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Remote Cattle Station Connectivity

The Station was an IoT Project that delivered a Tower Connectivity Network comprising of PTP Radios and LoRa Gateways. The wireless connectivity project comprised a wide variety of sensors on the Station including Solar, Tank Level, Water Pump, Creek Level, Soil Probes and GPS Trackers.

The remote property is a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station, located in Northern Territory, Australia. Composed primarily of open grazing land the property occupies an area of over 100k hectares. This property has multiple Agriculture applications, primarily as a Cattle Station, additionally, they grow Cotton and Citrus.

The Issue

With the remoteness of the location, the underlying issue was zero wireless connectivity across the expansive property. There was a need for a reliable wireless connectivity solution to meet the demands of the AgTech IoT peripherals to provide functionality. We were engaged to provide a connectivity solution as well as providing reporting on various AgTech IoT assets through our myinisght.io suite.

Challenges

The remoteness of the site led to numerous challenging situations all of which were overcome through planning and reliable product usage. The harsh conditions of remote Australia meant the solution needed to be able to run remotely in +60-degree weather while also being able to handle torrential rain and the occasional lightning strike.

The Solution

Tower 1 is the first link in the chain of the station’s Core IoT Network, it is connected back to the station’s Core Access Network via a radio located on the roof of the Cat Shed. This radio connects into the switch located in the storeroom office of the Cat Shed (where the spare parts are kept). This switch then connects to a switch located over in the Managers office and that switch in turn connects over to a switch located in the data rack within the main station office.

Tower 1 has InfiNet Radios connecting back to the Cat Shed and connecting out to the next Tower. There is also a LoRa Gateway located at the top of the tower. All of these radios cable down into the Solar box located under the Solar Panels and are powered from there with DC-DC 48V-56V PoE Injectors. These are all connected through a Planet 4 Port Managed Switch with VLAN tagging used to separate the IoT Network from the Access Network.

The same set up has been utilised at each of the following towers.

Tower 2 is the second link in the chain of the Core IoT Network, it is connected back to Tower 2 via a radio.

Tower 3 is the third link in the chain of Core IoT Network, it is connected back to Tower 2 via a radio.

Tower 4 is the fourth link in the chain of Tipperary Core IoT Network, it is connected back to Tower 3 via a radio.

The Horse Stable is the fifth link in the chain of stations Core IoT Network, it is connected back to Tower 4 via radio and out to the Homestead at the Station. The horse stable radios cable down under the eve and are powered via POE here and are connected to each other.

The last link of the network connects the Homestead to the Horse Stables this radio powers from the homestead office and is connected through a Planet 4 Port Managed Switch with VLAN tagging used to separate the IoT Network from the Access Network.

Moon Tower is a separate Network link to the rest of the system installed. It utilises existing Cambium radios that are installed on the Airport Roof linking over to the Equestrian Centre and in turn linking over to the Moon Homestead and Tower off the same AP.

The Moon Tower is powered by AC via the Homestead Generator, the Radio and the Lora Gateway are powered by their standard POE Injectors and are connected through a Planet 4 Port Managed Switch with VLAN tagging used to separate the IoT Network from the Access Network.

Product

The Outcome

The owners of the remote cattle station now have connectivity to three different locations on the property where previously there was none. Further to this, there is also now a private IoT network in place to support existing and future sensor applications.

 

 

 

 

 

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