There are over 1,100 square miles of hilly, sandy terrain surrounding Nogales, Arizona, the second-largest border-patrol station in the country.
Over the years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has tried a series of strategies, to monitor the huge swaths of rugged terrain along the southwest border, which required permanent sensors that could provide a clear picture to agents what was happening in the field, to avoid false alarms.
The Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT) system, initiated by the CBP in 2012 for border surveillance, utilizing an acquisition strategy that leveraged a non-developmental, off-the-shelf approach, incorporates a network of towers between 80′ and 120′ high, outfitted with mounted radar and camera sensors radar plus day and night cameras.
(Elbit Systems of America’s Integrated Fixed Towers, also know as the Peregrine solution, is designed specifically for protecting families, communities, and Border Patrol Agents, while enhancing security along the US-Mexico border. Courtesy of Elbit and YouTube)
The cameras and sensor technologies integrate through an intuitive, easy-to-use common operating picture, which provides Border Patrol Agents detailed, long-range, persistent surveillance, to detect, track, identify, and classify items of interest along the border.
Information from the IFT towers, is when transmitted via microwave communications to work stations at the various Border Patrol Stations, where CBP Agents analyze the data and coordinate a response with agents in the field, to resolve situations as they arise along the border.
By providing a more accurate understanding of a given situation, agents can determine an appropriate course of action more quickly and with more confidence, as they accurately monitor areas previously unobserved.
The worlds largest defense contractors, which includes General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, all competed for the $145 million contract, which was awarded to Elbit Systems of America, the Fort Worth, Texas–based subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems.
Elbit Systems has deployed hundreds of miles of border-monitoring systems between Israel and Palestine and also provided multisensor surveillance systems along Israel’s border with Gaza and Egypt.
The first Integrated Fixed Towers system, also known as Peregrine, was deployed in the Nogales Arizona Area of Responsibility, and has been in 24/7 operation since August of 2015 assisting Border Patrol Agents to detect and resolve activities along the border.
The Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan, which includes the IFT, also use remote video surveillance, day and night cameras for cluttered urban environments where radar is not as effective, and truck-mounted mobile sensors that can be moved as needed.
In February of 2106, the acting Chief of the Border Patrol certified that the IFT border surveillance system meets operational requirements, enhances surveillance capability, increases situational awareness and supports officer safety.
The Integrated Fixed Towers system certification paved the way for further deployments, which are now underway in the Douglas and Sonoita Areas of Responsibility in Arizona.
Additional deployments are being planned to ensure that the Arizona border will benefit from the capabilities provided by the Integrated Fixed Towers border surveillance system.
The Integrated Fixed Towers system, or Peregrine, is built for Border Patrol Agents. Their perspective and insight were carefully considered early in the process to ensure successful execution.
The tower system exemplifies integrated communications between various components of the security system. When a potential threat is detected, imagery is sent to a “human interface” center, and is simultaneously relayed to agents in the field. This gives patrolling agents a clearer understanding of the situation.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd. and leading provider of high-performance products and system solutions, Elbit Systems of America® works to exhibit these same exceptional traits in everything we create. Our products and services keep our troops safe, our commercial air industry flying, and our American citizens healthy with the latest in medical instrumentation.
With facilities throughout the nation, Elbit Systems of America® uses our Spirit of Innovation® to produce solutions quickly, accurately, and efficiently for those who contribute daily to the safety, security, and well-being of the United States.