UK-based Lacuna Space says its initial LoRaWAN tests have worked well, with both its satellite and Space Gateway “out-performed expectations” during the initial commissioning phase. More extensive demonstrations and three more satellite in orbit are expected by the end of the year.
The first LoRa satellite gateway was launched on March 31, hosted onboard a Nano Avionics 6U cubesat along with another payload. Tests between the satellite and LoRa-based devices using the LoRaWAN protocol took place across the globe.
“We have test systems deployed around the world in countries as diverse as South Africa, Netherlands, UK, USA, India, Japan, Slovenia and the Reunion Island, and we have shown that we are able to communicate effectively from anywhere in the world, no matter how remote, to our LoRa-based Space Gateway,“ said Thomas Telkamp CTO, Lacuna Space.
Three satellites in Q3 and Q4 of this year will complete Lacuna’s initial demonstration constellation. CEO Rob Spurrett said via LinkedIn that a combination of dedicated and rideshare/hosed payloads will be used. More extensive demonstrations with potential users will take by the end of the year thanks to partial funding and support from the European Space Agency and UK Space Agency.
The LoRaWAN protocol is a standardized, low-power wide area networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect “things” to the Internet, with support for bi-directional communication and multicast addressing groups for efficient use of spectrum when doing mass distribution of messages and software. Having satellite able to communicate with off-the-shelf LoRa-based devices without modification would facilitate the extension and use of LoRa far beyond existing infrastructure.