The nation’s borders consist of all air, land and maritime boundaries. They include any locations where people or cargo can enter the U.S., including airports, highways and naval ports, and can be located in urban communities or remote rural areas. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) works closely with border and immigration officials to understand how technology can help support their missions and overcome challenges.
We strive to develop and transition technical capabilities to strengthen U.S. land border security and safeguard lawful trade and travel by preventing illegal goods and people from crossing our borders or entering our country illegally. These projects consists of technologies, sensors, radars and more that monitor air, ground, and underground – from drones to tunnels. We want to know who and what is crossing our borders.
Our maritime programs and projects are focused technologies employed on the coast and in the water. We work with the U.S. Coast Guard and other maritime response organizations to improve the maritime domain awareness, increasing small vessel interdiction efficiency.
We develop technologies to ensure the integrity of cargo shipments by sea, air and land transportation and to help enhance the end-to-end security of the global supply chain, from the manufacturer of goods to final delivery. This work at our ports of entry helps reduce the risk of smugglers, terrorists, and other bad actors who attempt to manipulate cargo as it moves across various transit modes in the international supply chain.
We work with our international partners to ensure first responders and other stakeholders can communicate, share information and collaborate during cross-border incidents. Through ongoing joint activities with partner countries, we establish interoperability capabilities to overcome challenges arising from the use of disparate communications and information systems and procedures, as well as the lack of interagency agreements. Our work enhances regional and cross border operations and resiliency.
Finally, from developing training programs to help agents screen faster and more efficiently to developing biometrics and other airport screening technology, we hope to one day screen at speed. That is, screening individuals in airports and other ports of entry without requiring them take off their shoes or even open their bags.
Current Programs and Projects
- Arctic Communications and Technologies
- Air Based Technologies
- Apex Air Entry
- Apex Air Exit
- Border Situational Awareness Fact Sheet and Infographic
- Biometric Technology Engine
- Canada-U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE)
- Coastal Surveillance System
- Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- Countering Violent Extremism - Actionable Indicators and Countermeasures Project
- Data Analytics Engine
- Enabling Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- Ground Based Technologies
- Identity and Access Management Engine
- Maryland Test Facility
- Polar Scout -- Space-based Sensors
- Port and Coastal Surveillance
- Port and Waterway Resiliency
- Port of Entry Based Technology
- Port of Entry Forensics and Investigations
- Port of Entry People Screening
- Protective Mats
- Screener’s Auto-Diagnostic Adaptive Precision Training (ScreenADAPT) System
- System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER)
- Training and Performance Optimization
- Tunnel Detection and Surveillance
- Video-Based Training Helps Create Expert Border Patrol Trackers
Available Technologies and Projects
The following technologies and projects are available either commercially or from S&T. Review each product for contact information.
- Canada-U.S. Enhanced Resilience Experiment Series (CAUSE) V Fact Sheet
- Digital Encoder Fact Sheet
- Eye-Dentify - Emphasizing Training Improves Operational Security at the Border Fact Sheet
- Future Attribute Screening Technology-FAST
- Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) Fact Sheet
- Low Light Internet Protocol Camera Fact Sheet
- Pat-Down Accuracy Training Tool (PATT) Fact Sheet
- Post Tracking System (PTS) Fact Sheet
- Prepaid Card Reader Fact Sheet
- Small Dark Aircraft: The Hunt for Drug-Smuggling Aircraft at our Borders
- Virtual Shooter Fact Sheet
The following resources will provide more information about some of our projects.
Visit the S&T Videos page for project specific videos.
Visit the S&T Newsroom for recent news products.
- Snapshot: In the Near Future, Synthetic Opioids will have a Tougher Time Sneaking into the U.S. via International Mail or Express Carriers
- News Release: DHS S&T Awards $200K to San Diego's Planck Aerosystems Inc. for Final Testing of Small Unmanned Aircraft System
- News Release: DHS to Engage Innovative Small Businesses on National Road Tour
- Snapshot: S&T, Israel Tackle Cargo Shipping Security
- Snapshot: S&T Taps Open Innovation to Identify New Tools to Combat the Opioid Crisis
- Snapshot: Innovative S&T Developed Training Transitioned to Border Patrol
- News Release: DHS S&T and Israeli Partners Announce Call for Proposals for Advanced Technologies in Homeland Security
- Snapshot: S&T Funds Solution to Increase Efficiency of Air Cargo Screening
- News Release: Multi-agency Partnership Launches $1.55M Challenge for New Solutions to Detect Opioids
- Snapshot: S&T Launches Polar Scout Satellites Using SpaceX Falcon 9 Vehicle