How HFC-based Industrial IOT Gateways Improve Performance of Remote IOT Sensors (2019)

By Charles Chapman, Alpha Technologies an EnerSys Company

Outdoor Industrial IoT (IIOT) deployments are used in Smart Cities to optimize everything from parking lots to garbage collection. These large, spatially diverse networks consist of remote sensors (motes) that communicate wirelessly to network servers via gateways. Transporting the sensors’ signals back to the network server is yet another way the MSOs can leverage their vast Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) networks to generate new revenues.

IIoT remote sensor solutions like LoRaWAN (Long Range WAN) are based on Chirp Spread Spectrum technology, which provides a means to conserve battery life while providing effective communication between devices. When sensors are placed further from gateways, the device changes the spreading factor and slows the transmission rate to ensure the two devices connect. However, the slower rate results in longer operation of the CPU, which in turn reduces the life of the battery. In essence, the greater the distance between the sensor and the gateway, the shorter the mote battery life.

Replacing these batteries will ultimately result in costly truck rolls for the cities that deployed them. The MSO can minimize these visits by deploying more gateways to shorten the distance to the sensors. This technique uniquely positions the MSO to provide a differentiated service to the customer. The end result is increased battery life cycle, minimizing the number of truck rolls and the overall cost for operating the IIOT network.

This paper will show how to densely deploy IIoT gateways on HFC networks to shorten the distance to the motes and increase battery life. In addition to the financial benefits, this paper will highlight other advantages of a dense HFC-based IIoT gateway solution, including improving the ability to locate motes using Time Delay of Arrival (TDoA) mote location resolution, improving overall communications resiliency, and enhancing the ability of the HFC system to provide reliable communications and powering to the gateways.

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