The Things Network reports that intrepid makers have extended the distance at which a LoRa packet reached one of their gateways. You may remember one of my earlier posts, in which Andreas Spiess managed 212 km in a ground-to-ground connection. Surface-to-surface connections are always going find this distance difficult to beat due to the curvature of the earth. The planet itself gets in the way of the radio signal.
Dutch company SODAQ released helium balloons, and these send data over 354 km, as the balloon provided 15km of altitude. They make a range of boards using LoRa, and some are solar-powered.
A group, from Amersfoort, Netherlands beat that attempt. Here they prepared a balloon that would ascend to nearly 39 km high. On board was a LoRa sender, which was able to see at one point 148 gateways across Europe. In Wroclaw, Poland, 702.67 km away, a gateway received these LoRa packets. A transmitting power of only 25mW (about 40x smaller than that of a mobile phone) achieved that great distance.
A little goes a long way. Let’s see what will offer the platform for the next LoRa distance test!