With its LoRa technology, the German company Semtech offers revolutionary possibilities for the realization of planetary environmental protection. Here, the IoT networking of bidirectional sensor systems in particular plays a decisive role.
Sustainability: Green Zeitgeist
Protecting the environment, the climate and the people, animals and plants that live in it has been at the top of everyone’s agenda for some years now. There is no area of society that could escape this phenomenon. Also and above all, production sectors, distribution channels and their producers are increasingly becoming the focus of debate. It is therefore not very surprising to see an increasing number of companies, both commercial and non-profit, giving serious thought to the environmental impact of their goods and services. Not least because turning to this issue promises new, lucrative business models.
Semtech: versatile optimized IoT platform
German company Semtech seems to have already internalized the tremendous possibilities of innovative technology in addressing these century-old problems. That’s why it has created a globally accessible IoT platform that can address the challenges. The hallmark of this system is, above all, its energy-optimized structure while realizing large distances for the implemented Internet of Things solutions. With these low power wide area networks (LPWAN), IoT-enabled products and services can be developed in a very timely and customized manner, and at comparatively very low costs and infrastructural expenses. Modules, senors, gateways and networks are only some of the obvious applications here and act as LoRa devices, the communicative interfaces to the core technology.
LoRa: Protection against floods
A topic that is gaining more and more social relevance worldwide, but also in Europe, is protection against floods. The insufficient advance warnings during the flood of the century in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate this year illuminate the urgent need for a reliable safety structure in this area.
Semtech believes it has found a suitable answer to the question of how to prevent such disasters in the future. With the installation of tens of thousands of very low-energy, affordable, almost maintenance-free, but high-performance sensors, data could be collected at an early stage, even in the not-yet-critical run-up. They would enable authorities and building planners to recognize threatening problem situations in good time, to counteract them adequately and possibly save many lives or avoid damage worth billions.
Environmental problem: Modern agriculture
Another globally relevant issue that many people are concerned about is the environmental impact of modern agriculture. Huge quantities of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones are harmful not only to flora and fauna, but also to all other inhabitants. The same applies to the animal waste that pollutes groundwater, as well as the increasing sealing of land and the water consumption that already threatens the existence of many places. All of these are among the most pressing problems in this area, and they need to be addressed promptly. But the associated overproduction of food that is not used, used inadequately or misused for other purposes is also part of this situation, along with hunger problems in other parts of the world.
IoT solution: precision agriculture
LPWAN technology offers opportunities to remedy this situation. Waterbit, for example, has developed an automated solution that allows farmers to determine the condition of their soil and the amount of water they really need, and to irrigate remotely. The technology has already enabled a single company to save 5 percent of CO2 emissions and hundreds of thousands of liters of water, while significantly increasing yields.
Resource conservation with LPWAN
Birdz LPWAN/IoT installations have also already been able to make their contribution to sustainable use of the scarce resource of water. With their help, the city of Lyon recorded potential savings in the order of 1 million cubic meters per year. All that was needed was to identify and seal the thousands of leaks in the water supply. It’s hard to imagine what that could mean in U.S. terms, where 900 billion liters are lost annually by private households alone.
Axino Solutions’ sensor technology also provides hopeful approaches to curbing widespread food waste. It can be used to remotely monitor food for temperature fluctuations. This allows sensitive products to be transported in a more optimized manner and unnecessary waste to be avoided.
Other LoRa applications beyond this are already emerging in African smart parks, where these systems have already successfully taken over real-time species protection against poachers of endangered species. The use of IpWan technology to track compliance with Corona regulations also demonstrates the tremendous potential of this very low-cost networking technology.