SpaceX and Rogers Team Up for Advanced Wildfire Detection
Canadian telecom Rogers has revealed a substantial investment in state-of-the-art wildfire detection and prevention technology in British Columbia. The initiative is a part of Rogers’ broader strategy to combat climate change and is being executed in collaboration with SpaceX and other tech partners.
Rogers is utilizing satellite-connected sensors powered by SpaceX’s low-bandwidth Swarm service to improve wildfire prediction capabilities in remote regions of British Columbia that are not covered by wireless networks. Swarm, a SpaceX subsidiary, offers satellite connectivity for as low as $5 USD per month.
In addition to satellite sensors, Rogers is deploying Pano AI cameras that are connected to its 5G network. These cameras can detect smoke up to a range of 20 kilometres and will be installed on wireless towers in areas near Fort St. James, Smithers, and Chetwynd.
“Climate change is a global issue that requires urgent action. 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.
The technology is part of ongoing 5G research involving Rogers, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). Real-time data from the sensors and cameras will be shared with BCWS and UBC to improve wildfire detection and management.
“Wildfires are a growing concern across our province and we are always looking for better ways to predict and detect them,” said Aaron Pawlick, Manager, Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, BC Wildfire Service. “We are always interested in new ideas, technology, and innovations to inform our work. We are pleased to receive data and information from this project and participate with Rogers, UBC and Pano in trialing these innovative technologies.”
To further bolster emergency response capabilities, Rogers is donating satellite phones to the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association.
The initiative is an extension of Rogers’ ongoing collaboration with SpaceX and Lynk to provide satellite-to-phone coverage in Canada’s remote areas. As climate change continues to pose increasing risks, Rogers is committed to expanding its support for Canadians, first responders, and governments in emergency preparedness and recovery.