The surveillance towers operate using 100 percent renewable energy and provide autonomous surveillance to Border Patrol agents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The towers use radar to scan the surrounding landscape for movement and use algorithms and artificial intelligence to detect items of interest, like people or vehicles, and can be moved from location to location within two hours.
Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
“These towers give agents in the field a significant leg up against the criminal networks that facilitate illegal cross-border activity,” said Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott. “The more our agents know about what they encounter in the field, the more safely and effectively they can respond.”
The CBP first tested out four of the towers in early 2018 near San Diego, and has since bought 56 more of the towers, with plans to buy and deploy another 140 in 2021 and 2022 to reach a total of 200 towers.