To beef up surveillance along the southwest border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has requested commercial proposals from vendors who produce "off-the-shelf" solutions.

The CBP published the request Jan. 18, following the cancellation of the costly Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) border surveillance system of systems mounted on towers. Homeland Security is pursuing the similar, newly proposed Integrated Fixed Towers acquisition program to acquire next-gen border surveillance systems.

The new system is expected to operate from elevated fixed towers and provide surveillance that could detect humans and vehicles in an area 25 miles deep by 20 to 35 miles wide.

A Jan. 27 presolicitation notice by CBP explained that the new border technology strategy is divided into three solution areas — agent-centric solutions, mobile-sensor solutions and fixed sensor solutions — and specified specific technical requirements that should be met for each area, reports FedAgent.

These solutions should be able to determine if the moving object is a human, animal, vehicle or something else.

SBInet was initially conceived in 2005 to bring integrated cameras and sensors to the entire United States-Mexico border. Construction on a 53-mile permanent segment is nearing completion. However, SBInet has been plagued by cost overruns, delays, technical glitches, user complaints and management problems, reports Washington Technology.

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