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Special Issue "LoRa Sensor Network"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 January 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alessandro Pozzebon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics, University of Siena, via Roma 56, 53100 Siena, Italy
Interests: Internet of Things; wireless sensor networks; LPWA networks; ZigBee; mobile technologies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recent trends in the Internet of Things domain have seen the rise of a significant number of communication technologies whose main purpose is on one side the reduction of power consumption, and on the other the widening of the data transmission range. In this context, the most significant solutions have emerged within the so-called Sub-GHz frequency bands, including all those bands whose operating frequency is lower than 1 GHz. Among the various technologies, the LoRa modulation, together with the LoRaWAN MAC protocol, has drawn a large interest due to its high performances in terms of both power consumption and transmission ranges. Adopting duty-cycling policies, LoRa radio modules may be battery-powered and operate autonomously even for some years. At the same time, they can reach transmission ranges up to some kilometres in urban areas and some tens of kilometres in rural areas. These two features make this kind of devices ideal for those applications where a network infrastructure has to operate autonomously for long spans of time, in wide areas. Sensor networking architectures can then widely benefit from the introduction of this technology.

LoRa and LoRaWAN-powered sensor networks can be found in all the most significant application scenarios within the Internet of Things context, from Smart Cities and Intelligent Transport Systems to the paradigm of Industry 4.0. This vast diffusion pushed researchers, as well as IT firms, to investigate different solutions and configurations for this technology, from the physical layer to the network architecture. Such a large research interest is currently witnessed by the constantly growing number of sensor networking applications that are adopting LoRa and LoRaWAN as transmission technology and protocol for data transmission.

This Special Issue invites original contributions on the topics related to LoRa technology and LoRaWAN protocol, as well as their possible uses within the context of networks, including, but not limited to, the following topics:    

  • LoRa Physical Layer
  • LoRaWAN protocol
  • Alternative LoRa-based MAC protocols
  • LoRa-based network protocols
  • LoRa architectures for the Internet of Things
  • LoRa-based sensor networks
  • Low Power LoRa sensor nodes
  • Energy Harvesting techniques for LoRa sensor nodes
  • Power management for LoRa sensor networks
  • LoRa architectures for Industry 4.0
  • LoRa architectures for Smart Cities

Dr. Alessandro Pozzebon
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • LoRa
  • LoRaWAN
  • LPWAN
  • Sensor Networks
  • Sub-GHz
  • Smart City
  • Industry 4.0
  • Energy Harvesting
  • Power Management

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
DG-LoRa: Deterministic Group Acknowledgment Transmissions in LoRa Networks for Industrial IoT Applications
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041444 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a novel MAC protocol, called DG-LoRa, for improving scalability in low power wide area networks. DG-LoRa is backward compatible with legacy LoRaWAN and adds new features, such as group acknowledgment transmissions in the time-synchronized frame structure that supports [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose a novel MAC protocol, called DG-LoRa, for improving scalability in low power wide area networks. DG-LoRa is backward compatible with legacy LoRaWAN and adds new features, such as group acknowledgment transmissions in the time-synchronized frame structure that supports determinism on channel access. In DG-LoRa, the number of responses to data frames that are transmitted from end devices is maximized by allocating the spreading factor and timeslot in the frame structure. We evaluate the performance of DG-LoRa using the Monte-Carlo simulation and then compare it with the performance of legacy LoRaWAN in terms of data drop rate and the number of retransmissions. Our numerical results show that DG-LoRa supports approximately five times more connections to the LoRa network satisfying a 5% data drop rate. Also, it is observed that DG-LoRa enables low overhead by reducing the number of data frame retransmissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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Article
Collision Avoidance Resource Allocation for LoRaWAN
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041218 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
The number of connected IoT devices is significantly increasing and it is expected to reach more than two dozens of billions of IoT connections in the coming years. Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) have become very relevant for this new paradigm due [...] Read more.
The number of connected IoT devices is significantly increasing and it is expected to reach more than two dozens of billions of IoT connections in the coming years. Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) have become very relevant for this new paradigm due to features such as large coverage and low power consumption. One of the most appealing technologies among these networks is LoRaWAN. Although it may be considered as one of the most mature LPWAN platforms, there are still open gaps such as its capacity limitations. For this reason, this work proposes a collision avoidance resource allocation algorithm named the Collision Avoidance Resource Allocation (CARA) algorithm with the objective of significantly increase system capacity. CARA leverages the multichannel structure and the orthogonality of spreading factors in LoRaWAN networks to avoid collisions among devices. Simulation results show that, assuming ideal radio link conditions, our proposal outperforms in 95.2% the capacity of a standard LoRaWAN network and increases the capacity by almost 40% assuming a realistic propagation model. In addition, it has been verified that CARA devices can coexist with LoRaWAN traditional devices, thus allowing the simultaneous transmissions of both types of devices. Moreover, a proof-of-concept has been implemented using commercial equipment in order to check the feasibility and the correct operation of our solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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Article
Intelligent Control Method of Hoisting Prefabricated Components Based on Internet-of-Things
Sensors 2021, 21(3), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21030980 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Prefabricated buildings are widely used because of their green environmental protection and high degree of industrialization. However, in construction process, there are some defects such as small wireless network coverage, high-energy consumption, inaccurate control, and backward blind hoisting methods in the hoisting process [...] Read more.
Prefabricated buildings are widely used because of their green environmental protection and high degree of industrialization. However, in construction process, there are some defects such as small wireless network coverage, high-energy consumption, inaccurate control, and backward blind hoisting methods in the hoisting process of prefabricated components (PC). Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology can be used to collect and transmit data to strengthen the management of construction sites. The purpose of this study was to establish an intelligent control method in the construction and hoisting process of PC by using IoT technology. Long Range Radio (LoRa) technology was used to conduct data terminal acquisition and wireless transmission in the construction site. The Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Global Positioning System (GPS), and other multi-sensor fusion was used to collect information during the hoisting process of PC, and multi-sensor information was fused by fusion location algorithm for location control. Finally, the feasibility of this method was verified by a project as a case. The results showed that the IoT technology can strengthen the management ability of PC in the hoisting process, and improve the visualization level of the hoisting process of PC. Analysis of the existing outdated PC hoisting management methods, LoRa, IMU, GPS and other sensors were used for data acquisition and transmission, the PC hoisting multi-level management and intelligent control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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Communication
Experimental Evaluation of the Availability of LoRaWAN Frequency Channels in the Czech Republic
Sensors 2021, 21(3), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21030940 - 31 Jan 2021
Viewed by 629
Abstract
LoRaWAN communication allows you to create IoT (Internet of Things) solutions across many disciplines. A specific field of application is precision agriculture, which demands this technology mainly due to the fact that it is possible to create low power sensor devices with it. [...] Read more.
LoRaWAN communication allows you to create IoT (Internet of Things) solutions across many disciplines. A specific field of application is precision agriculture, which demands this technology mainly due to the fact that it is possible to create low power sensor devices with it. However, in densely populated areas, a lower success rate of message delivery can be observed on some communication channels. For example, this can have an impact on urban agriculture projects. After performing an experiment and analytical–statistical data processing using the Geographic Information System (GIS) tool ArcGIS Insights, it was shown that the success of message delivery on the basic LoRaWAN channel (868.3 MHz) is lower than for the others. Therefore, to ensure higher reliability and thus energy savings, it is appropriate to optimize the use of frequency channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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Article
Development and Implementation of a Hybrid Wireless Sensor Network of Low Power and Long Range for Urban Environments
Sensors 2021, 21(2), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21020567 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 874
Abstract
The urban population, worldwide, is growing exponentially and with it the demand for information on pollution levels, vehicle traffic, or available parking, giving rise to citizens connected to their environment. This article presents an experimental long range (LoRa) and low power consumption network, [...] Read more.
The urban population, worldwide, is growing exponentially and with it the demand for information on pollution levels, vehicle traffic, or available parking, giving rise to citizens connected to their environment. This article presents an experimental long range (LoRa) and low power consumption network, with a combination of static and mobile wireless sensors (hybrid architecture) to tune and validate concentrator placement, to obtain a large coverage in an urban environment. A mobile node has been used, carrying a gateway and various sensors. The Activation By Personalization (ABP) mode has been used, justified for urban applications requiring multicasting. This allows to compare the coverage of each static gateway, being able to make practical decisions about its location. With this methodology, it has been possible to provide service to the city of Malaga, through a single concentrator node. The information acquired is synchronized in an external database, to monitor the data in real time, being able to geolocate the dataframes through web mapping services. This work presents the development and implementation of a hybrid wireless sensor network of long range and low power, configured and tuned to achieve efficient performance in a mid-size city, and tested in experiments in a real urban environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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Article
JMAC Protocol: A Cross-Layer Multi-Hop Protocol for LoRa
Sensors 2020, 20(23), 6893; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20236893 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
The emergence of Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) technologies allowed the development of revolutionary Internet Of Things (IoT) applications covering large areas with thousands of devices. However, connectivity may be a challenge for non-line-of-sight indoor operation or for areas without good coverage. Technologies such [...] Read more.
The emergence of Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) technologies allowed the development of revolutionary Internet Of Things (IoT) applications covering large areas with thousands of devices. However, connectivity may be a challenge for non-line-of-sight indoor operation or for areas without good coverage. Technologies such as LoRa and Sigfox allow connectivity for up to 50,000 devices per cell, several devices that may be exceeded in many scenarios. To deal with these problems, this paper introduces a new multi-hop protocol, called JMAC, designed for improving long range wireless communication networks that may support monitoring in scenarios such smart cities or Industry 4.0. JMAC uses the LoRa radio technology to keep low consumption and extend coverage area, and exploits the potential mesh behaviour of wireless networks to improve coverage and increase the number of supported devices per cell. JMAC is based on predictive wake-up to reach long lifetime on sensor devices. Our proposal was validated using the OMNeT++ simulator to analyze how it performs under different conditions with promising results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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Article
LoRaWAN Gateway Placement Model for Dynamic Internet of Things Scenarios
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4336; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20154336 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Extended Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) has recently gained a lot of attention from the industrial and research community for dynamic Internet of Things (IoT) applications. IoT devices broadcast messages for neighbor gateways that deliver the message to the application server through an [...] Read more.
Extended Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) has recently gained a lot of attention from the industrial and research community for dynamic Internet of Things (IoT) applications. IoT devices broadcast messages for neighbor gateways that deliver the message to the application server through an IP network. Hence, it is required to deploy LoRaWAN gateways, i.e., network planning, and optimization, in an environment while considering Operational Expenditure (OPEX) and Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) along with Quality of Service (QoS) requirements. In this article, we introduced a LoRaWAN gateway placement model for dynamic IoT applications called DPLACE. It divides the IoT devices into groups with some degree of similarity between them to allow for the placement of LoRaWAN gateways that can serve these devices in the best possible way. Specifically, DPLACE computes the number of LoRaWAN gateways based on the Gap statistics method. Afterward, DPLACE uses K-Means and Fuzzy C-means algorithms to calculate the LoRaWAN gateway placement. The simulations’ results proved the benefits of DPLACE compared to state-of-the-art LoRaWAN gateway placement models in terms of OPEX, CAPEX, and QoS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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Article
Resource Allocation to Massive Internet of Things in LoRaWANs
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2645; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092645 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1733
Abstract
A long-range wide area network (LoRaWAN) adapts the ALOHA network concept for channel access, resulting in packet collisions caused by intra- and inter-spreading factor (SF) interference. This leads to a high packet loss ratio. In LoRaWAN, each end device (ED) increments the SF [...] Read more.
A long-range wide area network (LoRaWAN) adapts the ALOHA network concept for channel access, resulting in packet collisions caused by intra- and inter-spreading factor (SF) interference. This leads to a high packet loss ratio. In LoRaWAN, each end device (ED) increments the SF after every two consecutive failed retransmissions, thus forcing the EDs to use a high SF. When numerous EDs switch to the highest SF, the network loses its advantage of orthogonality. Thus, the collision probability of the ED packets increases drastically. In this study, we propose two SF allocation schemes to enhance the packet success ratio by lowering the impact of interference. The first scheme, called the channel-adaptive SF recovery algorithm, increments or decrements the SF based on the retransmission of the ED packets, indicating the channel status in the network. The second approach allocates SF to EDs based on ED sensitivity during the initial deployment. These schemes are validated through extensive simulations by considering the channel interference in both confirmed and unconfirmed modes of LoRaWAN. Through simulation results, we show that the SFs have been adaptively applied to each ED, and the proposed schemes enhance the packet success delivery ratio as compared to the typical SF allocation schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LoRa Sensor Network)
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