Past Features

June 12, 2017

Inventor's technology links
drones to sensors
U.S. Border Patrol says nothing new here -- are they right?

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Sierra Vista Herald -- June 11, 2017
Hereford man makes his own technology to help secure the border
Glenn Spencer is an inventor who works on sensor technology paired with drones to protect the border.
    He lives on an expansive piece of land that spans the desert near the U.S. side of the San Pedro river; the large metal border fence is no more than a few meters from the man's house.
    It's decorated with a large blue sign that reads “secure the border,” which is exactly what Spencer is trying to do with his security system, SEIDARM.
    For the last 14 years, Spencer has dedicated his life to developing technology for border security.
    What started off as a small unmanned aircraft that looks nothing like a modern-day drone is now a $1 million project that Spencer is trying to get the government to buy. His design is simple: put some sensors in the ground, wait for a suspect walk or drive by, and send a drone out to keep an eye on them until patrol agents can catch up. [...]
    Spencer has sent his proposal to the government multiple times without any luck. But, it could be because Border Patrol is already using similar technology --- it has been for decades, according to Agent Daniel Hernandez, a public information officer with Tucson Sector Border Patrol.
    Hernandez has been an agent for seven years and said sensor and drone technology was around long before he [Spencer] started. [...]
    While the sensors and drones provide the agents with an extra set of eyes and ears, the most useful tools Border Patrol has on hand are the camera towers. Hernandez said these towers are the agents' “best technology asset” because of their heat sensing capabilities that are especially useful at night. [...]
    For Glenn, it's not over. He just got a patent for his technology in April and sent in a proposal to government agencies --- they haven't said no to his idea.
    “I put a proposal when they put out request for a proposal for fencing,” Spencer said.” And, I snuck one in saying, ‘I want to use this all along the border,' they're still sitting on it.”
See: Glenn Spencer answers U.S. Border Patrol