US LoRaWAN specialist Senet has been recruited by US engineering firm LimnoTech to deploy a public LoRaWAN network across the Great Lakes region of the US, providing connectivity across area wetlands, parks, coastlines, rural and urban areas, and open waters. The work is part of the state-funded Smart Lake Erie Watershed initiative by the Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA) to improve waterway management in the region.
The Smart Lake Erie Watershed is also geared to accelerate “water technology development” by local authorities, universities, and enterprises in the area. LimnoTech, and its new subsidiary Freeboard Technology, will manage the new LoRaWAN network using Senet’s cloud-based RAN platform for network and site planning, gateway procurement and deployment, and RAN management.
LimnoTech will also participate in Senet’s so-called LPWA Virtual Network (LVN), to pool its infrastructure with equivalent regional LoRaWAN networks to form a country-wide IoT connectivity service.
The new buildout started in August, with gateways on a tower at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center, buildings at Case Western Reserve University’s Cleveland Campus, the William Mather ship at the Great Lakes Science Center, and atop the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building in downtown Cleveland. Additional gateway deployments are planned along the Ohio shoreline and other key inland and urban areas across Northern Ohio.
A statement said the first uses include transmitting data from buoys to monitor offshore water conditions for the City of Cleveland Water Department, near its water intakes. Additional water-focused uses include tracking toxic algal blooms, chemical spills, urban flooding, said Senet – plus “other applications that require dozens to hundreds of sensors to monitor environmental conditions”.
Ed Verhamme, principal at LimnoTech and president of Freeboard Technology, commented: “LimnoTech has been able to rapidly deploy, manage, and expand the network coverage footprint across key portions of the Great Lakes region, creating new business opportunities and enabling organizations to rethink how they plan and pay for connected sensors and environmental monitoring solutions.”
He added: “Because of its cost structure, this first-of-its-kind LoRaWAN network in the region supports research and monitoring that have been limited by the high cost of cellular communication plans and lack of cellular coverage… We’re getting regular connections to areas where cellular coverage isn’t available, including to our buoys 17 miles from shore.”
Bruce Chatterley, chief executive at Senet, said: “LimnoTech is a great example of an innovative organization using LoRaWAN to solve… critical environmental and sustainability issues… We share in the excitement of LimnoTech and the Cleveland Water Alliance and applaud their approach of operating an open network for water utilities, university researchers, and others who can benefit from the data sharing opportunities across the Lake Erie region.”