Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) as part of a potential plan to further expand deployments of a video surveillance system it uses along portions of America’s southwest and northern borders.
The plan calls for acquiring and deploying 156 additional Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS), which are equipped with day and night cameras, 42 new communications relay towers, and 31 new Border Patrol station towers. The RFI says that the communications and station towers are also each equipped with two sensor suites per tower, which means that the RVSS upgrade plan would require 458 additional sensor suites.
General Dynamics [GD] is the current prime contractor for CBP’s RVSS program. Currently, CBP has deployed 200 RVSS sensor towers, 12 communications relay towers and 10 station towers.
The RFI also says that existing communications facilities are “assumed to require renovation or modular unit” and station towers are “assumed to require upgrade.”
The RVSS systems provide persistent wide area electro-optic and infrared surveillance capability to enable the detection, tracking, identification and classification of illegal border entries. The system provides Border Patrol agents with enhanced situational awareness between ports of entry along the U.S. border.
Under the upgrade program, the operational requirements documents says RVSS sensors must allow an operator to automatically detect and track an item of interest to the following minimum ranges: an average adult human to distances of three miles in an urban environment; an average adult human to distances of five miles in a suburban/rural environment; an average adult human to distances of 7.5 miles in remote environments; and equivalent size to average adult human, on land or on water, to distances of 7.5 miles in maritime environments.
The upgrade should also enable an operator to identify items of interest as humans, conveyances or animals, as well as facial features, clothing, colors and license plate numbers, and whether non-concealed weapons are being carried.
The concept of operations says the upgrade program will provide day/night surveillance from stationary and reolcatable locations. The program will also support vectoring of Border Patrol agents to the immediate vicinity of an item of interest for event resolution, and provide continuous monitoring of encounters for agent safety.
CBP is looking for existing commercial-off-the-shelf or non-developmental technology that is part of an integrated solution for the RVSS upgrade. The agency also says it expects to “make maximum use of an open systems approach” and that the system meet Technology Readiness Levels between seven and nine.
Responses to the RFI are due by Feb. 8. CBP didn’t say if a future Request for Proposal is planned or expected.