Rogers Communications has announced it is teaming up with SpaceX to launch a suite of new tools to enhance early wildfire detection and response in British Columbia.
As part of the initiative Rogers will deploy satellite-connected IoT (Internet of Things) sensors through SpaceX’s Swarm. Swarm provides low-bandwidth connectivity using the tiny satellites, which provide reliable global network coverage for just $5 per month. The sensors will be used to help predict wildfires in remote areas of the province where there are no traditional wireless networks, bridging the connectivity gap in these high-risk regions and providing critical data for monitoring and managing wildfires.
In addition to the satellite-connected sensors, Rogers is introducing Pano AI cameras integrated into the Rogers 5G network. These cameras will also be an early detection tool for wildfires. The cameras will be placed on wireless towers near Fort St. James, Smithers, and Chetwynd, and be able to detect smoke and fire ignitions from as far away as 20km, enabling faster response times and reducing the potential for catastrophic damage.
“Climate change is a global issue that requires urgent action. Communities across the country are facing the effects of unprecedented wildfires. We are proud to put our national network and technology partnerships to work to better detect fires and support Canadian first responders,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO of Rogers.
This technology builds upon ongoing research conducted by Rogers, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). Real-time data from the satellite-connected sensors and tower cameras will be shared with BCWS and UBC, improving wildfire detection capabilities and facilitating more effective response strategies.
Along with the SpaceX Swarm sensors and new Pano AI cameras, Rogers is also donating satellite phones to the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association.
This isn’t the first time Rogers has teamed up with SpaceX. The two companies, along with Lynk, announced earlier this year they are bringing satellite-to-phone coverage to underserved regions of Canada.