LoRa Protocol Stack-LoRa Physical layer, LoRa MAC layer

This page of RF Wireless World covers LoRa Protocol Stack.The LoRa Wireless protocol layers include Physical layer,MAC layer,Application layer. LoRa Physical layers for different country wide ISM bands and LoRa MAC Layer including different MAC message formats and MAC commands have been explained.

As shown in the figure-1 below, LoRa protocol stack consists of following protocol layers:
• LoRa Application Layer
• LoRa MAC Layer
• LoRa PHY Layer
• LoRa RF Layer

LoRa protocol stack

LoRa frame consists of uplink messages and downlink messages. There are three type of classes supported in LoRa system. Based on these classes, LoRa frame structure varies. Uplink messages are transmitted from end devices to the server using one or more gateways.

Downlink message is transmitted from server to only one LoRa end device. This is done using single gateway connected with network server. Refer different LoRaWAN classes for more information on types of frames supported in LoRa system.

LoRa Physical Layer

LoRa message formats

Following are the functions of LoRa Physical Layer (PHY):
• Physical Layer constructs the frame in order to transmit payload from MAC layer over RF link.
• It inserts PHDR, PHDR_CRC, preamble and CRC for the entire frame. CRC field is available in uplink message only.
• As a preamble specific constant sync words are used based on modulation technique either LORA, GFSK or FSK. This preamble will help in synchronization at the receiver as it is known to the receiver.
• PHY layer uses specific RF bands as per countrywide requirement.

LoRa MAC Layer

Following MAC messages are used in LoRa for establishing communication between end device and server.
• Join request (From End device to Server)
• Join accept (from network server to End device)
• Beacon frame (from gateway to End device) for scheduling slot for reception by End devices.
• Confirmed Data Up/Down (This messages are to be acknowledged by LoRa receiver)
• Unconfirmed Data Up/Down (This messages do not require any ack).
Here Up stands for uplink transmission and Down stands for downlink transmission.
Refer LoRa MAC layer inside>>.

Following table mentions LoRa MAC message fields as depicted in the figure-2 above.

LoRa MAC message field Description
MHDR MAC Header, Single octet long
MAC Payload Data from upper layer
MIC Message Integrity Code, 4 octet long
FHDR Frame Header
FPort Optional port field
FRMPayload Optional Frame Payload field
Devaddr Device address
FCtrl Frame Control Octet
FCnt Frame Counter, 2 octets long
FOpts Frame Options used to transport MAC commands, 15 octets long

Note: Information provided on this page is derived from LoRaWAN Specification V1.0 released on Jan.2015 by LoRa™ Alliance. Refer latest specifications published by LoRa Alliance ( https://www.lora-alliance.org ).

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Main page LoRa tutorial   LoRa Frequency Bands   LoRa protocol stack   LoRa MAC layer   LoRaWAN classes   LoRa features   LoRa Transceiver module