Dewa IoT gateway enables satellite connections

  • July 11, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

As part of the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) Space-D programme, its R&D centre has developed an in-house, versatile gateway that can connect terrestrial sensors to satellites and ground networks.

The gateway has various physical, operational technology (OT) connectivity and IoT edge protocol libraries to support the IoT communication network such as LoRa, wifi and Bluetooth LE. The device suits applications such as utilities, infrastructure, asset-tracking, agriculture, smart cities and fleet management.

The device has a long battery life to support various LoRa protocols and LoRaWan to communicate directly with several satellites and terrestrial networks, which contributes to a reduction in device and operational costs. The device complies with international IoT device security standards, including OT security.

It was designed, fabricated and tested at Dewa’s R&D centre and its enclosure was manufactured at the R&D’s labs using 3D printing.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO of Dewa, praised the efforts of researchers and Emirati talents working at the centre to benefit from space and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, and to employ tools and the laboratories provided by Dewa to create technologies to support the space sector in the UAE.

This is in addition to developing systems for electricity and water generation, transmission, and distribution as well as enhancing the management of the power network and the water transmission and distribution network.

“Through Dewa’s Space-D programme, we aim for nanosatellite technology to complement terrestrial IoT communication networks and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Dewa’s operations and support the digitisation of our electricity and water networks,” said Al Tayer. “This will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our planning, operations and preventive maintenance for our production, transmission and distribution divisions, as well as our smart grids and electric vehicle charging stations. It also reduces costs, improves asset use, enables knowledge and experience transfer, and trains Emiratis at Dewa.”

He said the R&D centre contributed to achieving national aspirations in the space sector. Dewa’s 3U nanosatellite Dewa-Sat1 and its second nanosatellite Sat-2, a 6U nanosatellite, were designed and developed at the centre.

Waleed Bin Salman, executive vice president of Dewa, highlighted that the utility leverages the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to provide value from the data received from its IoT terminals via the satellite constellation network.

Dewa uses the digital IoT platform hosted by its data centre operated by the Moro hub, the backbone of digital Dewa, to enable terrestrial IoT communications of the developed gateways and to visualise the collected data.