U.S. Border Authorities Eye Next Gen Mobile Surveillance Systems

Mike O'Brien

The U.S.Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is looking to invest in next generation mobile surveillance systems as it steps up the fight against illegal smuggling and trespassing.

The CBP is expected to release a request for proposals (RFP) in the next month after a lengthy period of market research that began in December 2011.

The agency has identified mobile surveillance systems (MVSS) has a crucial weapon in its arsenal and wants a fleet with enhanced technology to counter some of the problems experienced in the past.

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They include frequent instances of leakage of hydraulic fluid and air pressure from the masts of the systems when dust in the often desert environment gets into the systems.

Fully extended masts have also in the past had a tendency to provide poor video quality when the wind is too strong.

Some MVSS units have simply not been tough enough to work adequately in the rugged terrain in which many Border Patrol agents work.

In its RFI, the CBP said: "Much of the environment is off-road, which causes extreme vibration, shaking and jarring on the systems. This causes bolts, screws and nuts to come loose and the stability of the system is compromised. Systems that are not shock mounted or have not gone through a shock/vibe test tend not to hold up well in the field."

It added that MVSSs need to be simple with quick set up and take down operations because iof the need to operate in secret, without being seen.

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According to HLS Today, some Israeli companies are planning to offer their systems when the CBP sends out its solicitation for procurement.

Mobile applications will be discussed in full at IDGA’s 4th Annual Border Management Southwest summit next month. For more details, go to www.Bordersouthwest.com