Declassified covert military surveillance system to protect international borders
By Mike Hanlon
February 24, 2006
February 25, 2006 Picture an intruder stepping stealthily across an international borderline. Now shift to a U.S. Command and Control center several miles away where a computer system is alerting a security officer to the intruder's movement, having detected the slight sound of a footstep and zeroed in on the intruder's exact location. The security officer dispatches a UAV to monitor from the air, ground forces to intercept on the ground, and the intruder is stopped. The detection, classification, location, and tracking system is a recently de-classified covert surveillance and intelligence gathering system, which is now in full-scale development as a result of a licensing agreement between the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Newport, R.I., which invented the sensor technology, and GCS Research of Missoula, Mont., which is further developing and commercializing it.
"We are extremely excited to have finalized our licensing agreement with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center," states Alex Philp, President of GCS Research. "Since we began working with the Navy on the Blue Rose technology, the demand for next-generation covert intelligence and surveillance sensor systems has risen exponentially. We look forward to meeting this demand with our commercial partners and maintaining a close, working relationship with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center."
The patented surveillance system, known as Blue Rose, was developed by the Navy to locate and track nearby events by sound. It employs highly sensitive sensors, control and measurement electronics, and buried optical fiber. The Blue Rose system was originally designed to provide safety and security for ships, infrastructure, and personnel in and around the marine environment. It is currently in place at the NUWC's Newport facility.
After learning about Blue Rose, GCS Research entered into a collaborative agreement with the Navy to evaluate the technology and determine how it could be used to detect, track, classify, notify, and communicate information about moving objects in remote locations. GCS suspected that the Blue Rose system could be used to identify an intrusion from far away if it was integrated with geospatial information technology such as GIS (geographic information system), which is the company's specialty. Working together, the Navy and company are integrating the perimeter security sensors and detection software with GIS location technology.
The resulting system, code-named TRIPWIRE™, can accurately pinpoint the location of a remote acoustic event such as a human or animal footstep, or the movement of an airborne or ground-based vehicle. It can also identify the source of the acoustic event and track its movements. These advancements put an important new information tool in the homeland security arsenal for border patrolling and also provide a system that can aid in high value critical infrastructure protection (CIP).
Currently, GCS Research has entered into a follow-on R&D; agreement with the Navy to expand upon the classification capabilities of the technology as well as other next-phase enhancements. To assist with commercial production capability, GCS Research has selected S&K; Electronics in Ronan, MT as its manufacturing partner to build the core TRIPWIRE components and integrate the solution with SKE's advanced DSP. GCS Research is actively integrating TRIPWIRE capabilities with on-going DoD and DHS projects.
The TechLink Center, a Department of Defense-funded technology transfer center located in Bozeman, Montana, helped partner the NUWC and GCS for the joint research and aided in the subsequent licensing agreement.
About GCS Research
GCS Research LLC is a geospatial information technology company headquartered in Missoula, Montana. We deliver integrated products and services that allow our clients to organize, protect, visualize, analyze, and share their geospatial information across distributed networks. We specialize in custom geospatial applications and interoperable Web services that harness the power of location intelligence and deliver this information across the enterprise. GCS Research provides award-winning geospatial solutions designed to support connected workflows and powerful, client experiences.