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    25 Oct 2014 
ARTES Elements
Tenders and Workplans
Last Update: 29 Jun 2009





The B.C. Forest Service Protection Program is tasked with fighting forest fires in British Columbia. Managing timber resources in an area of over 1 million square kilometres, the Forest Service responds to on average over 3,000 fires annually. B.C.'s timber resources, which represent $15 billion of annual economic activity, must be protected with a reliable emergency management information system.

The B.C. Forest Service Protection Program is internationally-recognized as one of the world's leading emergency management programs. Teaming with MacDonald Dettwiler and ESA, themselves leaders in the satellite technology markets of the world, it is anticipated that the B.C. REMSAT program will bridge the gap between satellite service providers and emergency management end-users, and provide the missing link in BCFS fire suppression activities.

MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the British.Columbia Forest Service to undertake demo testing of the use of satellite technologies for emergency planning and management of forest fires in the province. The contract has been made possible through the Canada-ESA Partnership Program of the CSA.

ESAs Real-time Emergency Management via Satellite (REMSAT) project is focussed on bridging the gap between technology and users. MacDonald Dettwiler and the B.C. Forest Service will work with ESA to provide a pilot demonstration of multiple technologies that prove the value of space data and services for emergency management.


The objective of this activity is to design and demonstrate an integrated system for communications and localisation services in emergency situations e.g. in forest fire fighting, earthquakes etc. Direct communication, providing voice and localisation services between on-site staff and a centralised operations control centre could be provided by the use of pocket size portable or hand held personal terminals, communicating via larger, more powerful "intermediate" satellite mobile terminals. These terminals mounted on vehicles communicate via satellite directly with the operations control centre.

An example is in forest fires where satellite terminals are installed on the fire trucks and wireless terminals are used by the firemen. Both the track and the personal terminals provide for localisation in adverse conditions (e.g. smoke induced low visibility). The first phase covers the system design and is followed by a pilot demonstration phase.

In addition to the above,The REMSAT system has been designed to be compatible with the generic needs of other types of emergencies such as:

  • earthquakes
  • floods
  • exceptionally heavy weather conditions
  • hazardous materials related emergencies


The proposed activity will demonstrate the potential of combined wireless/satellite communications for emergency management applications.

Project Plan






Current Status (dated: 23 Jul 2002)


Last Update: 29 Jun 2009
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