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Raytheon’s ‘Clear View’ system can keep a thousand eyes on the U.S. border

Tracking illegal immigrants

Raytheon has tapped into its well-established expertise in air traffic control (in which it can monitor the movement of thousands of aircraft simultaneously) and its skill at missile tracking (in which it can predict the future path of an airborne missile) to develop a new surveillance system that can detect and track the movements of hundreds or thousands of illegal immigrants trying to sneak across the U.S.-Mexican border.

Raytheon’s new system, which it calls Clear View, was presented at the recent ASIS security convention in Dallas, TX.

Essentially, the Clear View system enables a command-and-control center to receive inputs from a wide variety of sensors – such as video surveillance cameras, radar systems, ground sensors, thermal imaging equipment, etc. – and identify individuals, or groups of people, on the ground making their way toward the U.S. border. Much as an air traffic control system will designate a specific aircraft in the sky, monitor its path, and predict where it’s heading and at what time it will arrive, Raytheon’s Clear View system can distinguish a human being from a similarly-sized animal (with the help of video analytic software), monitor his or her progress, and predict when that immigrant can be expected to arrive at the U.S. border.

By keeping track of dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of such groups of pedestrians simultaneously, Clear View can enable the operator at the command center (perhaps an officer with the Border Patrol) to monitor the cluttered and ever-changing situation with far greater control. That operator can prioritize different groups of people heading toward the border – based on the number of individuals involved, or their proximity to the border, or the number of Border Patrol personnel available to apprehend them – in order to impose some order on what otherwise might become an overwhelming and chaotic scene.

Raytheon offered briefings about its new Clear View system at ASIS which emphasized its possible application for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Border Patrol, while also noting that the system could be very helpful to owners and operators of various critical infrastructure facilities who also need to detect, monitor and predict the movement of potential intruders into their sensitive sites.

Raytheon explained that its Clear View system “integrates and consolidates data from multiple sources to provide rapid situational awareness, accurate threat assessment and quick decision-making for enhanced security management,” according to a prepared statement it issued on Oct. 11.

“In addition, the Clear View system’s open architecture easily and seamlessly integrates with third-party software and hardware and can quickly evolve as security requirements change.”

Raytheon sees its Clear View technology as a significant advance over the SBInet system that The Boeing Company has been spearheading for years along the U.S.-Mexican border, because Raytheon’s software is capable of not only seeing who’s approaching the border, but monitoring their movements, correlating thousands of pieces of ever-changing data, and presenting a clear and coherent picture of what’s happening at any given moment to senior leaders at the command-and-control center, or to mobile agents in the field.

Kevin Stevens, who rose through the ranks of the Border Patrol to become its deputy chief before retiring, and is now a Raytheon consultant, told Government Security News that Raytheon has provided thorough briefings about Clear View to senior leaders of the Border Patrol and CBP. He could not, however, predict whether DHS or CBP will soon be seeking further technical information from Raytheon, or issuing a competitive solicitation to Raytheon and other vendors for such a surveillance management system.


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