Xiamen, China, September 28, 2022 –Throughout Milesight’s history, our technical team has been proactive in conquering every issue and has been a key part of a province-wide IAQ project deployed in public schools in Quebec, Canada. For such a successful 47,000 IAQ sensors deployment, the process is filled with more inspiring stories than ever before. So, we wanted to get insights from Harry HUA, Milesight’s Director of IoT Solutions, regarding on how technology can drive a project smoothly.
As revealed, the project is across the Quebec Province in Canada. And the number of devices is quite stunning, with 47,000 sensors and 2,600 gateways in total. Can you expand on this with some examples of how such large deployments impact on-site installation or data management compared to a normal one?
Sure. For starters, we streamlined the connection process for better user experiences. For example, all IAQ sensors and gateways are plug-and-play and automatically connected to the management platform after deployment. In this way, school staff can configure and upgrade all through the platform remotely and easily.
Also, we invested some time in security. The more complex and unique the password, the securer the device will be. In our case, each device and password correspond to one another. The Application Key for each sensor is randomly generated and is in the form of a long string.
Data transmission and integrity are other key factors when it comes to management. We designed a built-in random shift reporting feature on AM107 IAQ sensors so that packet conflicts and packet loss over-the-air can be minimized. Also, through this, the bandwidth and processing resources of the web server and application server can be optimized.
This project realized monitoring CO2, humidity and temperature levels at 5 minutes intervals during school hours with wireless devices. What sort of technical challenges do battery-powered IAQ sensors like AM107 impose on such a large-scale deployment?
With our IAQ solution, we are trying to inform users when and where they need fresh air. Collection intervals determine the duration for which statistics are aggregated, calculated, rolled up, and archived. In schools, real-time data collection and reporting are critical to prioritizing and implementing corrective actions. However, in many cases, this will drain the battery fairly quickly.
In the process of tackling this dilemma, what makes Milesight stand out from other IAQ sensors is that we employ LoRaWAN® technology in our products. The LoRaWAN® specification is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect battery-operated ‘things’ to the internet in regional, national or global networks, which means if your device needs a long battery life, low-cost and long-range connectivity, LoRaWAN® is exactly what you are looking for.
Besides, our team designed an automatic mode switch in AM107. This is great because, in practice, the AM107 can automatically switch between different operating modes during the day and night. It responds to classroom air quality conditions as quickly as possible during the day, while saving as much energy as possible on the device’s battery in unoccupied classroom environments at night.
Combined with the adaptive data rate (ADR) mode, it enables the device to achieve more than 4 years of battery life, even with a data collection frequency of 1 minute and a reporting interval of 5 minutes. So, for school staff, they are able to make changes more gradually and quickly in the affected rooms by, for example, adjusting the inflow of outdoor air or completely airing out a classroom during a break.
We’re glad that the project was grounded and your team delivered qualified services to partners and customers. Are there any stories or advice you would like to share?
Definitely. Firstly, working together within a supportive community is beneficial. I am grateful for all the suggestions we received from the LoRaWAN® community, Semtech especially. During the pilot projects, Semtech provided valuable suggestions to achieve a better response for the AM107 to LinkADRReq at the MAC layer, which enhanced the compatibility of the sensors in this project.
One episode came to my mind instantly though. It is about time accuracy on IAQ sensors. There was a time when our clients were confused about why the time shown on the E-ink screen is different in various schools or seasons. We crossed out every possible failure on sensors before we identified the time differences and Daylight-Saving Time as the cause. Because of these, the time on AM107 may not be accurate if it is not adjusted accordingly. To make it correct and convenient, our AM107 is designed to automatically synchronize its time with gateway packet forwarding on a long-term basis.
Making new cutting-edge products and solutions available to everyone is definitely not an easy task. But, if you ask me any tips, I would say being detailed-minded and determined are always helpful. That's how we work at Milesight.
About Milesight IoT
Milesight IoT is a fast-growing and innovation-driven technology company with a focus on 5G, AI, IoT and LoRaWAN®. With advanced IoT insights, the company helps customers worldwide optimize their business operation efficiently and sustainably in an actionable and locally adapted way. Along Milesight has been a long-term trusted partner for a massively growing IoT businesses since 2011. In collaboration with global partners, Milesight IoT is committed to building open ecosystems that generate inspirations and embrace challenges together and better. Learn more about Milesight.