Improving detection of threats at border operations

Improving detection of threats at border operations
Homeland Security Risk Sciences

Overview

Simulation, analytics and modeling for border apprehension and security (SAMBAS)

Securing the border between Ports-of-Entry (POEs) uses a variety of both physical and virtual infrastructure to detect, deter and disrupt pathways. The U.S. government is making substantial investments in both types of infrastructure to improve their capacity to prevent illegal smuggling and trafficking. Virtual infrastructure includes a layered placement of sensors and cameras in known migration pathways and is utilized to cover remote areas that remain a risk for smuggling.

The effectiveness of such technology as a deterrent is unclear as the data only reflects those who are detected in the known areas and smugglers often discover the virtual infrastructure and move migration pathways to avoid detection.

Solution

The SAMBAS project identifies potential “hot paths” of activity, allowing for better resource allocation and offers information on return-on-investment (ROI) of tactical and surveillance infrastructure. The effort will support the National Border Geospatial Intelligence Strategy, providing new methods for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to measure the impact of their operations on potential smuggling routes.

CBP can use the SAMBAS toolkit to:

  • Analyze existing data to determine likely probable pathways.
  • Conduct change detection analysis based on shifts in apprehension locations to determine shifts in probable pathways of those crossing the border between POEs.
  • Assess the impact of fixed detection infrastructure such as the Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT), Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS), Mobile Surveillance Capability (MSC) truck, Mobile Video Surveillance Systems (MVSS), sensors and interior enforcement operations, such as checkpoints, on probable pathways to support an alternative analysis of ROI for specific deployments.
  • Measure potential route changes in response to fixed infrastructure and identify enforcement options for further operational assignments.

Impact

Improving detection of threats at border operations

The SAMBAS project identifies potential “hot paths” of activity, allowing for better resource allocation and return-on-investment of tactical and surveillance infrastructure. The proposed toolkit will supply a scalable, flexible and feasible modeling and simulation approach for CBP station and sector personnel to conduct operational and tactical analysis.

Research Leadership Team

Principal Investigator: Brandon Behlendorf, University at Albany - SUNY
Co-PI: Catherine Lawson, University at Albany – SUNY