Industrial Innovation

Wildfire Detection Sensors

Wildfire Detection Sensors 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.

We are developing an early warning system of detection and communication called ARROW that is robust and cost effective, to allow for wide industry adoption.

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 
Engineering Students Capstone Project

The UBCO Engineering Team

Dr. Jahangir Hossain is the supervising Professor of the Wildfire Detection Sensors team.

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.

Kenan Sevim

Kenny is 22 years old. He is currently finishing his bachelors degree in electrical engineering and has taken the lead on the Wildfire Detection Sensors Capstone team project. Problem solving and learning are his two biggest passions that drive him everyday. He loves learning about new innovations from different cultures and environments. Traveling has allowed him to experience brilliant solutions from all around the world. Watching something work that’s been engineered perfectly really determines him to one day have one of his innovations changing the world as well.

Annie Yang

Annie is an electrical engineering student expected to graduate December of 2020. She has a passion for sustainable infrastructures and innovative solutions that helps make the world a more sustainable place. Her hobbies include reading and astronomy.

Colton Share

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.

Emily Schatz

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.

Lucas Boutin

Lucas is in his final year of an undergraduate electrical engineering degree at the University of British Columbia. He has focused his classes towards industrial robotics and control. Outside of school he is an avid rock climber, skier and photographer.


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