PureTech Systems is partnered with Benchmark Electronics for delivery of the MVSS (Mobile Video Surveillance Platform) to the United States Border Patrol for remote monitoring at our southern border. PureTech Systems provides the PureActiv software as the central command and control, providing video intelligence, user interface display and sensor collaboration logic for the surveillance suite.
In this video, Fox 10 News Phoenix speaks with Benchmark’s CEO Paul Tufano about the new technology. PLAY VIDEO
News 10: Today we have a very interesting new product, so in the Border the federal government which is partially shut down right now due to a debate as the whether we should have a barrier on our southern border. Part of that debate centers on whether we need an actual structure, like a wall down there, or whether we should rely more on new technology.
News 10: A Tempe company providing one of those new technologies to border patrol – a tracking system that can literally see for miles. This is Paul Tufano, CEO and president of Benchmark Electronics located here in the Valley.
News 10: You have a very interesting product out there. I’ve been down along the border many times and sometimes it’s tough to spot people. Your cameras and your mobile unit actually spot people miles away. Tell us how they work.
Tufano: We have a mobile video surveillance system that has a sensor package that allows you to see intruders out to 6 miles – day and night. More importantly than seeing them, the software identifies intruders as animals versus people. Once we have identified a potential intruder, we can actually locate its GPS location and track it with the cameras. More importantly we can send signals to border patrol agents – knowing exact locations.
News 10: Can you describe the set up for us.
Tufano: The key to the system is to be totally mobile and flexible. It is deployed on the back of a truck which has a mast that goes up 30 feet and can span 360 degrees. As I said, it goes out to a range of six miles. The software can identify multiple targets, pin them on the map, and the agent in the truck using a joystick can track those targets and communicate where they are for interdiction.
News 10: Let’s say you spot someone in the Vekol Valley, south of Phoenix, a little north of the border. Your system can say I’ve got a party of six people here, you go ahead a put a pin on them [on the map], you share that information with all the people [border patrol] in that area. Unless they get picked up by a car or something, you can watch then until you get agents there to take care of the issue.
Tufano: Exactly. Even at night when it is difficult, you can actually put a laser illuminator on them so agents can see them in the dark.
News 10: Impressive
Tufano: Border Patrol Agents have extremely complicated jobs. Very dangerous. So hopefully we are helping them be much more effective in what they have to do.
News 10: Is this something you see replacing a physical barrier or is this something that backs up a physical barrier or do you have a position on that at all?
Tufano: Border surveillance is very situational. It depends on the terrain. It depends on the location. So, there is always a need for fixed barriers at a certain time, technology like ours, and of course the men and women of the border patrol to utilize it correctly. It’s one more tool to be used to attempt to solve a difficult problem.
News 10: It’s comprehensive, there are so many different things that have to come together to make it all work. You guys are based here in Tempe, AZ. A lot of your software is here you mentioned, but where are all the items made?
Tufano: The camera and integration design are done in southern California. Our systems design is in Fredericksburg, VA. The software comes from here in Phoenix [PureTech Systems] and we build the system in Texas.
News 10: Look at that, USA. That’s right. You’ll likely see more of these along the border in the coming days
Read more about the MVSS (Mobile Video Surveillance Platform).