Past Features

September 8, 2017

Trump Picks
"Other Materials" Winners

Spencer's "smart wall' idea not among them

"Smart wall" losing bid --- Using SEIDARM's alarms, Hermes drones launch to intercept 'suspects'. Fence on the Mexican border is in the background. See larger image.
The Hill -- September 7, 2017  
Trump awards contracts for 'other materials' border wall prototypes
    The Trump administration has awarded contracts to build four border wall prototypes using non-concrete "other materials," U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday.
    The contracts came a week after the administration announced four companies that will build prototypes of concrete border walls. In all, the eight prototype walls will cost about $3.6 million. [...]
    The four companies selected to build the non-concrete prototypes are Caddell Construction in Montgomery, Ala.; KWR Construction in Sierra Vista, Ariz.; ELTA North America Inc. in Annapolis Junction, Md.; and W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company in Philadelphia, Miss.

Glenn Spencer -- September 8, 2017
Measuring Operational Control of the Border: It will happen --- eventually
    I was disappointed to learn that my proposal to build a prototype of a ‘smart wall' was turned down by the Trump administration (see attached pdf copy of the actual proposal).
    My idea was to use a system called BORDAS (Border Detection and Assessment System) to assess the basic needs for a wall --- and then evaluate how well it was working, once built.
    BORDAS is comprised of a patented system called SEIDARM that detects, classifies and locates “items of interest” near the border - coupled with a drone system called Hermes that uses SEIDARM data to intercept, track and identify the ‘items of interest.' The system has been under R&D on my border ranch for the past seven years. (Short demo video of BORDAS in action).
    Fundamental to my proposal was a finding by the DHS Office of Inspector General:
Recommendation #1 Require the Border Patrol to provide consistent and specific information in documenting its operational requirements for tactical infrastructure so that actual border fence construction can be linked to the Border Patrol's mission needs for operational control.
    Operatonal control means the prevention of all unlawful entries. Operational control is mentioned five times in President Trump's executive order for the border fence.
    By counting all unlawful entries, BORDAS would have given the Trump administration a way of linking fence construction to the Border Patrol's actual mission.
    BORDAS would have done much more, including providing a way of detecting and tracking suspects on the entire border --- not possible using existing technology.
    The ideas behind BORDAS are so fundamental that they will eventually be adopted. In the meantime, American Border Patrol, the non-profit that I run, will continue to be “America's Eyes on the Border” and will report on how well the Trump administration is doing to establish operational control of the border.
NOTE: According to the Washington Post, ELTA is a defense manufacturer owned by the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries. The parent company is under investigation for bid rigging and bribery, according to Haaretz. ELTA, which makes radars, opened new U.S. headquarters in Maryland in May.