Camera System To Scan Shoreline
The Coast Guard is introducing a new test program, Hawkeye, in South Florida–a network of cameras, infrared technology, and other technology intended to help Department of Homeland Security officials track suspicious vessels in local waterways and identify commercial vessels before they reach U.S. shores.
The 24-month, $8 million prototype will allow law enforcement officials to see vessels 25 miles out, and is funded by the Homeland Security Department and the Coast Guard. Under Secretary for Science and Technology Charles E. McQueary says that South Florida’s location and trouble with illegal immigrants and smuggling helped in the choice to try the program there; if it is successful, it will be installed in other ports.
Cruise ships and commercial vessels already have automated identification systems that the Coast Guard can use to identify ship names and crosscheck passenger and staff lists. The Hawkeye technology has been used to catch a cruise ship dumping garbage and help personnel respond to a cruise ship fire.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (06/03/04) P. 1B; McKerney, Christy .