With so much going on at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), it can be easy to focus on the details and lose sight of how our work supports big picture issues. For that reason, we’ve made it easier than ever to understand how our work supports key DHS mission areas with the S&T Impact series. Today, I’m proud to announce the newest installment to the series, which focuses on Borders and Ports of Entry.
The United States is vast, with more than 300 ports of entry, 7,000 miles of land border, and 95,000 miles of shoreline. You can imagine how much manpower and resources are required just to make sure we have eyes on all of this territory, let alone ensure trade and travel are carried out lawfully. Technology is a force-multiplier for DHS components who monitor and protect our nation’s borders and ports of entry, and it’s S&T’s role to ensure the men and women on the front lines of homeland security know which solutions will meet their needs.
As you saw in the first installment of the S&T Impact series, Critical Incidents, we help develop and customize technology solutions that support operations before, during and after illicit activity occurs. In the border and port of entry environments, we’ve classified these stages as prevention, detection and investigation.
To help prevent illegal trade or travel, S&T helps DHS components verify new surveillance solutions will work in the harsh environments found along our nation’s borders. Surveillance technology has improved exponentially in recent years through the use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), so S&T has invested in dedicated testing and evaluation resources to help ensure sUAS perform as required in the field.
Automated and sensor-based technology can help improve detection capabilities at borders and ports of entry, which makes legitimate trade and travel more efficient. S&T has provided DHS components with new analytic solutions, which provide real-time information sharing and help identify potential efficiencies in moving people through ports of entry.
Once it’s time to investigate illicit activity at borders and ports of entry, DHS components can turn to S&T for new ways to gather evidence against crimes like human trafficking. We’re helping reduce the time it takes to rescue children from exploitation through image analytics and other forensic tools.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to explore S&T Impact: Borders and Ports of Entry to see how we’re making a difference in key homeland security mission areas. Be sure to follow S&T on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube for updates on the next installment, coming this fall!