Introducing satellite-connected wildfire sensors with SpaceX technology
Connecting AI cameras to Rogers 5G network for early wildfire detection in Canadian first
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Rogers Communications today announced it is investing in industry-leading wildfire detection and prevention technology as part of the company’s commitment to keeping Canadians and first responders safe. The company will use its national network and technology partnerships to help combat climate change-related events in communities across the country.
Rogers is using satellite-connected sensors, with SpaceX’s low-bandwidth Swarm service, to better predict wildfires in remote areas of British Columbia without wireless networks. Rogers is introducing Pano AI cameras on the Rogers 5G network that detect smoke up to a 20-kilometre range. The AI cameras will be located on wireless towers in the province near Fort St. James, Smithers and Chetwynd. The company is also donating satellite phones to the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association to support first responders.
“Climate change is a global issue that requires urgent action. Communities across the country are facing the effects of unprecedented wildfires,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO, Rogers. “We are proud to put our national network and technology partnerships to work to better detect fires and support Canadian first responders.”
The new technology builds on ongoing 5G research by Rogers, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) to monitor key wildfire indicators. Now, real-time information from the satellite-connected sensors and tower cameras will be shared with BCWS and UBC to enable better detection and help first responders manage these devastating events.
“Early detection of wildfires is critical in preventing their spread to help protect communities and our forests,” said Sonia Kastner, CEO, Pano AI. “With the reach of Rogers 5G network, we are proud to work together to deploy our AI-powered cameras to detect, confirm and pinpoint new fire ignitions within minutes in some of the most remote parts of British Columbia.”
“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.”
“Working together with Rogers, we are equipping forests with satellite-connected sensors and 5G AI cameras. These new technologies will expand the reach and capabilities of our existing network of 5G IoT sensors, giving us real-time data that can provide the foundation for an early warning system for wildfires and improve public safety,” said Dr. Mathieu Bourbonnais, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences, UBC Okanagan.
“Communications are critical in search and rescue operations for the safety of everyone involved,” said Dwight Yochim, Chief Executive Officer, BC Search and Rescue Association. “When cellular and two-way radio communications aren’t possible, alternative methods are necessary. Personal locator beacons are often used in these situations but are very limited in two-way communications. The donation of satellite phones will have a direct positive impact on the safety of our 3,400 professional search and rescue members who volunteer every day to answer the call for help. It is a tremendous gift from Rogers and one that we are very grateful for. Rogers continues to be a partner in search and rescue helping our members stay safe and save lives.”
With the increasing impacts of climate change on communities, Rogers is expanding its support to help Canadians, first responders and governments. Rogers is committed to building a resilient Canada and partnering with organizations to enable emergency preparedness, provide immediate support when disasters strike, and assist in recovery efforts.
About Rogers Communications Inc.
Rogers is Canada’s leading wireless, cable and media company that provides connectivity and entertainment to Canadian consumers and businesses across the country. Rogers shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For more information, please visit: rogers.com or investors.rogers.com.
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