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surveillance, tracking and acquisition capabilities” in areas difficult to access, or areas that are considered too high-risk for manned aircraft or CBP personnel on the ground.


All of the UAS are designed to be portable, highly maneuverable and rapidly deployable, and will provide “vital sensory and visual data” to agents on the ground.


“These aircraft will enable Border Patrol agents to surveil remote areas not easily accessible by other means, which is critical to our ability to secure the border,” Provost adds.


“They will also be invaluable for humanitarian missions, aiding in locating individuals in need of medical assistance along inhospitable areas of the border.”


The sUAS pilot will be made up of two rotations in each of the sectors. The first rotations started in September, and the second rotations start in January 2018.


After hot and cold weather capabilities are measured, CBP expects a final review in late spring 2018, which will include “future investment decisions and expansion of the program to other USBP Sectors.”


The USBP will operationally test the UAS under an approved Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the FAA and USBP.


The InstantEye quadcopter developed by Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) includes three cameras, GPS positioning, high powered IR LED floodlights, and FLIR capability.


The MOA in place “maximizes risk avoidance to commercial and general aviation traffic in the National Airspace System,” and the USBP also has an approved MOA with CBP’s Air and Marine Operations to further address “operational risk avoidance in day- to-day operations.”


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