Research Area 2 - Networks: Interoperability, Reliability and C3
More effective and vigilant monitoring of northern and southern borders using networked sensors
How do we monitor and communicate across vast areas of the border in remote locations?
- Build self-sustaining sensor networks for ground, water, and subsurface deployment
- Improve lifetime robustness and fault tolerance of sensor nets in harsh border environments
- Utilize renewable energy to power the sensors
- Develop advanced imaging of objects obscured by rough terrain
- Develop interoperability of Command, Control and Communication (C3) activities along the border
Project 2.2 Renewable Energy Sources for Sensor Nets
The goals of this project are to:
- Investigate methods to effectively utilize renewable energy sources suitable in the Southwest environments (solar energy in particular) in combination with battery sources
- Understand the relationship between the detection and tracking effectiveness of sensor nets and the lifecycles of individual sensors
- Understand how protocol behaviors at the application, routing, media access and physical layers of the network stack and the interactions between layers affect sensor net lifetime. The result is to develop cross-layer methods to maximize the effective lifetime of sensor nets.
Project 2.3 Smart Border System for Localization and Tracking
Robust, accurate and ubiquitous localization is an important element for border security initiatives in that it allows tracking and accounting for anything that enters the country via automobiles, trucks and trains. It is also an enabling technology for implementing novel concepts such as autonomous processing of vehicle ingress and egress at the borders (or "smart borders"). The goal of this project is to design, evaluate, and demonstrate systems and algorithms for robust (fault-tolerant), accurate and ubiquitous localization and tracking of vehicles, personnel and assets. The work will not only focus on developing new sensors, algorithms and approaches but also demonstrate how already existing and proven technologies can be adapted for this particular application.
Project 2.4 Fault Tolerant Sensor Networks for Border Activity Detection
Distributed sensor networks are especially applicable to border environments due to the fact that the distributed sensors can cover a large space and by integrating the information obtained from all sensors, sufficient and precise information about the environment can be collected. Robustness and reliability are crucial parameters in the effective operation of distributed sensor networks. The goals of the project are to:
- Determine factors influencing the robustness and fault tolerance of sensor networks, specifically in the case of networks where the number of sensors is large
- Explore the applicability of new sensor fusion algorithms robust to sensor failure to new sensor platforms
Project 2.5 Advanced Imaging Approaches for Detecting Obscured Objects
Reliable detection of humans and goods crossing any perimeter continues to be a largely unsolved problem. The reasons for this are multi-faceted, but mostly lie in the limitations of sensing modalities in complex, unknown environments. The lessons learned suggest that a collaborative networking architecture along with appropriate algorithms and decision mechanisms are essential to reliable detection for secure border security. The investigations will focus on the use of electromagnetic (E-M) approaches for enhanced remote imaging in conjunction with an airborne cum-terrestrial support infrastructure. The goal of the research is to give DHS the ability to identify objects obscured by terrain, walls, or other physical entities.
Project 2.6 Multi-Functional Autonomous Sensor Networks
The United States has approximately 2,067 miles of border with Mexico, 5,526 miles of border with Canada and approximately 12,380 miles of coastline. As of April 30, 2005, the total number of Border Patrol agents along the Northern and Southern Borders was 10,664, with approximately 1,031 at the Northern Border and 9,633 at the Southern Border. It is impossible to have direct human surveillance of the perimeter at all times under all conditions with existing infrastructure and personnel. A secure border necessitates the development of new technology for remote sensing and surveillance. The objective of this project is to set-up and investigate sensor arrays using a combination of ground, water and subsurface autonomous sensor nodes.
For details about the facilities used for this research area, view the Networks Facilities
For more details, please view the Work Plan.