DASH7 Alliance

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The DASH7 Alliance (D7A) is a group of companies and universities managing the evolution of the Dash7 Alliance protocol. The goal of the group is to create a complete interoperable RF technology to exchange data for wireless sensor networks and devices at a block scale (300m-1 km).

Initially created with the participation of the US DoD and Lockheed Martin in 2009, the group evolved from RFID military needs (ISO-18000-7 support group role), to an industrial generic requirement. The Dash7 Alliance continued to forge an extensive experience in high reliability 433 MHz networks and extended it to 868/915 MHz.

Unlike other protocols, Dash7 Alliance published layered based protocols to ensure interoperability up to the file exchange layers. A complete Open Source implementation, OSS-7, as well as industrial implementations enabled to create a certification lab and organize regular plugfest.

The DASH7 Alliance was a privately held, 501(c)3 not-for-profit trade association founded in February 2009 and headquartered in San Ramon, California. Since 2015, it is a European NGO based in Brussels, Belgium.

DASH7 Technology[edit]

DASH7 wireless sensor networking technology is operating in the license-free sub GHz spectrum. Primarily relying on 433 MHz, the protocol now mostly addresses 868/915 MHz frequencies to reduce antenna size and increase throughput. DASH7 has multi-kilometer range, multi-year battery life, sensor and security support, direct device-to-device communications. The bitrate ranges from 9.6kbit/s up to 167kbit/s, with a latency under 15ms to deliver a packet (including LBT). DASH7 devices operate on a single global frequency and are interoperable regardless of application and by design do not require cumbersome application profiles.

Unlike most wireless networks, DASH7 doesn't require a gateway/node controller to operate. DASH7 V1.0 targets scalability : begin with two low cost devices and grow a network linearly. The DASH7 protocol is not build around IP layers. It's a bridge between RFID and IoT. Very low power, small memory footprint and above 100 000 devices per area are possible.

With the availability of the open source reference implementation, OSS-7, DASH7 is one of the most efficient way to enable RF/IoT research labs to gain access to an opened RF technologies.

Different tools are available to help adopters quickly learn and integrate DASH7 ( Rapsberry Pi shield, Arduino, ARM mbed library, etc.) ...

History[edit]

Upon receiving awards for the U.S. Department of Defense’s RFID III contract for ISO 18000-7 devices, several companies – Savi Technology, Evigia Systems, and Identec Solutions – started a more formalized process for determining conformance with the ISO 18000-7 standard and interoperability across vendors. ISO has no provision for testing equipment for compliance with its standards.

A founders meeting was organized by Savi Technology in February 2009 in Kona, Hawaii, and around this time the moniker “DASH7” was used to substitute for the much longer and more obscure “ISO/IEC 18000-7:2004”. At this meeting, it was agreed the alliance should incorporate as an independent, non-profit trade association and collect member dues to fund its operations.

In July 2010, the alliance announced the latest step in its interoperability certification initiative, making a series of test methods and scripts available to DASH7 developers.

In July 2010, the alliance also announced that an update to the ISO 18000-7 standard had been submitted to ISO, dubbed DASH7 Mode 2, adding new features and capabilities to the technology.

In July 2013, the DASH7 Alliance announced the DASH7 Alliance Protocol Draft 0.2. The alliance took into account the increasing demand for 868/915 MHz frequency extensions.

In May 2015, the DASH7 Alliance publicly released the v1.0 of the DASH7 Alliance Protocol. This step brought a clear path for interoperability between products and high layer file management, as well as InSitu firmware upgrade. The Dash7 products have full management features, encryption and constraints to be field upgradable ( long term maintenance addressed )

Mission[edit]

The purposes of the Alliance are:
  • Manage the DASH7 Alliance specification (based on ISO 18000-7 and further evolution) in order to benefit overall market conditions and to foster interoperability of DASH7 based products and technologies.
  • Provide an environment where its Members may meet to discuss and approve suggested revisions and enhancements that evolve the relevant specifications for protocol standards respecting the Alliance IPR policy.
  • Provide a forum where users may meet with developers and providers of related products and services to identify requirements for interoperability and general usability of DASH7 specification
  • Promote the DASH7 Alliance specification and educate the business and consumer communities as to the value, benefits and applications for such interoperable consumer and commercial products.
  • Protect the needs of users and increase competition among vendors by supporting the creation and implementation of uniform conformance test procedures and processes to foster the interoperability of products and services.
  • Once applicable, make appropriate submission of the specifications to international standardization agencies, for ratification, approval and adoption of such specifications as an official national or international standard by such agencies or bodies.

Organization[edit]

The DASH7 Alliance consists of three main working groups overseen by a board of directors.

Protocol Action Group
Study requirements, results of previous generations of DASH7, and propose improvements to the protocol. Both for low layers and upper layers.
University Action Group
DASH7 relies on industrial requirements to focus on goals and performance targets. Advanced research and evolution are led mostly by universities active on topics like RF propagation studies, protocol optimization, fault tolerance in noisy environments, etc. The UAG brings skills from IoT laboratories to compare different behavior of radio technologies in dense urban areas.
Outreach Working Group
Gathers end user requirements for submittal to the outreach working group and also leads all public outreach for the Alliance. The OWG is also responsible to showcase different use cases in order to help industries, cities, universities evaluate the added value of DASH7 for their context. The OWG historically targeted first sea containers, logistic and, since 2013 focuses on sensor networks and "Smart Infrastructure" with the help of the new DASH7 1.0 protocol.

Certification program[edit]

The DASH7 Alliance manages test, plugfest, and certification program required for any product using DASH7 wireless technology. The program was designed to ensure maximum commitment to open standards and ease of use. A flexible path between experimental use and full interoperability qualification ensures a fast and smooth evolution during deployment of DASH7 based products. The certification lab, in Belgium, validates RF physical layer as well as API compliance with the specification ( DASH7 modems are interchangeable for standard commands).

Membership[edit]

The DASH7 Alliance is opened to companies, universities or state bodies willing to get support to deploy, use or develop Dash7 based wireless networks. The Alliance organizes several meetings per year. Membership is mandatory for product manufacturer willing to use the DASH7 name.

Intellectual property[edit]

New DASH7 specifications are considered the intellectual property of the DASH7 Alliance and remain accessible only to DASH7 Alliance members until they become public knowledge during an ISO or IEEE standardization process.

The DASH7 Alliance has a reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing intellectual property policy, which is the same policy as both ISO and IEEE.

The DASH7 Alliance owns the DASH7 trademarks. The "DASH7 Certified" trademark is licensed out for use to companies that are incorporating DASH7 wireless technology into their certified products. A DASH7 Member trademark is also available to paying members of the alliance. To become a licensee of any DASH7 trademark, a company must become a member of the DASH7 Alliance.

See also[edit]