Virtual Fence To Be Tested This Month

The first section of a virtual fence along the US-Mexico border will be tested this month. The test had been delayed by the contractor, Boeing Co., after months of delays due to computer glitches.


(Boeing virtual fence)

The first portions of the test are to be constructed in Arizona; the intent is to build 1800 towers along the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Loaded with sensors, radar and sophisticated cameras, nine towers along a 28-mile section are designed to detect illegal immigrants and drug smugglers coming through the heavily trafficked area southwest of Tucson.

The $20 million virtual fence pilot project remains on hold because software designed to integrate the results of sensor hits, radar readings and camera sightings wasn't working correctly. A glitch in the programming has kept it from providing a common operating picture for agents, who plan to use it to spot and capture illegal entrants and smugglers.

This virtual fence reminded me of the force field barrier fence that kept everyone inside of Coventry in Robert Heinlein's 1940 of the same name:

There! That must be it- that black band in the distance. The helicopter drew closer, and he became certain that he was seeing the Barrier- the mysterious, impenetrable wall that divided the United States from the reservation known as Coventry...
(Read more about barrier force field)

Via CNN.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/21/2007)

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