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Electronics 2019, 8(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8010015

Tracking and Monitoring System Based on LoRa Technology for Lightweight Boats

1
Department of Information and Communications Engineering, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
2
Centro Tecnológico del Mar—Fundación CETMAR, 36208 Vigo, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 22 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart, Connected and Efficient Transportation Systems)
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Abstract

Maritime communications are really challenging due to the adverse transmission conditions and the lack of a pre-provided infrastructure for supporting long range connectivity with land. Communications in high seas are usually covered by satellite links that are expensive and lead to high power consumption by the terminals. However, in areas closer to the shore, other communication options have been adopted for different kinds of services such as boat tracking and telemetry, data collection from moored monitoring systems, etc. In these scenarios, technologies such as cellular communications or wireless sensor networks have been employed so far; nevertheless, all of them present different drawbacks mostly related with the coverage and energy-efficiency of the system. Recently, a novel communication paradigm, so-called Low Power-Wide Area Network (LP-WAN) has gained momentum due to its interesting characteristics regarding transmission distances and end-node’s power consumption. The latter may be of great interest for ships with energetic restrictions such as small sailboats, recreational boats, or radio control ships. For that reason, in this work, we present a boat tracking and monitoring system based on LoRa (Long Range), one of the most prominent LP-WAN technologies. We provide a comprehensive overview of this communication solution as well as a discussion addressing its benefits when applied to maritime scenarios. We present the results extracted from a case of study, where real-training sessions of Optimist Class sailboats have been monitored by means of the presented architecture, obtaining good levels of coverage and link-reliability with limited power consumption. A transmission range study is also presented, demonstrating the validity of this proposal for monitoring activities inside the port or maneuvers close to the shore. View Full-Text
Keywords: maritime communications; intelligent transportation systems (ITS); LoRa; low power-wide area network (LP-WAN); internet of things (IoT); energy efficiency maritime communications; intelligent transportation systems (ITS); LoRa; low power-wide area network (LP-WAN); internet of things (IoT); energy efficiency
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sanchez-Iborra, R.; G. Liaño, I.; Simoes, C.; Couñago, E.; Skarmeta, A.F. Tracking and Monitoring System Based on LoRa Technology for Lightweight Boats. Electronics 2019, 8, 15.

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