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aquila-gateway v0.7.0

MQTT-SN Gateway (Serial MQTT-SN to MQTT bridge)

Aquila MQTT-SN Gateway

MQTT-SN gateway for the Aquila 2.0 platform.

This software acts as a transparent link between a sensor network of low power devices (like Altair or other 802.15.4 or RF devices) and a MQTT broker (like mosca or mosquitto). This allows us to seamlessly and easily integrate those devices with existing MQTT applications and libraries.

You can find more information in the documentation

    (Device)_____                          ____________________            _______________
                  \___________            |                    |          |               |
                      MQTT-SN \__ ________|                    |   MQTT   |               |
          (Device)_______________| Bridge |      Gateway       |__________|  MQTT Broker  |
                               __ --------|  (aquila-gateway)  |          |               |
            __________________/           |                    |          |               |
    (Device)                               --------------------            ---------------
                                                                             MQTT |
                                                                          |               |
                                                                          |  Other MQTT   |
                                                                          |    Devices    |

## Bridge and client implementations

This gateway is meant to be as transport agnostic as possible, this allows us to use almost any sensor network just by developing a hardware bridge that implements the serial forwarder protocol defined in the documentation.

Currently there are implementations for the Altair 802.15.4 development board and for rfm69 915Mhz RF devices with Atmel AVR processors.


  • Node.js v4.X.X or newer. (Tested with v4.5.0+ and v6.3.1+)


  1. Install:
npm install -g aquila-gateway bunyan

If you have problems installing, try with: sudo npm install -g aquila-gateway bunyan --unsafe-perm

  1. Run a MQTT broker on your PC, for example Mosca

  2. Connect the Bridge to the PC and identify which serial port it's connected to

  3. Run:

aquila-gateway -p <your Bridge serial port> | bunyan

Advanced usage

Get help:

aquila-gateway -h
Usage: aquila-gateway [options]


    -h, --help                                output usage information
    -V, --version                             output the version number
    -v, --verbose [level]                     Verbosity level for logging (fatal, error, warn, info, debug, trace) [info]
    -t, --transport [transport]               Forwarder transport type (serial, tcp) [serial]
    -p, --port [serial port]                  Serial Port path if using serial transport, TCP port number if using TCP transport [/dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART | 6969]
    -b, --broker [url]                        MQTT broker URL [http://localhost:1883]
    -u, --allow-unknown-devices [true/false]  Allow connection of previously unknown (not paired) devices [true]
    -s, --subnet [pan id]                     PAN subnet number (1 to 254) [1]
    -k, --key [16 byte array]                 16 byte encryption key [null]
    -d, --data-path [path]                    Path to data persist file [/Users/rod/.aquila-gateway/data.json]
    -m, --monitor-prefix [prefix]             Gateway monitor topics prefix [gw]

Connect to a remote broker (example):

aquila-gateway -p /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART -b | bunyan


  1. Clone this repository and cd to the project directory

  2. Install dependencies:

npm install
npm install -g bunyan
  1. Run a MQTT broker on your PC, for example Mosca

  2. Connect the Bridge to the PC and identify which serial port it's connected to

  3. Build:

npm run build
  1. Run:
./aquila-gateway.js -p <your Bridge serial port> | bunyan

Supported MQTT-SN features

  • QoS: supports QoS0, QoS1 and QoS2 (QoS2 implementation between device and gateway is mostly dummy, equivalent to QoS1)
  • Commands:
    • REGACK
    • PUBACK
    • SUBACK
    • SEARCHGW (basic, not spec checked)
    • GWINFO (basic, not spec checked)
  • Implements Forwarder Encapsulation spec with a little modification: adds lqi and rssi data at the start of the frame.
  • Supports topic register
  • Supports last will
  • Supports and manages disconnect timeout
  • Will update
  • Subscribe, Unsubscribe
  • Retained messages support (issue: when a device subscribes to a topic with a retained message, it will be resent to all devices susbscribed to it, check if it's a problem)
  • Sleeping nodes -> message buffering


  • QoS -1
  • WILDCARDS support as mqtt-sn spec
  • Short and predefined MQTT-SN topics
  • QoS 1 and 2 retries

In progress

  • Advanced device management: implement predefined Gateway topics for getting info of connected devices, events etc. (non MQTT-SN standard, implement as module) (Preliminar API implemented)
  • Device pairing management (Transport dependent) (DONE for Altair and rfm69)
  • Support other Forwarder software transports: TCP socket (for using an ESPino or similar as forwarder) (TCP transport Done, experimental)

Not supported

  • 3 byte MQTT-SN header


  • Check if parser on willtopicupd accept empty flags and topic (for removing will)
  • Will update
  • Make sure that buffered messages are sent in order (database dependent, check what lokijs does now)


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