Assessing the potential of LoRaWAN based goods tracking in localized zones
Wakabi, Anselm Teega Mark
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In the IoT sector, with the evolvement of smart devices and their ability to communicate with the cloud and each other, there have been a wide number of applications that have been adapted. LoRaWAN is a low power wide-area network technology that is greatly suited for asset tracking applications. This is mainly due to its long range and also because it is a cost-effective solution for asset tracking making it a good option for businesses with assets in large quantities. In a trading centre, the data picked by LoRaWAN enabled trackers can be used to give customers real-time tracking information and hence improve efficiency. In Kampala centre, traders normally face problems of theft of goods, inventory loss and basic management of movement of goods through the supply chain. LoRaWAN can be used to track location of goods making it more difficult for them to be stolen and reducing the losses. This involves data collection and geospatial analysis whereby movement of goods is visualized on a map. In this work, location information is provided by Arduino based transponders with Global Positioning System (GPS). Transponders periodically transmit location data using LoRa. We designed and soldered the hardware circuit which has the GPS component and the Lora transmitter. The data transmitted from the node is received by the server and stored in a database. We set up a database and server using Python script and the open source XAMP software (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PI-IP) which feeds the location data in the form of latitude and longitude coordinates. The analysis results can then be used to decide on the goods by the customer or supplier accordingly. With technological advancements, LoRaWAN devices could create new market opportunities for products and services with enhanced range and security. However further research is required concerning the power efficiency of this solution in the Uganda market. A real-time notification based application that gives the battery level of the LoRaWAN tag as well as working condition of the goods should be considered.