IDEX: FLIR Offering Mobile Sensor System as World Border Budgets Grow

By Stew Magnuson
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — FLIR Systems, the Portland, Ore.-based sensor manufacturer, will be using the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi this week to tout one of its most recent acquisitions, a mobile suite of surveillance cameras that has proven to be a hit with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
FLIR acquired ICx Technologies in October by purchasing some $268 million worth of shares, and making it a wholly own subsidiary. One of ICx's most successful products was a mobile surveillance platform that is being widely used by the U.S. Border Patrol.
ICx had already been selling the Cerberus long-range surveillance system to Customs and Border Protection, which was mounting the towers in the back of ruggedized vehicles. Border Patrol agents are able to drive them to various locations, unlike fixed camera towers, which had been repeatedly criticized because illegal migrants and drug smugglers could easily avoid them.
CBP has acquired 40 mobile systems and intends to double that number, a Border Patrol spokesman said last month.
It includes a FLIR thermal imaging camera, radar, a backup power system, and a command and control communications unit to transmit data back to higher headquarters.
FLIR is only one of many vendors here at the IDEX show hoping to tap into the growing border security market.
Visiongain, a London-based market analysis firm, estimates in its newly released report, “The Border Security Market 2010-2020,” that nations spent some $15.8 billion on border security goods and services in 2010.
“Advanced security technology is increasingly being deployed, with high-tech border security systems including networked video surveillance cameras and radar, as well as unmanned aircraft systems and even unmanned ground vehicles,” said an executive summary of the report provided to National Defense.
The firm expects about $220 billion to be spent worldwide on protecting borders from 2010 to 2020.
Continuing instability in the Middle East will result in steady growth for border security in the region, although it will lag behind North American and Asia-Pacific in terms of total expenditures, the report said.
The four major sub-markets will be: perimeter surveillance systems; information technology; aircraft, vessels and other vehicles; and patrol services and support.
“The global border security market offers a wealth of business opportunities that are likely to see a range of companies realizing commercial success,” the report said.
Keep checking this blog for more updates from the IDEX trade show in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 21 to 24.
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Topics: Homeland Security, Border Security, International

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