This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Photo-Credit-IAI-ISRV
Photo-Credit-IAI-ISRV

Israeli companies are planning to offer their systems when U.S office of border patrol issues a request for proposals for mobile surveillance systems (MVSS).

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) anticipates releasing a solicitation for the procurement of mobile surveillance systems (MVSS) sometime between April 26 to May 26, the agency said.

According to HLS Today the expected request for proposals (RFP) follows a long period of market research conducted by CBP dating back to December 2011. CBP officials have long identified MVSS systems as a desirable asset for Border Patrol agents keeping watch between US ports of entry.

In its original request for information (RFI) to industry, CBP said the mobility of MVSS systems, when they work properly, expands situational awareness for the Office of Border Patrol (OBP).

“Like the legacy system, also known as scope trucks, MVSS will be placed between current fixed surveillance locations in rural, remote and urban areas where fixed surveillance assets are not appropriate,” CBP said in its RFI. “OBP intends to operate the MVSS in a stationary position, but needs to be able to quickly relocate it as the threat shifts. All information is stored internally and tagged, with the capability of being retrieved later for analysis.”

Once Border Patrol agents detect, identify and classify any subjects under surveillance, they can take action to interdict illegal trespassing or smuggling, CBP said.

CBP outlined some problems with MVSS systems it has used or observed in the past, saying it would like to buy systems that are not susceptible to those problems.

Some of those problems include leakage of hydraulic fluid and air pressure from the masts of the systems when dust in the surrounding environment gets into the systems. Fully extended masts also tend to provide poor video quality when the wind is too strong, CBP said.

Moreover, some MVSS systems simply aren’t tough enough to work well in the rugged terrain in which many Border Patrol agents work.

“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,” CBP said in the RFI.

Border Patrol agents also often have a need to operate in secret, without being spotted. As such, operating an MVSS system must be simple. Agents must be able to set it up, take it down and move it around pretty quickly depending on changing conditions, CBP said.

In the original RFI, CBP listed 41 separate MVSS desired performance capabilities.

Some of those include capabilities to operate in daylight and darkness within line of sight, video of sufficient quality to distinguish people traveling by foot, animals or vehicles and support for uninterrupted tracking and operation.

The systems also should geographically pinpoint the location of subjects and timestamp video among other requirements.