Anchoring with Peace of Mind – A LoRa® Boat Monitoring System based on Seeed Wio-E5

Boats are often left unattended when the owner docks them or drops anchor and leaves. Therefore, it is difficult to avoid damage to the boats caused by extreme weather conditions or human factors. For all boat owners who cherish their assets, a device that can help monitor the conditions of the boat when they are away can greatly come in handy in this scenario.

Now, a LoRa®-based tracking device is born to tackle these potential problems that occurred during the boat owner’s absence: NENA™. Sponsored by the Seeed Fusion Power-up PCBA service, Thanos Pelekoudas is able to build a LoRa® monitoring system with the Seeed Studio Wio-E5 wireless module that keeps track of boats’ certain conditions remotely.

Prototype of the NENA™

What is NENA™

NENA™ is a device that monitors unattended anchored and docked boats for excessive roll/pitch angles due to unexpected weather conditions, anchor drift, and boat intruders. Onboarded with several sensors to measure targeted factors, the device will send alert notifications immediately to the boat owner whenever abnormal conditions are detected.

Features of the NENA™:

  • Industry-leading components selected, including BLE/NFC/PIR/ENV/GNSS/LoRaWAN® modules.
  • Small, low-height 4-layers PCB of 84x36x3mm size (DxWxH). Waterproof IP67 enclosure 105x50x28mm including 2xAAA user-replaceable batteries.
  • Reliable roll/pitch readings, even in non-stationary vehicles.
  • Low power design. The onboard solar charger and wide input voltage range down to 0.7V allow a variety of power sources (LiPo, Li-SOCl2, Alkaline, etc) and ensure power-autonomous maintenance-free operation.

Circuit Board of the NENA™

What Kind of Sensors NENA™ Uses

There are in total 4 sensors integrated into the device for necessary measurements:

  • The accelerometer determines roll/pitch angles. The use of gyroscopes and sensor-fusion algorithms was early abandoned to keep power consumption low.
  • Temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure sensor log weather data.
  • GNSS receiver keeps track of the boat’s position.
  • PIR sensors analyze infrared radiation (human presence) in the boat.

How NENA™ Alerts are Transmitted

First of all, two radio configurations are implemented on Seeed Wio-E5 that enable the device to connect with LoRa® gateways through LoRaWAN®, and also allow short-range communication with a standalone LoRa® receiver (pager) or with a LoRa®-to-WiFi gateway through LoRa® P2P network.

The transmission range varies from 500m to over 20km depending on installation height and obstacles. Soon after the alert notifications are sent out from the device, the boat owner shall receive a sound alert (buzzer), SMS, email, etc. In the end, all sensor data are stored in the cloud, which makes it easily accessible for post-evaluation.

NENA™ Alerts’ Transmission

NENA™’s Set-up, Reliability, and Potential Use Cases

NENA™ is a compact, waterproof, and power-optimized device containing all necessary sensors and wireless transmitters. Set-up of the device is easy, since the connection to the boat’s electrical wiring or radio equipment is not required, and the default device setup covers most needs, with typical values for sensitivity or transmission frequency.

In addition, advanced users can alter installation or operational parameters (offset angles, alert limits, etc.) via the provided BLE/NFC mobile application to meet specific requirements based on their needs.

Standard Version of NENA™

Both 10440 solar-rechargeable LiPo or standard AAA replaceable alkaline batteries can be used with the NENA™ for a greater duration. The device also includes self-test features to verify proper operation and report device health through periodic transmissions.

Although initially targeted for maritime use, its size and power efficiency enable further asset tracking use cases, like bicycles or motorcycles. NENA™ would be a handy tool to help you stay alert about the conditions of your personal belongings.

Get your Wio-E5 project manufactured for FREE with Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly Service

Wio-E5 PCBA Sponsorship Service

To accelerate the development of the IoT industry to the next level, Seeed is 100% sponsoring Wio-E5 projects with the Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly Service for all hardware enthusiasts, designers, makers, and engineers around the world!

Good ideas need to be discovered, and good projects deserve to be recognized, realized and widely disseminated! Each person is limited to two PCBA boards 100% completely FREE for one design, including PCB fabrication, the cost of parts, assembly, and shipping. The design must include Wio-E5.

If you have an interesting concept for Wio-E5 and are willing to share it with the community, share it with us and we can help you make it a reality with Seeed Fusion’s one-stop-shop capabilities. Get 2 boards fabricated and assembled completely free with Seeed Fusion’s turnkey PCB Assembly service.

Furthermore, choose all your parts from Open Parts Libraries (OPL) and reduce the lead time to as little as 7 working days. Meanwhile, if you have mass production requirements, we highly recommend taking advantage of the Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly service and getting the Wio-E5 modules for only US$7.90 (28% discount, original price US$10.90).

Take action to bring your Wio-E5 projects to the next level!

Note: The LoRa® Mark is a trademark of Semtech Corporation or its subsidiaries.

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November 2022