Boeing tests mobile tower for SBI-Net

Boeing Co. announced it has successfully tested the first 98-foot mobile tower to be deployed as part of the Homeland Security Department's $8 billion Secure Border Initiative Network surveillance system along the U.S. borders.

The integrated, mobile sensor tower houses cameras, radar, wireless data access points, communications and computer equipment, and a security system, Boeing said.

The tests were conducted to ensure that the towers could be deployed while meeting technical criteria. "The tower and its components functioned as expected, and we are confident that the design is repeatable for deployment along the border," said Customs and Border Protection SBI-Net program manager Kirk Evans.

The mobile sensor towers, along with devices carried in Border Patrol agent vehicles, will provide surveillance data to a common operating picture that Customs and Border Patrol will use to identify intruders and initiate response, Boeing said. A common operating picture is a single, identical display of information shared by multiple users.

The first tower will be deployed in mid-April. Altogether, nine mobile towers will be deployed by May 31 as part of Project 28, a 28-mile section of border in Arizona that will provide the first implementation of SBI-Net.

"The successful completion of the first integrated mobile sensor tower test is a significant program milestone," Jerry McElwee, Boeing vice president said. "Not only does it cement the integrity of our design for a major program component, but it also sets the stage for repeatable deliveries."

Boeing of Chicago ranks No. 15 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT contractors.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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