TSA Begins Drone Detection Testing at MIA

The Transportation Security Administration has begun its first testing of technologies at Miami International Airport (MIA) for the detection, tracking and identification (DTI) of drones entering restricted airspace. MIA said in early August that TSA selected the airport for the DTI testbed due to an existing perimeter intrusion technology pilot and strong partnerships with the airport. TSA selected the airport in 2019 for the counter-unmanned aircraft system evaluations after a federal interagency process gave the agency the lead authority for countering UAS at U.S. airports when a persistent threat is occurring. “TSA’s establishment and management of this assessment of UAS detection technologies is a critical part of our agency’s overall strategy to collect data for further deployments of equipment at U.S. airports,” says Daniel Ronan, federal security director with TSA. The agency this summer is also planning a drone DTI evaluation at Los Angeles International Airport.

Liberty Defense Collaborating with Micro-X on Technology Offering

Liberty Defense says it has signed a technical and marketing collaboration agreement with Micro-X Inc. to explore a combined technology offering that is based on Liberty’s HEXWAVE standoff, walk-through screening portal for people and passenger screening in aviation and commercial environments. Micro-X Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Australia’s Micro-X Ltd. Micro-X is developing a miniaturize computed tomography (CT)-based checkpoint baggage scanner. The company in 2020 received funding from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to develop a passenger self-service screening portal and the miniaturized CT screening system. “We see tremendous integration synergies for our HEXWAVE people screening platform, working alongside the X-Ray baggage technology from Micro-X, forming a new commercial checkpoint screening portal for our customers,” says Michael Lanzaro, president and chief technology officer of Liberty.

CBP Partners with Cruise Lines to Bring Facial Biometrics to Arrival

Customs and Border Protection is partnering with cruise lines in the U.S. to deploy facial comparison technology to seaports to use on passengers returning to the U.S. at the end of their cruise. The camera systems, and related facial matching software, is deployed at 12 seaports across the U.S. and has been used to process arriving passengers on most cruise ships that have resumed sailing in Florida and Texas. The facial comparison technology quickly verifies a traveler’s identity through a comparison to the person’s existing passport or visa photo. CBP says the technology is more than 98 percent accurate. CBP says it has partnered with Cruise Lines International Association, which represents more than 90 percent of global ocean-going cruise capacity, to bolster the use of the facial comparison technology at cruise terminals. The technology is similar to what CBP is using in land and airport environments.

CBP In Major Drug Intercept Along Southwest Border

Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa, Calif., land port of entry intercepted 2.8 tons of methamphetamine and fentanyl powder hidden within a shipment of plastic household articles aboard a tractor trailer entering the U.S. from Mexico. The Aug. 5 seizure, the largest of methamphetamine along the southwest border, was triggered by a CBP non-intrusive inspection system that found anomalies in the trailer, leading to a secondary inspection by a canine team that led to a search of the trailer’s contents. The drugs have an estimated street value of $13 million.

Volansi Demonstrates Autonomous Drone Delivery with Coast Guard and Navy

Silicon Valley drone delivery company Volansi in July completed the first-ever fully autonomous maritime drone delivery demonstration with the Coast Guard and Navy near Key West, Fla., Will Roper, the company’s CEO, tells HSR sister publication Defense Daily. The demonstrations consisted of three flights of Volansi’s VOLY 10 and 20 series unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and were completed 20 nautical miles offshore. The drones feature vertical take-off-and-landing and fixed-wing flight capabilities. During the demonstration, the 7-foot long VOLY 10, which has a 9-foot wingspan, carried a 5-pound payload and completed a 15 nautical mile trip from the helicopter pad of a Navy ship to the 154-foot Coast Guard fast response cutter William Trump and then returned to the Navy ship. The UAS did not land on the cutter to simulate a situation where a landing was impossible. “The Coast Guard didn’t want us to actually land on the ship because it’s a very small ship and they wanted to see if we were able to come very low, hover over the ship, and drop the package,” Roper said. The VOLY 20, which is a larger UAS with a 15-foot wingspan and 30-pound maximum payload weight, began its flight at the same Navy ship and delivered its package to the Gotcha, a Coast Guard panga that was one nautical mile away and then returned to the Navy ship. Roper emphasized that autonomy was the important part of the demonstration, not the drones.

IronNet, FireEye Partner on Managed Cybersecurity Solutions

The cybersecurity companies IronNet and FireEye’s [FEYE] Mandiant division have partnered to offer best-in-breed managed cyber defense solutions for private and public sectors worldwide, including to protect commercial supply chains. The joint service offering includes Mandiant’s threat intelligence and continuous security validation capabilities, and its cyber threat hunting, assessment and incident response teams and IronNet’s network defense and response solutions. The companies said the combined solutions will allow customers to scale threat detection and hunting across their own and their suppliers’ networks. “We are teaming with IronNet for the kind of network protection and detection capabilities that enable us to help eliminate or minimize the impact of security breaches, and to create a dynamic cyber defense,” says Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye Mandiant.