Tech­nolo­gies Se­cure In­hos­pitable Bor­ders

When the Berlin Wall col­lapsed, there were only 16 bor­der fences around the world. Now, 65 coun­tries have put up bor­der fences, try­ing to keep at bay cross-bor­der move­ment, ter­ror­ism, smug­gling, drug racket, etc.

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - R. Chan­drakanth

When the Berlin Wall col­lapsed, there were only 16 bor­der fences around the world. Now, 65 coun­tries have put up bor­der fences, try­ing to keep at bay cross-bor­der move­ment, ter­ror­ism, smug­gling, drug racket, etc.

WHEN ON NOVEM­BER 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall, a sym­bol of a coun­try di­vided and termed the ‘Wall of Shame’ was brought down, one thought bor­ders would start dis­ap­pear­ing. On the con­trary, they have in­creased and coun­tries are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing pro­tec­tion­ist, in the back­drop of il­le­gal mi­gra­tion and the con­se­quent so­cial ten­sions that go along with it. When the Berlin Wall col­lapsed, ac­cord­ing to …. there were only 16 bor­der fences around the world. Now, 65 coun­tries have put up bor­der fences, try­ing to keep at bay cross-bor­der move­ment, ter­ror­ism, smug­gling, drug racket etc.

Pres­i­dent Trump’s Mex­i­can Wall Costs Huge

And we all know how Don­ald Trump cam­paigned dur­ing the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion with one of the cen­tral themes be­ing build­ing a wall along the bor­der of Mex­ico and the lat­ter hav­ing to pay for it. Pres­i­dent Trump has al­ready set in mo­tion his grandiose plans to build an “im­pen­e­tra­ble, phys­i­cal, tall, pow­er­ful, beau­ti­ful, south­ern bor­der wall” be­tween the US and Mex­ico. The bor­der is about 1,900 miles (3,100 km) long and tra­verses all sorts of ter­rain. Trump says his wall will cover 1,000 miles and nat­u­ral ob­sta­cles will take care of the rest at a to­tal cost of $10 bil­lion, while fact check­ers say it could be be­tween $12 and $15 bil­lion.

In­dia Se­cur­ing Its Long Bor­ders

Sim­i­larly, In­dia has the oner­ous task of se­cur­ing its bor­der both on the eastern and west­ern fronts. Half of the 4,096 km bor­der In­dia shares with Bangladesh has been fenced and the project is to be com­pleted by 2019. The aim of the project is to curb in­fil­tra­tion and smug­gling of cat­tle and fake In­dian cur­rency notes.

On the west­ern front, the In­dia and Pak­istan Bor­der, known lo­cally as the In­ter­na­tional Bor­der (IB), is an in­ter­na­tional bor­der that de­mar­cates the In­dian states and the four prov­inces of Pak­istan.The bor­der which is 2,900 km in length has been a site of nu­mer­ous con­flicts and wars be­tween the coun­tries and is con­sid­ered as one of the most com­plex bor­ders in the world.

Coun­tries have started pro­tect­ing their bor­ders from the il­le­gal move­ment of weapons, drugs, con­tra­band, and peo­ple, while pro­mot­ing law­ful en­try and exit. The ar­ti­cle ex­am­ines how many of the coun­tries are se­cur­ing their bor­ders. In­deed, bor­der and perime­ter se­cu­rity is a ma­jor chal­lenge par­tic­u­larly when the bor­ders run for thou­sands of kilo­me­ters, of­ten through dif­fi­cult and var­ied ter­rain.

Smart Tech­nolo­gies for Quick De­tec­tion

Build­ing a wall and watch tow­ers like in the Cold War days is no longer se­cure enough. Bor­der and perime­ter se­cu­rity is a ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture ac­tiv­ity, re­quir­ing huge in­vest­ments, mas­sive de­ploy­ment of tech­nolo­gies and also peo­ple. Smart tech­nolo­gies are com­ing into play as they re­duce the de­pen­dence on the foot sol­dier to keep a tab on the bor­ders which is not pos­si­ble roundthe-clock con­sid­er­ing how in­hos­pitable some of the bor­der posts may be.

There are many bor­der and perime­ter se­cu­rity equip­ment avail­able in the mar­ket, rang­ing from elec­tric fenc­ing or laser fenc­ing to ther­mal cam­eras, sniper de­tec­tion, ground sur­veil­lance radars, in­tru­sion sen­sors, C41 (com­mand, con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, com­put­ers and In­tel­li­gence) sys­tems, un­der ve­hi­cle sur­veil­lance sys­tems, turn­stiles and re­volv­ing doors, tire killers and more.

With in­fil­tra­tion hap­pen­ing on the stealth, the need for laser fenc­ing and other so­phis­ti­cated fenc­ing along the bor­ders has been felt. The Bor­der Se­cu­rity Force (BSF) is all set to get more teeth to man the 198 km In­dia-Pak­istan in­ter­na­tional bor­der us­ing a newly de­vel­oped tech­nol­ogy that can de­tect in­tru­sions and re­lay in­for­ma­tion im­me­di­ately to the near­est post for ac­tion. De­vel­oped by Delhi-based de­fence IoT firm, CRON Sys­tems, the made-in-In­dia tech­nol­ogy is called Kavach (KVx) se­ries laser walls and is a notch higher than the ex­ist­ing laser walls. The in­tru­sion de­tec­tion sys­tem based on in­frared ar­ray is in­vis­i­ble and more ad­vanced than laser walls.

Laser Fenc­ing

Along the In­dia-Pak­istan bor­der laser fenc­ing is com­ing up in a big way. The laser wall is a mech­a­nism that de­tects ob­jects pass­ing across the line of sight be­tween a laser source and a de­tec­tor, and sets off the alarm if it’s breached. They are equipped with night and fog op­er­abil­ity tools to en­sure func­tion­ing in low vis­i­bil­ity con­di­tions. The laser sen­sors are con­nected through satel­lite-based sig­nal com­mand sys­tem to en­sure re­mote mon­i­tor­ing. Although ex­pen­sive, but it is an ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion to plug the loop­holes and check­mate the en­emy.

Is­raeli Tech­nolo­gies to the Fore

In­dia is also seek­ing tech­nolo­gies from Is­rael which has highly so­phis­ti­cated bor­der se­cu­rity sys­tem on the bor­der out­posts in Gaza. The se­cu­rity sys­tem in­cludes high-qual­ity long-range day cam­eras along with night ob­ser­va­tion sys­tems em­ploy­ing third gen­er­a­tion ther­mal imagers. Is­rael has ex­pressed will­ing­ness to share with In­dia its tech­nol­ogy for bor­der pro­tec­tion. The Is­raeli bor­der fenc­ing along West Bank, Gaza and Egypt also con­sists of lat­ticed steel, topped and edged with ra­zor wire, ex­tend­ing at least two me­tres be­low ground and in some sec­tions reach­ing seven me­tres above the ground. Ditches and ob­ser­va­tion posts with cam­eras and an­ten­nae line the route. In an elec­tronic fence, an elec­tronic pulse runs through the fence, set­ting off an alarm on con­tact that will al­low se­cu­rity guards to lo­cate the ex­act spot of at­tempted in­fil­tra­tion.

Op­ti­cal Sur­veil­lance

This is one of the old­est sur­veil­lance tech­nolo­gies around mainly made up of night vi­sion, tele­scopes, binoc­u­lars and spot­ting scopes.

Night Vi­sion: A night vi­sion de­vice (NVD) is an op­ti­cal in­stru­ment that al­lows im­ages to be pro­duced in ul­tralow lev­els of light vir­tu­ally ap­proach­ing to­tal dark­ness. They are most of­ten used by in­ves­ti­ga­tions agents, the mil­i­tary and law en­force­ment agen­cies, but are also used by civil­ians like hunters and wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers. Night vi­sion de­vices were first used in World War II and the tech­nol­ogy has evolved greatly since then, lead­ing to sev­eral “gen­er­a­tions” of night vi­sion equip­ment with per­for­mance in­creas­ing and price de­creas­ing.

Spot­ting Scopes and Binoc­u­lars:

Although ev­ery­one is fa­mil­iar with binoc­u­lars, spot­ting scopes are less known. Spot­ting scopes are gen­er­ally a sin­gle scope, or monoc­u­lar with a greater mag­ni­fi­ca­tions and are gen­er­ally used by in­ves­ti­ga­tors and na­ture watch­ers.

Tele­scopes: Whether you are look­ing at Mars, the moon or in open ter­rain you don’t get much bet­ter mag­ni­fi­ca­tion than a tele­scope to see those finer de­tails and this could be used to ad­van­tage for sur­veil­lance along a fence.

Bor­der Sur­veil­lance Radar

Hen­soldt’s Spexer 2000 is a high-per­for­mance bor­der sur­veil­lance radar for the au­to­matic de­tec­tion and clas­si­fi­ca­tion of ground, sea and low-fly­ing air tar­gets. It was de­vel­oped for the spe­cific re­quire­ments of se­cu­rity sce­nar­ios; with its pri­mary fields of ap­pli­ca­tion in bor­der se­cu­rity sys­tems, as well as the pro­tec­tion of crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture and perime­ter. The Spexer 2000 has al­ready proven its re­mark­able per­for­mance in in­te­grated se­cu­rity sys­tems in nu­mer­ous re­gions of the world, where it is suc­cess­fully be­ing used to de­tect tra­di­tional as well as asym­met­ric threats.

Bat­tle­field Sur­veil­lance Radar

It is gen­er­ally a man-por­ta­ble bat­tery­pow­ered elec­tronic short-range bat­tle­field sur­veil­lance radar to pro­vide all-weather sur­veil­lance against in­tru­sion. The radar is ca­pa­ble of search­ing a spec­i­fied sec­tor and per­form­ing track while scan­ning for mul­ti­ple tar­gets. The radar de­tects, tracks and aids in clas­si­fy­ing the mov­ing tar­gets. Such radar sys­tems can be car­ried by one or two sol­diers. They are com­pact and can be set up within a few min­utes to match the speed and re­quire­ments of the users. The radar has so­phis­ti­cated built-in soft­ware al­go­rithms to de­tect, track and clas­sify tar­gets like crawl­ing man, group of walk­ing men, light and com­bat ve­hi­cles, and low fly­ing heli­copters. It also has a built-in in­ter­face for au­to­matic trans­fer of tar­get data to re­mote lo­ca­tions and ca­pa­bil­ity of in­te­gra­tion with imag­ing sen­sors. The radar is amenable for mast-mounted role on any light ve­hi­cle.

Unat­tended Ground Sen­sors

For the de­tec­tion of move­ment at a bor­der cross­ing, Self-Pow­ered Ad-hoc Net­work (SPAN) nodes may be equipped with ground-vi­bra­tion or acous­tic sen­sors, while for struc­tural-in­tegrity ap­pli­ca­tions, stress sen­sors would be em­ployed. Ac­cord­ing to Lock­heed Martin, sev­eral undis­closed agen­cies within the US Gov­ern­ment are cur­rently test­ing the abil­ity of unat­tended ground sen­sors to pro­tect per­son­nel sta­tioned in war en­vi­ron­ments, and to as­sist with bor­der sur­veil­lance. Unat­tended ground sen­sors may be in the form of IR de­vices, pres­sure de­vices, mag­netic de­vices, elec­tro­mag­netic de­vices, or acous­tic de­vices.

Im­agery anal­y­sis

For in­stance Tex­tron’s Re­moteView gives com­pre­hen­sive im­agery anal­y­sis; quickly finds, in­ter­prets and an­no­tates items of in­ter­est; in­cludes toolsets for im­agery and multi-im­age anal­y­sis. From im­agery anal­y­sis to pre­ci­sion po­si­tion­ing and 3D vi­su­al­iza­tion, Re­moteView is the proven so­lu­tion for sit­u­a­tional un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­op­er­abil­ity. As the geospa­tial in­tel­li­gence so­lu­tion of choice within coun­tries around the globe, Re­moteView is used across a broad spec­trum of in­dus­tries in­clud­ing: mil­i­tary and de­fense, bor­der se­cu­rity, dis­as­ter re­lief, nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment, civil en­gi­neer­ing, ecosys­tem mon­i­tor­ing, city plan­ning, en­vi­ron­men­tal en­gi­neer­ing, oil and gas ex­plo­ration, real es­tate, util­ity and more.

The choice of se­cure and safe tech­nolo­gies is amaz­ing but they all come at a huge cost. That is the price a gov­ern­ment has to pay to keep its bor­der’s safe, fail­ing which we have seen how il­le­gal mi­gra­tion has led to all kinds of prob­lems across the globe.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Army

Bor­der Rec­ceby In­dian Army along the Indo-Pak­istan bor­der

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