This project has been initiated by Ogero last year as part of an initiative to build a nationwide Internet of Things (IoT) network based on the LoRaWAN technology.
Digitizing the physical elements of the city and Gathering data from:
- The Gas, Water & Electrical meters of the tenant apartments: using pulse sensors which were connected to the respective energy meters.
- The oil & water reservoirs of the project: using different types of fluid level sensors.
- The quality of the air: measuring particles and the levels of different gases in the atmosphere like O3, NO2, SO2 or CO.
- Water pumps of sewage treatment systems: reading its status and being able to command it on or off to feed on demand the irrigation network.
- Different physical security systems.
- Fire alarms and elevator alarm buttons.
Wireless technologies that utilize the minimum amount of power and maintenance were used. Low power is an absolute necessity because the sensors have to be autonomous and draw their energy exclusively from batteries without recharges. LoRaWAN was opted and a base station from Cisco was installed in the middle of the compound. Having the ability to run LoRa actually gave some freedom to work in a clean and flexible way around the different resources to measure.
From an end-user perspective, the meters in the technical room of each building were tested as demonstrated in the pictures below:
Different factors of air quality using this sensor were also tested:
Here is also how the Cisco LoRaWAN base station looks. Notice that it ships with all accessories and protections, it also looks very well built comparing to others we have tested.
Here is a photo of the field testing device.
The second step was to gather this data and store it for analysis. That’s a three-fold process:
- In order to read data from the sensors, we use the ThingPark platform from Actility, uncontested leader in its category who has developed a very stable system that manages and gathers the data from the different LoRaWAN sensors.
- We then stored the data on a platform we have created at DataConsult, the Data Orchestration Platform. This system is built inside the Google Cloud and it has the necessary intelligence to integrate with any data source, analyze, store and command things that are connected to it.
- We also created a Smart City application which utilizes this platform and offers services for both the city operators and the citizens.
From an end-user experience perspective, the data was displayed:
- On a responsive dashboard for the facility managers which includes analytics and data visualization.
- Through a Facebook messenger chatbot built specifically for this project and with the purpose to interact with tenants.
Here are a few screenshots.
Ok, and how about security?
That’s a big topic and considering the importance of such a project, security hasn’t been taken lightly.
- On the access side, using LoRaWAN we encrypted and secured the information from the sensor to the IoT platform residing in the cloud. LoRa implements AES encryption from the sensor to the ThingPark platform.
- On the application side, the software resides on a machine sitting in the Google Cloud (GCP) -which is secure and unbraked- and is extracting the data from the LoRa platform using SSL secure sockets.
- The data is stored in a secure repository on the Google Cloud which is sealed from the outside world and access to the dashboard is secured by an authentication mechanism using Google Single Sign-On (SSO).
- The client himself is visualizing the data using a secure connection from the browser or the Facebook Messenger application.
As a result, data flow is always encrypted and signed in the 3 portions of its route.
The ability to digitize the data coming from physical elements of the city is giving people the possibility to enhance the lives of citizens through a better operation of the city and by suggesting improvements to citizen’s way of life and consumption habits.