Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Secret Service to buy unique video surveillance cameras from Canon USA and wireless modems by Sierra Wireless
GX 440 4G cellular
The U.S. Secret Service has indicated in the past two days that it will take two separate procurement actions to enhance its video surveillance capabilities.
On July 24, the agency announced it will negotiate on a sole source basis with Canon USA, Inc., of Melville, NY, to supply it with color video camera systems that are not readily available outside the government. “The cameras being procured are not commercially available and are strictly limited for the Government’s official use,” said a special notice released by the Secret Service.
The notice did not specify the quantity of cameras the Secret Service plans to procure, nor their unique technical capabilities or price. The agency anticipates making the award to Canon USA on or about July 26. Further information is available from Kim Trang, a Secret Service contracting officer, at 202-406-6940 or email@example.com.
Also on July 24, the Secret Service announced that it would purchase 30 Sierra Wireless GX 440 4G cellular modems, along with antennas and power supplies, from Hutton Communications, of Carrollton, TX, for a total of $25,108.
“The modems will be used to support covert video surveillance operations,” explained the Secret Service in a “justification for noncompetitive procurement” notice that it released on July 24. “Modems are installed in conjunction with covert IP cameras and provide case agents with the ability to remotely monitor and record video feeds.”
Such equipment can also lower the cost of a surveillance mission for the Secret Service. “Using 4G modems is a cost savings to the service as it eliminates the need for a cable drop to be installed at the camera,” the agency explains in its notice. “It also eliminates the need for a receiving location to be set up in the immediate area. Video feeds from the modem can be viewed anywhere there is Internet connectivity.”
The Secret Service says it requires its wireless modems to offer the following characteristics: support VPN and other security features; offer an Ethernet port for direct connection to the camera; dual antennas for MIMO operation, which can achieve 4G upload and download speeds; GPS and WiFi capabilities. In addition, the Web server should allow remotely accessible programming, which eliminates the need for additional software to be loaded on agents’ laptops.
The agency says the Sierra Wireless GX 440 4G cellular modems are the only products that meet all of its technical requirements. “USSS already has 30 of the previous 3G modems,” says the agency. “This procurement will replace a majority of the obsolete modems in use.”
“The GX440 achieves high performance and reliability by offering GPS, 4G connectivity, and ALEOS embedded intelligence,” says Sierra Wireless, of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, on its own Web site. “An expansion slot enables the easy addition of I/O and communications ports, providing unparalleled flexibility and versatility. The existence of the expansion slot on the GX440 enables feature additions without comprehensive design changes and/or further certification.”
As the Secret Service seems to recognize, the Sierra modem, is intended to support mobile operations. “The GX440 is designed for use in mobile environments (field service, public safety) or fixed/portable settings (security/surveillance, router backup, digital signage),” Sierra continues. “A ‘one device fits all’ solution allows customers to deploy and manage the same device for multiple applications, simplifying deployment and management.”
Further information about the procurement of these Sierra models is available from Latinia Buck at 202-406-6940 or firstname.lastname@example.org.