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Lat-Lon LLC has unveiled the Micro Tracking Unit (MTU), the company's smallest solar-powered unit. The unit measures less than four inches by four inches by two-and-a-half inches. Designed to eliminate costly cellular data plans within typical telematics units, the MTU transmits data through LoRa proprietary radio modulation technology, which is paired to a gateway within a range of up to one mile. The MTU also stores messages for later transmission. LoRa offers low-power, low-cost and long-range wireless technology designed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, Lat-Lon officials said in a press release. Data is communicated to a network of gateways that are connected to the internet. This is known as a Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN). Communication is secure and bi-directional using frequency hopping and variable data rates, according to Lat-Lon. A LoRa MTU repackages the circuitry of the larger Solar Tracking Unit (STU) into a smaller, more focused footprint. It's intended for low-cost asset location applications, such as construction equipment at a job site, tracking railcars within a yard or creating delivery vehicle trips reports. The Solar-Powered MTU is designed to collect solar energy from every sun angle. In addition, the unit essentially receives a "fresh set of batteries" daily via direct or indirect sunlight, allowing for frequent messages without shortening the unit lifespan, Lat-Lon officials said. Reports, summaries and graphs of the data are available through Lat-Lon's website. Other data delivery options are available as needed. "LoRa vastly expands the market for GPS tracking and data collection by removing the recurring costs normally associated with such services. Now, GPS tracking is a one-time capital acquisition instead of an operating expense," said Lat-Lon President David Baker.
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