in a radius of +/- 20 km (+/- 1000 km²) to the internet. This creates a fully covered and accessible IoT network with limitless possibilities, supporting applications like SAR, precision location for life vests, ELB, buoys with location provision, climate and environmental monitoring, container tracking, and North Sea farming sensors without telecom costs. The infrastructure is available in all countries and coastal areas, making this technology not limited to the Netherlands. The realization of this project would make the Netherlands the first to have comprehensive Internet of Things at Sea, contributing to enhanced safety on the North Sea with numerous applications.

SkyLab, beyond cities, ports, and the North Sea, is also working on equipping ships. SkyLab provides ships with the new LongAP multiband (868 MHz and 2.4 GHz) and multi-provider gateways, ensuring connectivity on board and around ships within approximately 10 km.

Stenaline met een LoRaWan netwerk

Stena Line introduces the first dual-band (2.4 GHz and 868 MHz) LoRaWAN connectivity® at sea. Semtech LoRa®, Stena Line, HeNet, and SkyLab collaborated to launch the first smart ferry providing full LoRaWAN connectivity® for monitoring various ships and customer assets during the journey. The MV Stena Hollandica, a RoRo/Passenger ship of Stena Line, now has the first dual-band gateways installed using LoRaWAN®. The installation and integration of the gateway were done by SkyLab B.V.'s IoT professionals. The gateway used for this innovative feature is the recently released LongAP Pro from HeNet B.V. The LongAP Pro offers multi-band 868 MHz and 2.4 GHz (global maritime) LoRa frequencies®, enabled by Semtech LoRa® 2.4GHz transceivers. The LongAP Pro has a powerful processor and features unique multi-network packet forwarders to simultaneously support multiple LoRa-enabled® Network Services (LNS) like The Things Network, The Things Industries, KPN IoT, Everynet, Helium, and/or private networks. This SkyLab and HeNet feature reduces total maintenance and ownership costs, decreases environmental impact, and simultaneously increases usability.

The LongAP gateway supports multi-band applications, making it perfect for companies like Stena Line. This solution is not only suitable for ferries and other sea vessels transporting goods but also for the approximately 28,000 Stena Line departures annually. Each of these departures presents challenges, from ensuring customer satisfaction and safety to tracking and monitoring millions of tons of cargo. This combination allows goods to be tracked using their frequency (e.g., 868 MHz) while simultaneously providing coverage for global maritime applications (2.4 GHz). This gateway can help the Stena Line team and their customers increase connectivity and achieve their "smart goals," making this project beneficial for all involved parties, regardless of the use case.


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