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LoRa Network FAQs

What is LoRa?

LoRA is a wireless modulation technique based on Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) where a CHIRP (Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse) is a signal that carries data. Chirps have two types of signals - an up-chirp and a down-chirp. An up-chirp increases in frequency while a down-chirp decreases in frequency. LoRa is ideal for IoT applications like the Silvanet sensor as they transmit small data packets with low bit rates. LoRA has an advantage over other techniques as data can be transmitted at longer ranges. This allows Gateways to be located at greater distances from sensors, thus reducing the number of gateways required per deployment.

What is LoRaWAN?

LoRaWAN is built on top of LoRa in the MAC layer. It defines how devices use the LoRa hardware, such as when the devices can transmit and receive messages, as well as the format of the messages. LoRaWAN is optimized to operate in low power mode and can transmit as far as 10 km in open fields, less in forests and up to 3 km in urban areas with significant interference. LoRaWAN also allows for firmware updates and updates to the ML Model on sensors over the air (FUOTA).

What is a Data Packet?

Data packets are defined by the ISO model and not to be confused with Silvanet Packets. They are data units within the Network Layer. They include the source and destination IP addresses as well as other information. Data packets are, essentially, a connection-oriented protocol. They ensure each single packet is not dropped or compromised and are considered a reliable form of communication. An acknowledgement (ACK) packet is usually sent as a reply to a received data packet. If no ACK packet is received, the data packet is simply resent. LoRa uses data packets to communicate between LoRa enabled devices (sensors and gateways) and are part of the definition of a LoRaWAN network.

What is FUOTA?

Firmware update Over the Air (FUOTA) is a standard for distributing firmware updates using unicast or multicast. It allows firmware updates to be delivered to many devices (Silvanet Sensors) at the same time efficiently and securely.

The Silvanet Cloud (Network Server) enables class C in LoRaWAN and prepares to send updates as a multicast distribution. The firmware is chunked into transmittable parts. The Silvanet Cloud schedules each update chunk as a download message to the multicast group. The Network Server then verifies that each device has received all chunks, synthesizes them and verifies the update signature.

The end device (Silvanet Sensor) applies the firmware update and delivers a firmware update complete uplink message to the Network Server.

What is MQTT?

MQTT is a Client Server publish/subscribe messaging transport protocol that is lightweight, open, simple, and designed to be easy to implement. Typically used for communication in Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) contexts where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium. It is used by third-parties to communicate with a Silvanet Network.