Boeing has successfully tested a networked mobile sensor tower, which is one of many planned for the U.S. Secure Border Initiative.
The 98-foot towers use radar, wireless access data points, communications and computer equipment, and a tower security system. It monitors the border for movement and staff members notify Border Patrol Agents of suspicious activity. Agents receive a map, or Common Operating Picture, showing the coordinates on their mobile laptops.
The test proved that the tower's infrastructure works as expected and it meets technical standards, according to a Boeing statement released last week.
"We are confident that the design is repeatable for deployment along the border," Kirk Evans, a program manager with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in a prepared statement. The first tower is scheduled to arrive in Tucson, Ariz., for assembly this week.
"The successful completion of the first integrated mobile sensor tower test is a significant program milestone," Jerry McElwee, Boeing vice president, Secure Border Initiative, said in a prepared statement. "Not only does it cement the integrity of our design for a major program component, but it also sets the stage for repeatable deliveries."
Nine towers are scheduled to be on the Southwest border by the end of May.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's inspector general has said the border initiative could cost up to $30 billion.