DHS wants ‘vision’ to find tunnels
The Homeland Security Department has asked the research community to propose innovative methods that would enable the use of sensors and information technology to detect tunnels, especially those beneath U.S. borders, according to Government Computer News.
The department’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to issue $1 million to $2 million in contracts or grants this year to push tunnel detection technology forward.
The research project funding could encourage additional research as well as increased spending to deploy tunnel detection systems.
The agency’s announcement states that the DHS expects to issue contracts in the range of $100,000 to $200,000 each for the tunnel detection research projects.
DHS is currently conducting the procurement in two rounds. Organizations seeking to offer proposals in the first round must register their intent by March 11 and submit their proposals by March 18. Proposals for the second round are due Sept. 15, with corresponding earlier deadlines for submitting white papers on possible projects and registering to submit a proposal.
The proposal request specifies several aspects of the IT that research proposals should cover, such as the integration of the tunnel detection system data output with existing command-and-control systems along the borders. DHS wants to incorporate the tunnel detection information with other systems via data fusion technology.
The directorate also hinted that its interest in tunnel detection could prompt additional research funding projects. “A potential long-range DHS [Science and Technology Directorate] solicitation will help further development such as in mission-planning software, high-level data fusion with other data streams and modeling of near-surface phenomenology to improve sensor performance,” the agency announcement says.