Industrial Innovation


Atmospheric Reconnaissance & Reporting Of Wildfires

ARROW – Atmospheric Reconnaissance & Reporting Of Wildfires is an Early Detection System of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
ARROW is a “four-layer” system of aerial based sensors. A variety of fixed wing, autonomous drone aircraft, each with different flight characteristics will be employed in order to achieve the goal of consistent, umbrella like total area coverage.

Climate Change, Lightening or Manmade… regardless of how the wildfires start, the indisputable facts remain that they are happening with a significantly greater frequency, creating a ‘GLOBAL WILDFIRE CRISIS’, that we have all witnessed with great sorrow and despair.

ARROW – is the next step of the Wildfire Detection Sensors, which was selected as a Capstone in 2019/2020 for 4th year engineering students. These newly developed sensors will form an integrated multi altitude system that is mounted onto solar charged and battery powered autonomous VTOL aircraft /drones UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that will cruise above BC forests in predetermined grids or event patterns.

This concept was developed during the severe wildfire season of 2018 in BC when numerous wildfires were burning at one time and destroyed over a million hectares of forests, and the smoke enveloped 1000s of square kilometers. These fires led to destruction on a massive scale.

Since lightning strikes also account for starting approximately 60% of all wildfires in BC, we conceptualized the ability for a UAV to loiter at high altitudes above a fixed point on the earth for days or weeks at a time, so that detection occurs and only minutes or hours elapse after a fire has started instead of multiple days. In this way the smaller fires will be easier to extinguish.

Three other levels of sensor and thermal imaging equipped UAVs, each having unique flight characteristics and altitude operating envelopes will complete our system. Other uses of this technology could be for search and rescue purposes, maritime and arctic surveillance, and disaster relief coordination.

This project is in collaboration with the University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus 

The UBCO Engineering Team

Dr. Jahangir Hossain is the supervising Communications Professor of the ARROW project

Dr. Hossain has held research fellow appointments at Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), Canada, Institute for Telecommunications research (ITR), Australia and McGill University, Canada. He has also gained practical experiences towards developing contemporary wireless communication systems through his industrial appointments. In particular, he has worked at Intel Inc., USA as a research intern and at Redline Communications, Canada as a senior systems engineer. His research has focused on developing bandwidth and energy efficient technologies for wireless systems, which lead to longer battery life and the ability to support high data rate applications for devices such as laptops, smart phones, and tablets.

Dr. Joshua Brinkerhoff is the supervising Aeronautics Professor of the ARROW project

Dr. Brinkerhoff is an expert in computational fluid dynamics, and leads the UBC-Okanagan Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. His team uses very large computer simulations to investigate the behaviour of turbulent fluid flows, with a special focus on the development and interaction of various instabilities in the flow. Although his primary expertise is in aerodynamics and aeroengine propulsion systems, his team has tackled a broad range of flow simulation problems relating to lung disease, passive buildings, wind farms, hydrogen energy, supersonic vacuum systems, and geothermal systems. He has a particular interest in modelling the transport, storage, spill and dispersion of very-low-temperature liquids like LNG and liquid hydrogen.

Dr. Alexander R. Uhl is the supervising Solar Energy & Fuels Professor of the ARROW project

Dr. Uhl is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan. He received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), Switzerland and Diploma in Nanoscale Engineering from the University of Würzburg, Germany after graduate stays at the University of British Columbia, Canada and Uppsala University, Sweden.  As a three-time fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), he conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Washington, USA and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Md. Zoheb Hassan – Graduate Research Assistant

Md. Zoheb Hassan has obtained his PhD degree form the department of electrical and computer engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada at 2019. Within UBC Vancouver, he was the recipient of the prestigious Four-Year Doctoral Fellowship. Since 2019, he has been working at University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada as a teaching-postdoctoral fellow. His research expertise includes UAV communications for Internet-of-things network, interference-aware resource scheduling in wireless communication networks, wireless optical communications, , and digital communications over fading channels. He serves/served as a member of the Technical Program Committee of IEEE IWCMC 2018, IEEE ICC 2019, and IEEE ICC 2020.

Kenan Sevim – Research Assistant

Kenny is currently finishing his bachelors degree in electrical engineering. Problem solving and learning are his two biggest passions that drive him everyday. He loves learning about new innovations from different cultures and environments. Watching something work that’s been engineered perfectly really determines him to one day have one of his innovations changing the world as well.

Emily Schatz – Research Assistant

Emily is a fourth year Electric Engineering Student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. She also has her diploma in Electronic Engineering Technology. She is excited to work on the Wildfire Detection Sensor project with Our Blue Planet as her career interests are in electronics and renewable energy. She has worked in the Aviation and Aerospace industry as a technologist and she is excited to venture into the sustainability sector.

Colton Share – Research Assistant

Colton is studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus and is expected to graduate with his Bachelor’s Degree in May 2020. He chose Mechanical Engineering because he have always had a strong passion and interest in vehicles, structures, and the complexity of moving parts. Colton has worked in construction as a framer/carpenter for the last four summers. Hockey and golf are his main hobbies outside of school as he grew up playing competitively almost my whole life.

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