Past Features

May 8, 2017

21st Century Border Technology

Top left: IDENTICOPTER launches on SIDEARM alarm. Top right: Drone speeds to intercept -- Bottom: Intercept occurs where SIDEARM said it would.
NBC News -- May 6. 2017
Department of Homeland Security Flooded With Bids to Build Border Drones
    When the Department of Homeland Security sought proposals for compact drones for use by U.S. Border Patrol agents, submissions swarmed in --- so many that the department stopped accepting them more than two months early.
    Originally due to close on July 14, the department's effort part of its Silicon Valley Innovation Program closed on April 27, according to postings on the government's purchasing board.
    "As this was a pilot program, we were hoping to see a robust response from industry, but did not have a specific target [number of bids] in mind," said Ari Shuler, director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Commercial Technology Innovation Program. "Our team's expectations were exceeded as we received more than three dozen proposals. [...]
    Once completed, the drones would be capable of identifying individuals using "facial recognition or other biometric at range," and could track multiple humans on foot, horseback or in vehicles in a three mile range, according to specifications in the federal request for proposals.

American Border Patrol -- May 8, 2017
An idea whose time has come?
     On may 4, 2004, KGUN TV of Tucson witnessed a demonstration of a new concept in border security --- a drone designed to launch when ground sensors detected people.
    The demonstration was by American Border Patrol, a non-governmental organization.
    Thirteen years later to the day --- May 4, 2017 --- American Border Patrol demonstrated a new concept in border security - a drone designed to launch when ground sensors detected people.
    This time, instead of a fixed-wing airplane, the drone was a DJI Inspire 2, and, instead of single sensors, the ground sensors were part of SEIDARM --- seismic detection and ranging mechanism.
    The same company that designed the drone used in the 2004 KGUN TV demo --- and the first ground sensors --- Border Technology, Inc. - has submitted a proposal to DHS/CBP under its Silicon Valley innovation Program. BTI's VP, Mike King - co-inventor of the SIDEARM system --- used to work in Silicon Valley, but he now lives in St. David, Arizona. Will that be close enough?