A Year in Review : It’s only the Beginning!
Just a year ago we received the first LoRa® message over the LacunaSat1 satellite
Opening up a world of possibilities when connecting small, low power devices,
At Lacuna Space we are providing global coverage for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that use LoRa® technology. Just imagine all the IoT applications that are possible when connectivity is available everywhere! For example, it will be possible to continuously monitor goods in supply chains, even as they move through remote locations!
It’s easy to lose sight (even ourselves!) of how groundbreaking the technology is : a signal that is only a few tens of milli-Watts can be sent by a battery powered device and can be received by a small, low cost satellite, travelling at 7.6km/s, at 500km above earth: again and again, in a secure and reliable way!
Back in 2016 when Thomas Telkamp, Rob Spurrett and some close collaborators set off to achieve this, many were skeptical. And yet a year ago the first LoRa® message was successfully received by our own satellite.
As far as possible, we want to use normal mass market devices, built around the LoRa® technology, so that we combine our connectivity with low-cost devices. That posed a challenge in the scalability of the satellite system, but was solved with some modifications to the LoRa® technology – in actual fact the physical layer. This was achieved working in close collaboration with Semtech, without the support of which we would have never got here!
We’re only just getting started!
It’s amazing to see what has been achieved in the space of a year! It just so happened that the very first LoRa® message was received from Indonesia and exactly a year later we were receiving traffic from our first partner there, Sustainability Tech! Doing great work with water level sensors, which they will deploy for fire prevention, nature restoration projects and carbon offsetting. Beyond Indonesia, we have devices for user trials and beacons transmitting all around the world allowing us to fine tune transmission parameters.
It has been non-stop in technical achievement!
Here’s a few world firsts, working with our partners:
A soil moisture device, transmitting to space using power only from plants – no other source needed! Developed together with Plant-e.
Together with the Things Industries we demonstrated the use of secure elements over satellite and interoperation with LoRaWAN® networks using the Packet Broker. Showing how large scale deployments can be frictionless and completely secure.
Produced the first working device for Semtech’s LoRa Edge™ platform using the new LR1110 chip combining LoRaWAN® connectivity with GNSS and WiFi scanning. Revolutionising global asset management by combining transmission over our satellites and the Geolocation services on the LoRa Cloud™ platform.
And now where next?
Like most of us, it has been a challenge to keep to schedule due to the COVID-19 crisis but we certainly haven’t gone into hibernation! Thanks to the great LoRa® ecosystem, we have been able to expand our Technology Partner Programme and trials, in fact faster than any other time of the year. This is because our devices are just shipped and work straight out of the box – no need to physically travel anywhere, install, power and maintain a gateway if you don’t need frequent message transmission.
We are still planning to launch our new development kits produced by RF Things and open the evaluation service by the end of the summer. At about the same time, we will also release our software libraries for devices.
Don’t want to develop devices yourselves? Not a problem because we have a network of experienced LoRa® device manufacturers to call upon! IRNAS and MIROMICO are already well under way in producing “space ready” trackers, environmental monitoring and agriculture devices.
Join our ecosystem
We want to work with everyone wishing to integrate with our satellite network – developers, integrators, IoT platform or network providers, everyone! We can’t wait to see all the use cases of our technology and encourage everybody to contribute to the ecosystem.
We are expecting several launches of new satellites in the coming months so by the end of the summer we expect to be able to open the evaluation service. We are working around the clock to make this happen!
Drop us a line on email@example.com if you want to be part of our mailing list and know when that happens!
For now the Lacuna Technology Partner Programme is open to LoRaWAN® integrators and technology suppliers around the world, wishing to integrate our technology in their commercial devices and future network deployments. Again drop us a line if you’re interested!