LimnoTech and Senet deploy LoRaWan across Great Lakes

  • November 8, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Michigan-based LimnoTech has selected Senet’s radio access network (RAN) platform to deploy LoRaWan across the Great Lakes region of the USA.

New Hampshire firm Senet provides cloud-based software and services that enable global connectivity and on-demand network build-outs for the IoT. LimnoTech is an environmental science and engineering firm.

The partnership is deploying a public LoRaWan across the Great Lakes region, providing connectivity across area wetlands, parks, coastlines, rural and urban areas, and open waters.

The effort is part of a broader rollout of the Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA) Smart Lake Erie Watershed initiative, a state and federally funded programme to increase the region’s ability to monitor and manage area waterways and provide opportunities for area businesses, cities and universities to accelerate water technology development.

LimnoTech, and its new subsidiary Freeboard Technology, has partnered with Senet to deploy and manage the network using Senet’s RAN provider services, which provide a suite of tools for network and site planning, gateway procurement and deployment, and RAN management through Senet’s cloud-based RAN provider portal.

LimnoTech will also be participating in Senet’s patented LVN low-power wide-area virtual network, contributing to the unified carrier-grade LoRaWan connectivity service managed by Senet across the USA.

Using Senet’s RAN planning tools, LimnoTech identified locations for gateway placement. The network buildout started in August with LimnoTech deploying gateways on a tower at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center, on buildings at Case Western Reserve University’s Cleveland Campus, on the William Mather ship docked at the Great Lakes Science Center, and atop the Anthony Celebrezze Federal Building in downtown Cleveland. Additional gateway deployments are planned along the Ohio shoreline and other key inland and urban areas across northern Ohio.

The first uses of the network include transmitting data from specialised buoys that monitor water conditions offshore for the Cleveland Water Department near its water intakes. Additional water-focused uses of the network that can take advantage of this regional network include tracking toxic algal blooms, chemical spills, urban flooding and applications that require dozens to hundreds of sensors to monitor environmental conditions.

“With Senet’s RAN provider services, LimnoTech has been able to rapidly deploy, manage and expand the network coverage footprint across key portions of the Great Lakes region, creating new business opportunities and enabling organisations to rethink how they plan and pay for connected sensors and environmental monitoring,” said Ed Verhamme, principal at LimnoTech and president of Freeboard Technology. “Because of its cost structure, this first of its kind LoRaWan in the region supports research and monitoring that have been limited by the high cost of cellular communication plans and lack of cellular coverage. With LoRaWan, we’re getting regular connections to areas where cellular coverage isn’t available, including to our buoys 17 miles [27km] from shore.”

Bruce Chatterley, CEO of Senet, added: “LimnoTech is a great example of an innovative organisation using LoRaWan technology to solve some of the more critical environmental and sustainability issues we face today. We share in the excitement of LimnoTech and the Cleveland Water Alliance and applaud their approach of operating an open network for water utilities, university researchers, and others who can benefit from the data sharing opportunities across the Lake Erie region.”

Founded in 1975, LimnoTech is an employee-owned company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with its subsidiary Freeboard Technology in Cleveland, Ohio.