General Dynamics [GD] has successfully completed a pilot testing and an initial deployment in South Texas of a border security surveillance system designed to shift with evolving illegal cross-border activity.

GD said six of its Relocatable-Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS) have been deployed in Laredo and McAllen, Texas, with additional deployments planned in South Texas in 2018.

The RVSS systems include and electro-optic and infrared camera package, laser illuminator, spotlight, and related communications to provide Border Patrol agents at a command and control center the ability to track and identify potential targets of interest to enhance their situational awareness and response capabilities. 

Remote Video Surveillance System sensor suite atop a monopole. Photo: General Dynamics
Remote Video Surveillance System sensor suite atop a monopole. Photo: General Dynamics

The Relocatable-RVSS is mounted on a ruggedized, off-road trailer and can be taken down in a day, transported to a new location, and then set up in a day to help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) respond quickly to changing illegal traffic patterns along the southern border, Robert Gilbert, senior program director with GD’s Information Technology business, told Defense Daily on Thursday via a phone interview.

GD is also the prime contractor for the fixed RVSS system, which consists of the camera package, laser illuminator, spotlight and communications system on a monopole or other structure. So far, the company has deployed the fixed RVSS system to 68 sites across Arizona and the system achieved full operating capability last year.

CBP is expected to deploy upward of 40 Relocatable-RVSS in areas of South Texas.

In addition to the initial Relocatable-RVSS deployments in Texas, GD also previously installed a system in the San Diego area. Gilbert said the feedback the company has received so far about the Relocatable-RVSS deployments has been positive in regards to the “stability” of the system and “immediate eyes-on” an area for situational awareness “in areas where they’ve never had that,” providing a “positive operational impact.”

GD is teamed with government services business of the design and engineering company Parsons for the Relocatable-RVSS program. Parsons, which has a long-standing partnership with CBP, is providing civil and engineering assistance on the program, Gilbert said.

In addition to RVSS system, the Border Patrol and other components of CBP operate a number of technology assets along the southern border to help combat illegal border activity between ports of entry. The agency operates Integrated Fixed Towers, which include radar systems, various types of mobile and man-portable surveillance systems, and unattended ground sensors, in addition to tethered aerostats, manned and unmanned aircraft.