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Atmospheric Reconnaissance & Reporting Of Wildfires

Early Wildfire Detection System of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Early Wildfire Detection with the ARROW system is simple to deploy,
will save millions of dollars yearly, and will lessen the devastating loss of forests, property and lives.


ARROW – Atmospheric Reconnaissance & Reporting Of Wildfires is an Early Detection System of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.


ARROW is an early detection and communication system to locate wildfires when they are in their formative stages by employing solar charged, electric powered autonomous drone UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) together with an integrated communication system.

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.


Our New Hope is Early Detection.

We Have the Power to Impact Our Future, and We’re Doing Something About It.


This concept was developed during the severe wildfire season of 2018 in BC when numerous wildfires were burning at one time which 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 equipped with infrared cameras 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 have been developed, each having unique flight characteristics and altitude operating envelopes will complete our system. Other uses of this technology are search & rescue purposes, maritime & arctic surveillance, and disaster relief coordination.

The Problem


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

How ARROW Works

ARROW is designed to sense heat and gas emissions from forest fires at their very beginning stages

Our Solution


ARROW is an early detection and communication system to locate wildfires when they are in their formative stages by employing solar charged, electric powered autonomous drone UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) together with an integrated communication system.

ARROW uses ‘detect-and-avoid’ electro-optical cameras, processor & computer vision software to see the airspace around the drone and avoid collisions.

Meet the Team

Our leadership team has two seasoned entrepreneurial co-founders and a CFO, plus four Professors of Engineering, and three UBC Research Assistants

Scott Farnham – Co-Founder & President

Scott is the technical driver of the company and develops the new ideas, putting the deals together and building teams to bring the projects from concept stage into real, tangible assets.He has a passion for innovation and works tirelessly on continuous improvement and simplification of products and processes.
Scott has a wide and varied background of industrial design, construction and processing experience. Projects experience on 3 continents has allowed Scott to develop a well-rounded skill set in multicultural settings. His keen interest in cleantech, renewable fuels and energy is driven by the need to develop and implement technologies that contribute to the betterment of environmental conditions.

Connie Ekelund – Co-Founder & CEO

Ms. Ekelund focuses on organizational development, bringing all the elements of the project together and communication media. She has created corporations from the ground up, in a myriad of industrial sectors including; management consulting, marketing, construction, renewable resources, fashion, health food, non-profit, and publishing, which are a testament to her big-picture thinking and strong business acumen. She has a broad understanding of Corporate Structure and Operations, and that of Private, Public, Franchise, Union, BCorp, Social Enterprise and Non-Profit structures. She is currently a Mentor-in-Residence at SFU, and Mentors for Singularity University, FWE, WEC, Futurpreneur and Everwise.

Paul Riegel – Chief Financial Officer

Paul has over 30 years experience leading finance groups and operations of large government, public and private organizations and holds a BA in Economics and Accounting from the University of Alberta and a CPA/CGA designation in the province of BC. Paul is a CPA/CGA and his areas of expertise include development and execution of corporate strategy, cashflow and banking relationship management, budget development and forecasting, efficiency gains and overhead cost reduction, project management and major systems implementation, organizational restructuring, and corporate financial and management reporting – including development of KPI’s.

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.

Wildfire Devastation from Around the World

Heartbreaking scenes from every corner of the planet. Sadly it is not going to get change until we employ an early detection system.

Australia Wildfires

The entire world witnessed the heartbreaking and devastating scenes from Australia in 2019/2020.

Amazon Wildfires

The massive 2019 Amazon Rainforest fires claimed over 900,000 hectares.

Canada Wildfires

Lightening strikes were largely to blame for the back-to-back record wildfire years of 2017 and 2018, which saw more area burned in B.C. than ever before. Fires in the past two years scorched their way through more than 2.5 million hectares (combined).

California Wildfires

The most wildfire-prone state is California, which lost 1,823,153 acres of land to 8,054 wildfires in 2018 alone.California wildfires are often made worse by the hot, dry Santa Ana winds, which can carry a spark for miles.

Apocalyptic scenes from Australia have shown the devastation being caused by the raging fires. Lives have been lost and thousands forced to flee their homes as millions of hectares have been consumed. Ecologists from the University of Sydney estimate that nearly a billion animals have been killed, including thousands of koalas, who struggle to move fast enough to escape.

Green Peace

Wildfires often start small and initially go unnoticed, but have the capacity to spread very quickly. As they travel across large areas, they ignite brush, trees, homes and buildings. Burning debris can be thrown up to two kilometres ahead of a wildfire. Sparks and embers can ignite materials on or near your home causing severe damage. 

Canadian Red Cross

Thousands of fires are burning across a southern swath of the Amazon.
They belch smoke and soot, blanketing those who live downwind with thick, dirty air, hurting wildlife in their path and destroying part of one the most important carbon storehouses left on the planet.

National Geographic

Over 7,860 fires have been recorded according to Cal Fire and US Forest Service, totaling an estimated 259,823 acres (105,147 hectares) of burned land. The 2019 fire season had been quiet in California compared to past years, but their is greater fire potential as the winds pick up.

Cal Fire


Our Top Priorities

We are bringing together advanced technology from diverse fields such as thermal imaging, high definition imaging, geomarking, gas detection, data transmission, battery and propulsion systems, autopilot and flight path programming and aeronautical design to accomplish something that is sorely needed.

Canada has averaged over 7000 forest fires per year since 1990. 

More than half are caused by lightning, so a near-doubling of lightning strikes could push us to almost 9,000 fires per year by the end of the century.

- Climate Atlas of Canada

Contact Us

 is a division of Our Blue Planet, a Canadian Innovations company.

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