ABP — December 12, 2017
Dr. Evans, the “magic line” is here
Back in 2005, Kirk Evans, PhD, Director of Mission Support — Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects, told a joint Senate subcommittee:
To understand how the size of the border area and the sensor performance issues are interrelated we can address the southern border, which is approximately 1500 miles long, and some of the considerations it would take to develop an “electronic fence” to span that stretch. It is probably not sufficient to just have a magic line along that border, some depth to the detection zone is needed, for two reasons: first, to develop at least some form of track (are the Items of Interest coming into or out of the country?), second, to have sufficient time within the field of view of the sensor to enhance detection and reduce false alarm rates.
Consider covering the southern border with a 1/2 mile wide detection zone that has a probability of detection of 50%. If we were to use ground sensors with a 10-meter detection range we would require approximately 3,000,000 sensors. With a sensor detection range of 450 meters, we would require approximately 1,335 sensors. With a sensor detection range of 1600 meters (a mile) we would require approximately 375 sensors, and with a 5 km sensor detection range would require approximately 160 sensors. Clearly, for surveillance of the borders, sensor detection range is a major factor.
Five years after Dr. Evans’ testimony, American Border Patrol demonstrated new technology to members of the Arizona State Legislature that addressed many of the problems with existing ground sensors.
The system has evolved into what is now called SEIDARM — Seismic Detection and Ranging Mechanism.
Dr. Evans said a “magic line” had to develop at least some form of track (are the Items of Interest coming into or out of the country?) SEIDARM does that.
He said sensors need to have sufficient time within the field of view of the sensor to enhance detection and reduce false alarm rates. SEIDARM does that.
Dr. Evans said Clearly, for surveillance of the borders, sensor detection range is a major factor.
As Dr. Evans suggested, Border Patrol sensors have a detection range of about 10 meters (30 feet). SEIDARM can detect one person walking at 500 feet.
Dr. Evans concluded by saying: “What is required is a system of systems approach that integrates multiple sensor and surveillance and tactical systems and response systems into an information network.”
Glenn Spencer, head of ABP, is a retired system engineer. He applied the systems approach to marry SEIDARM to a drone called HERMES to do exactly what Dr. Evans said was required.
He called it BORDAS — watch this video of it working.
Dr. Evans, the “magic line” is here.