The Department of Homeland Security is releasing a series of requests
for technologies that can reveal what vessels are approaching U.S.
shores and what they are carrying. The requests illustrate holes
in existing port and maritime protection, and what DHS officials
envision for the nation’s future waterside security, said
Coast Guard Cmdr. Joseph Vojvodich, portfolio manger for maritime
“It’s not enough to collect more data or radar dots,”
A particular emphasis needs to be put on standoff-detection devices
that can sniff out contraband at more than 50 feet. Tools to identify
people and ships also are necessary, including cooperative and uncooperative
The science and technology directorate at DHS is starting several
programs to fill some of these gaps, said Leslee Shumway, DHS’
program manager for maritime research and development.
New projects include a command-sector simulation that can train
commanders how to process reams of data. The simulation also will
serve as a test bed for new data integration tools in development,
she said. Another urgently anticipated project is a blue-force tracking
system to chart the deployment of friendly forces in a busy environment.
The system, when developed, will be demonstrated in the Port of
New York, Shumway added.
Other programs include an ambient radar-tracking system, a portable
entanglement net to bring non-lethal stopping power to boats and
helicopters, and new sensors for the P-3 Orion aircraft used by