Tech Journal

An Overview of Semtech’s Asset Tracking Reference Kit

Posted by Richard Fuller on Mar 30, 2020 12:00:00 AM

The need to be able to create proofs-of-concept quickly is important to you. At Semtech we understand this, and now offer the Asset Tracking Reference Kit. This kit is designed to help you quickly determine whether or not a LoRa®-based tracking solution will work for your logistics and tracking applications.

This kit uses LoRa-based hardware in conjunction with the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and a LoRaWAN® network to help acquire accurate location information for assets.  The included sensors transmit data to the Cloud, and a user-friendly application provides a web interface for tracking the locations of up to six devices simultaneously.

Demo-in-a-Box

The Asset Tracking Reference Kit was built to be a “demo in a box” that simplifies the test and evaluation of LoRa for a variety of different applications. The components were chosen to demonstrate the various aspects of using LoRa-based tracking and GNSS in an application. This kit should work within minutes of arrival and provide system integrators and developers the benefits of long range tracking. There is no need for a license and no subscription fee. Users have access to the location data through a secure portal which places items on a map together with additional details, including the times of the latest locations received and the remaining battery power of the trackers. The portal also allows users to configure parameters of the trackers, such as the number of locations collected per day.

What’s in the Asset Tracking Reference Kit?

There are three main elements of the Asset Tracking Reference Kit. First is the gateway. The gateway serves as the conduit between the sensors (tracking devices) and the network. The second element of the kit is a set of tracking devices. These devices provide portable location data that can be rendered visually. The final element of the system is the network application. The location data from the tracking devices is routed through the gateway to the LoRaWAN network server through an application interface to the web portal, as depicted in Figure 1.

Data Flow from Device to Web Interface

Figure 1: Data flow from device to web interface

The kit is contains the following items:

  • One long range gateway
  • External antennas
  • Power supply (Power over Ethernet or similar)
  • Cellular antenna (backhaul)
  • Global SIM (inside gateway)
  • External GPS antenna
  • Six tracking devices

Asset Tracking Kit Content OverviewFigure 2: Overview of Kit contents

The various components in the kit were selected due to their cost effectiveness and flexibility. For example, the gateway supports the LoRaWAN protocol, up to version 1.0.3, and can be used both indoors and outdoors[1]. By default, it uses cellular connectivity; however, the Ethernet port can be used if desired. The kit includes one free year of data services. At the end of the year, you can replace the provided SIM card or use Ethernet for data connectivity. The gateway also includes its own internal GPS receiver. This receiver can be used for Class B support in the future. Class B beaconing is not used by default.

The included trackers are sealed and water resistant. They can be configured for operations that provide update intervals, anywhere from every ten seconds to once every 15 minutes when in motion, and between ten minutes and 18 hours when stationary.

Tracking device features

  • LoRaWAN v1.0.2+ compliant
  • FCC and CE/RED certified
  • Compact
  • Battery life exceeding a month
    • Primary battery has single screw replacement

Asset Tracking Kit tracking devices

Figure 3: Tracking devices

Each kit comes with login information for a web portal where users can see the tracking information. The web portal has been developed for ease of use and has an intuitive interface. The website has two primary views, the first is the Device Tracking view and the second is the Device Settings view.

The Tracking view plots the current and historical device data. Using the this view you can select which devices you wish to see on the map, and you can select the time period over the last seven days for which you want to see location data. You can also choose to view only the latest point. Additionally, you can export all of the data received from the trackers for the previous seven or more days.

Web Interface - Device Tracking ViewFigure 4: Web Interface - Device Tracking View

The Settings view allows you to customize device names displayed in the interface. It also allows you to set the individual update periods for each of the trackers. Furthermore, you can get the latest times the devices and gateway last reported.

Web Interface - Device Settings View

Figure 5:  Web Interface - Device Settings View

For more details about the Kit, watch the video.

 

[1] NOTE: the kit comes with indoor fixtures. The outdoor weatherproofing can be supplied if requested.


Semtech, the Semtech logo and LoRa® and LoRaWAN® are registered trademarks or service marks of Semtech Corporation or its affiliates.

 

Topics: LoRa, Wireless RF, Internet of Things, Asset Tracking