To help counter activities and potential threats from drones being used by bad actors along the border, Customs and Border Protection on Thursday released a Request for Information (RFI) to learn about available capabilities from industry to counter unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) for around-the-clock operations.
CBP says it is interested in fixed, vehicle-mounted, and agent-portable variants of C-UAS that can operate along the northern and southern borders of the U.S. to enhance situational awareness.
The agency is interested in systems that can work across the C-UAS defense chain, which includes detecting the presence of a drone, locating and tracking the aircraft, classifying and identifying it, and then mitigation. Mitigation can be done by neutralizing or interdicting a drone through electronic or kinetic means, and even by locating the operator and have that person safely land the small UAS.
“CBP has an operational need for rapidly deployable, mobile and agent-portable, and fixed assets to provide situational awareness for CBP personnel in the field,” the Feb. 4 RFI says. “Current surveillance capabilities lack the ability to adjust to counter surveillance efforts. As advanced UAS technology has become available to the public, Transnational Criminal Organizations now use UASs for smuggling activities and for monitoring CBP operations. In addition, UASs pose security threats due to the potential for an attack.”
CBP says it might host demonstrations of some C-UAS solutions as part of its technology assessments in an operational environment.
Last July, DHS published a privacy impact assessment saying that CBP’s Border Patrol division planned to conduct technology demonstrations of C-UAS to gather information on operating requirements, training needs and capability gaps.