Semtech Corporation’s LoRa® devices and Wireless RF Technology are protecting endangered black rhinoceroses at the Mkomazi National Park, one of the 14 official National Parks in Tanzania, Africa. The Internet of Life and the ShadowView Foundation, organizations founded for the purpose of using innovative technology to protect the environment and endangered species, developed a LoRa-equipped sensor that is implanted directly into the rhino’s horn. The sensor gives park rangers the ability to accurately monitor the whereabouts and activities of the endangered black rhinos and keep them safe from poachers.
The LoRa-equipped tracking sensor is part of a comprehensive LoRaWAN™-based IoT security solution that is deployed throughout Mkomazi National Park. The rhino-tracker sensor shows the location of the animals within the sanctuary, allowing the park’s security personnel to strategically position themselves to watch over the rhinos. Another smart application used by the park is the monitoring of gate open/closures through solar-powered LoRa-based sensors installed on worker vehicles. The same devices are also used to track the welfare of personnel. All the data is transmitted from the various sensors within the network to an observation room where the tracked items appear on a digital map.
“Protecting the lives of endangered black rhinos and other animal species is a mission that is very important to us,” said Tim van Dam, Internet of Life spokesperson. “From a technology standpoint, our IoT sensor network gives us everything we need to be successful, providing long-range coverage, a wireless signal that is difficult for poachers to detect, and low-power operation to ensure the batteries in our sensors can last for at least a decade. It is our hope that by implementing this type of network in other wildlife sanctuaries, we will be able to work with local groups to keep endangered animals safe and help preserve some of the most wonderful natural ecosystems in the world.”
“People around the world continue to find novel and important uses for LoRa Technology,” said Vivek Mohan, Director of Wireless Products for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “ShadowView was able to leverage LoRa and IoT technology to create a cost-effective, workable solution for Mkomazi park rangers to protect the park’s endangered inhabitants. This use case depicts the value of IoT beyond streamlining manual processes in businesses, homes and municipalities, and shows it can support nonprofit, environmental, health, and life-preserving initiatives.”
Key Features of LoRa Wireless RF Technology:
- Long Range: A single base station using LoRa Technology enables deep penetration capability for dense urban environments and indoor coverage, while also providing the ability to connect to sensors more than 15-30 miles away in rural areas.
- Low Power: The LoRaWAN protocol was developed specifically for low power and enables unprecedented battery lifetime of up to 20 years depending on the application.
- Geolocation: Enables tracking applications without GPS or additional power consumption
- Low Cost: LoRa Technology reduces up front infrastructure investments and operating costs, as well as end-node sensor costs.
- Open Standard: The LoRaWAN protocol ensures interoperability among applications, IoT solution providers and telecom operators to speed adoption and deployment.