IoT hardware solutions provider MINEW has launched an all-in-one cellular IoT gateway and tracker designed to help logistics operators manage assets in transit in near real time. The ‘MG5 Outdoor Mobile LTE Gateway’ integrates Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 multiprotocol Bluetooth® 5.3 SoC and nRF9160 lower power SiP with integrated LTE-M/NB-IoT modem and GNSS, enabling the device to receive data from other Bluetooth LE devices and relay it to the Cloud along with its own sensor and GNSS data. This data provides operators with actionable insights on their assets, personnel, or goods in transit.
“This product was designed to try and better monitor various assets during outdoor transportation, as well as improve personnel safety,” says Eason Huang, Product Manager at MINEW. “The MG5 Outdoor Mobile LTE Gateway can be used to manage goods in transportation, for tracking items and optimizing routes, or to locate construction site equipment to streamline asset management. It can also be used to track school buses to improve student safety.”
The ruggedized MG5 Outdoor Mobile LTE Gateway comes in a 131.4 by 109.1 by 34 mm form factor and is suitable for use in demanding environments. It can switch between gateway and tracker mode depending on the application. In gateway ‘real time’ mode the device can support hundreds of external Bluetooth LE sensor or tag connections by connecting external power for real-time monitoring and long-term use. For example, the data from tags monitoring the temperature of individual packages in a cold chain shipment can be relayed to the Cloud, and from a Cloud platform fleet operators can ensure the goods have remained within temperature tolerances across their journey.
In tracker low energy mode, the device can be used to track the location of a particular vehicle, relaying its GNSS coordinates to the Cloud over the Nordic cellular link at specific intervals powered by its own internal battery. The nRF9160 SiP combines cellular network location data with GNSS trilateration for precise position monitoring enabling geo-fencing of valuable assets within a defined perimeter of the device. In addition to the nRF9160 SiP and nRF52840 SoC, the MG5 Outdoor Mobile LTE Gateway also integrates a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, and a barometer enabling it to act as a standalone tracker as required.
The nRF9160 SiP includes a powerful 64 MHz Arm® Cortex®-M33 application processor, enabling some edge computing on the MG5 gateway to filter out irrelevant data, reducing the quantity sent to the Cloud, thus saving on data charges. The generous 1 MB Flash and 256 KB RAM also enables the device to save data locally in the event it is disconnected from the network.
The company has also developed a ‘Cellular Gateway Configuration Assistant’ app (available for Android smartphones), which allows the user to manage over-the-air software updates and device configuration, as well as adjust device settings.
“We selected the nRF9160 SiP for its size, processing power, and multimode capability,” says Huang. “Nordic’s Field Application Engineers provided useful and timely technical support to smooth the development process.”