Low-power satellite IoT SoC works with Totum’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network

Orca Systems ORC3990 is a low-power satellite Internet of Things (IoT) SoC that works with Totum’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network of satellites and targets outdoor and indoor tracking and monitoring applications.

It’s not the first time we read about satellites being used for LPWAN networks, as Sigfox launched LEO satellites a few years ago to provide worldwide coverage even in remote locations like the Sahara desert, the two poles, and oceans. But I had never heard of Totum or Orca Systems before, so let’s have a closer look.

Orca Systems ORC3990

ORC3390 Satellite IoT SoCORC3990 specifications:

  • Unnamed Arm cores
  • Integrated RF Transceiver
  • Low Power Sensor-to-Satellite (LP-S2S) connectivity in the 2.4 GHz ISM band
  • Totum DMSS modem for improved doppler performance
  • Link budget enables indoor signal coverage
  • Support location fixes with 20m accuracy
  • Low power – 10+ year battery life
  • Package – 7x7mm QFN chip
  • Temperature Range – -40 – +85°C
  • Process – 22nm
ORC3990 Satellite IoT Endpoint Reference Module
Reference module

That’s about all information we have about ORC3990. We’re also told via the press release that a sub-$10 endpoint solution is possible for compact tracker supporting global connectivity and positioning. More details may eventually surface on the SoC’s product page.

Totum Satellite IoT technology

We can get a better understanding of the capabilities of the solution by checking out Totum’s website where we learn some key points:

  • Network comprised of 18 cubesat satellites each the size of a breadbox (6U)
  • Satellite capacity – Up to 24,000 simultaneous transmissions per satellite good for millions of devices per satellite; 24 MHz spectrum
  • Frequency band – Unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum that does not interfere with WiFi or Bluetooth and is tolerant to interference from other technologies
  • Support for indoor coverage with -143 dBm sensitivity, 20 dB excess link margin
  • Positioning accuracy – 20 meters outdoor location accuracy, building-level accuracy indoors
  • Device to Totum cloud latency of 10-15 minutes
  • Low power operation
  • Security
    • AES 128-bit Encryption/decryption, frag/defrag, channel correction and sequencing
    • Provisioning via unique MAC ID, security keys, and modem firmware
    • eFUSE to prevent access after provisioning

So basically the solution is for tracking applications that require low maintenance and low-cost operation, but where accuracy and real-time positioning are not critical. That would seem well-suited to container tracking for instance, as illustrated in the diagram below.

Totum LEO Satellite IoT Network

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

Share this:

Support CNX Software! Donate via PayPal or cryptocurrencies, become a Patron on Patreon, or buy review samples

ROCK Pi 4C Plus
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
The comment form collects your name, email and content to allow us keep track of the comments placed on the website. Please read and accept our website Terms and Privacy Policy to post a comment.
5 Comments
oldest
newest
nestor
nestor
4 months ago

Do you remember On-Ramp Wireless now called Ingenu? The same guys, the same technology, they can’t deliver so they kick forward to try to engage new clients or supporters. Zero hope

Jacques
Jacques
4 months ago

Mmmm…. “Frequency band – Unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum that does not interfere with WiFi or Bluetooth and is tolerant to interference from other technologies” How do you not interfere with other WiFi and Bluetooth which use the same band (along with Zigbee, Matter and a bunch of other wireless technologies)? Additionally the 2.4 GHz band is limited to 100 mW EIRP in many places, that probably makes it quite a challenge to reach a satellite a few hundred km away from an indoor location. At a distance of 500 km the received signal at the satellite is only -133 dBm with… Read more »

Semyon
Semyon
4 months ago

I share the same concerns with Jacques

Fisk
3 months ago

Apparently, they have gotten it to work by testing with the YAM satellite. Though it is impossible to find any performance data. I also have some concerns that interference from other radio traffic and the PL >155dB will make it challenging unless the situation is perfect.

Advertisement