Senet and LimnoTech have partnered to deploy a public LoRaWAN® network across the Great Lakes region of the United States, 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 program 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 Radio Access Network (RAN) Provider Services, which provide a full 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 Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network (LVN™), contributing to the unified carrier-grade LoRaWAN connectivity service managed by Senet across the United States.
Using Senet’s RAN planning tools, LimnoTech identified ideal locations for gateway placement. The network buildout started in August 2022 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 J. 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 specialized buoys that monitor water conditions offshore for the City of Cleveland Water Department near its water intakes. Additional water-focused uses of the network that can take advantage of this new regional network include tracking toxic algal blooms, chemical spills, urban flooding, and other 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 organizations to rethink how they plan and pay for connected sensors and environmental monitoring solutions,” said Ed Verhamme, Principal at LimnoTech and President of Freeboard Technology, the Ohio-based company responsible for maintaining portions of the network and hundreds of new sensors deployed in the region. “Because of its cost structure, this first-of-its-kind LoRaWAN network 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 from shore.”
“LimnoTech is a great example of an innovative organization using LoRaWAN technology to solve some of the more critical environmental and sustainability issues we face today,” said Bruce Chatterley, CEO of Senet. “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.”