Semtech LoRaWAN Volcano

Semtech Corporation recently announced that a LoRa®-based sensor network will provide 24-hour a day monitoring of Japan’s 47 most active volcanoes. The data collected by the network is used to provide volcanic forecasts ranging from alerts of recent volcanic activity, to early warnings of potential eruptions, to immediate evacuations of threatened areas.

On average, a total of 15 volcanic events (including eruptions) occur in Japan every year, many with serious potential to harm human life. Japan’s LoRa-based sensor network will play a critical role in mitigating potential risks and damages by providing real time data on volcanic conditions to help alert Japan’s civil defense groups. The network is comprised of remote LoRa sensors that monitor a variety of variables around the volcano, including seismic activity, gas emissions, changes in topography, and vibrations in the air from debris such as rocks and ash emitted from the crater. The data from these sensors are continuously relayed to manned monitoring stations 5-10 kilometers away from the volcanoes via LoRa gateways so that appropriate alerts can be broadcast to affected communities.

Semtech’s LoRa solution, which is scheduled to be deployed in March 2016, was chosen for several reasons. First, the sensors, based on Semtech’s SX1272 Transceiver, provide reliable long range signal transmission and long battery life (>5 years). Both are important considerations because the sensors need to relay information to centers 5-10 kilometers away, and the batteries in the sensors need to last for a long time (years) in order to minimize how often they must be replaced in the field – especially in active volcanic zones. The small size of the LoRa base stations and their ability to operate in an unlicensed band were also important factors as they make base station deployment much easier and allow the deployment team the ability to set up a private network where they do not have to secure licenses or pay the monthly fees typically associated with public networks.

“We were pleased that after several months of testing, a sensor network based on our LoRa RF technology was chosen for a mission critical public safety application,” said Alberto Guerra, Chief Marketing Officer of Semtech. “We know the implementation team evaluated many options for this important application, but in the end they chose the Semtech solution because it could give them the right combination of range, battery life, reliability and support they were looking for. This application of LoRaWAN™ technology is another example of the unique features and flexibility of our open source platform and the power of the LoRa® Alliance to bring together initiatives across the world with effective and real solutions now.”

Key Features of LoRa RF Technology:

  • Long Range: A single LoRa base station 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 Cost: LoRa reduces both up front infrastructure investments and operating costs, as well as end-node sensor costs.
  • Standardized: LoRaWAN ensures interoperability among applications, IoT solution providers and telecom operators to speed adoption and deployment.
  • Low Power: The LoRaWAN protocol was developed specifically for low power and enables unprecedented multi-year battery lifetime.

About Semtech

Semtech Corporation is a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors for high-end consumer, enterprise computing, communications and industrial equipment. Products are designed to benefit the engineering community as well as the global community. The company is dedicated to reducing the impact it, and its products, have on the environment. Internal green programs seek to reduce waste through material and manufacturing control, use of green technology and designs for resource reduction. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SMTC. For more information, visit