Drones are becoming an ever-growing concern for drug smuggling and general border protection as commercially available drones continue to expand in capability.
The cameras on drones today can provide high resolution video and even night vision capability that wasn’t commercially available on drones even a couple of years ago all while expanding their payload capacity as well.
Countless drones have been spotted with suspected drug payloads, but few have been recovered and even less resulting in arrests. Early warning of drug smuggling drone operation with SkyView would allow border agents to initiate their search for the launch or recovery sites prior to visual detection in areas of higher probability. Dispersed SkyView sensors networked via hardline or mesh network would further expand the detection fidelity providing an affordable yet capable solution.
As the lift capabilities of commercial off the shelf (COTS) drones has expanded, so have their camera options. COTS drones can be purchased with infrared (IR) cameras allowing night operations as well as enhanced Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities which allow monitoring of border agent movements. These ISR efforts enable drug smugglers and human traffickers operational freedom even in heavily patrolled areas. Fixed and mobile SkyView UAS detection systems would quickly notify agents of drone operations in their area mitigating this emerging threat.
Potential threats sUAS pose to Border Protection