Past Features

December 14, 2017

Securing the Canadian border?

CABARET system. Red outlines show areas considered to be too costly for installation.
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Glenn Spencer — December 14, 2017

Canadian Border Assessment and Reporting Technology — CABARET

The Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection recently requested information “about linear ground detection and identification system capabilities that are able to detect threats without being affected by blind spots created by man-made and naturally occurring obstacles.”
    In its request, DHS/CBP said “The system should be capable and deployable across all environments throughout the southwest and Northern Border.”
    American Border Patrol did not itself respond to that request, however it has looked at the possibility of installing technology it has been testing on the Canadian border.
    We will call the technology that could do the job — the Canadian Border Assessment and Reporting Technology, or CABARET.
    CABARET would consist of two main elements — the SEIDARM sensor system and the HERMES drone system.
    SEIDARM — Seismic Detection and Ranging Mechanism — employs off-the-shelf seismic oil exploration hardware, including geophones, cables and seismographs, with some minor modifications. The difference lies in the processing of the data. Oil companies acquire seismic data to be analyzed at a later date. SEIDARM analyses the data in real time, on-site. An algorithm sends alarms via radio when certain criteria are met.
    Seismic exploration systems have been designed to operate wherever oil might be found, including undersea. Persons knowledgable of seismic exploration have looked at the border between Canada and the U.S. and found very few places where deployment of SEIDARM would be too costly. These are in segments of the Rocky Mountains in Washington and Montana.
    SEIDARM is battery powered with recharging provided by solar panels. Battery size is determined by the pattern of sunlight. Hardware components are extremely reliably, requiring repair frequencies measured in years.
    SEIDARM comes in five-mile segments. Each segment is stand-alone and contains the main computer algorithm that sends alarm via radio. Alarms include information such as the type of threat — people, vehicles, aircraft — and the location and track of the threat. Segments can be installed to cover any desired length.
    CABARET could also include the HERMES drone. Each SEIDARM segment may or may not include a drone or drones – as needed. A HERMES drone might be launched when SEIDARM detects, say, a human threat. It would fly to the point of the threat and return video showing details. Automatic launch and recovery would be from a silo which contains a carousel of batteries that can be swapped upon landing of HERMES. Batteries are solar charged as well.
    It is estimated that the entire Canadian border could be secured with CABARET in a matter of a few months.

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