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5G x Wildfire Detection

The Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G (Scheme), launched last May by the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA), aims to encourage various sectors to deploy 5G technology early to foster innovation and smart city applications, and to improve the efficiency of their operations and quality of their services that will contribute to enhancing Hong Kong’s overall competitiveness.

We’re excited that one of our customers (hereafter refer to B.T.) successfully enrolled in the Scheme! B.T. will use  5G and our products to detect wildfire in their location. Congratulations to B.T.!

Figure 1: Aspects of Approved Projects under the Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G. Source: ofca.gov.hk

Most of our customers are using fixed wireless microwave networks to connect our wildfire detection robots. The hardware components are usually positioned at 8 to 20 kilometers away from each other. B.T. will use 5G cellular data network to link up the cameras in its wildfire detection system.

Similar to many places around the world, the weather becomes hotter, drier, and windier in Hong Kong. All these increase the wildfire risks in the city, especially to those living or working near wildland or forest or WUI (wildland-urban-interface). Wildfires burn trees, as well as lives and properties, into ashes. Wildfire is a public challenge. It is an individual challenge too.

B.T. is a charity organization located in a rural area in Hong Kong. The organization is surrounded by farms, trees, and hills.  The location is one of the most wildfire-prone areas in the city. There are wildfires in the area every year! The organization is looking for wildfire risk mitigation solutions. They’re interested in our products. We want to help them. To serve them we need to solve a critical challenge – there is no standard broadband Internet access service in their location. It is too remote to get landline telecommunication service.

Figure 2: the burn scar of an October 2020 wildfire

Fortunately, 5G and LTE-A mobile services are rolling out recently. We find the cellular signal is very good at the charity organization. We optimize our wildfire detection solution to leverage high-speed cellular data network and 4K/HD video.

Figure 3: Speedtest result of the 5G network performance at the customer location

We develop our solution to meet the needs of commercial or prosumer users. Their utmost requirement is to get early wildfire alerts to help them take timely & informed actions to save lives! The second criterion is a 100% automatic system. The next ask is to get alerts on their smartphones.

This project is the first wildfire detection system in Hong Kong using the 5G infrastructure. It is very likely the first of its kind in Asia too! We’re looking forward to sharing more about this customer success story with you in the coming months! Stay tuned~ 

Please contact us at info@roboticscats.com for more information.

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