CBP now looking for interim replacements for border sensors

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A two-year-old request for information about new ground sensor technology for the southwest border has been canceled, but Customs and Border Protection plans to post another procurement for sensors later this year.

The original RFI was only "intended to conduct market research to determine the level of technology and availability of such technology" for ground sensors, a CBP spokeswoman said.

Posted in April 2011, the RFI said sensors could "enhance agents' ability to detect, track, identify, and classify illegal incursions" and improve their situational awareness between ports of entry. CBP specifically sought "existing, fully developed" ground sensor technology.

A Feb. 7 update to the RFI said the agency's acquisition office "is not planning to release a solicitation for this specific requirement in the near future."

An agency spokeswoman said CBP plans to release a new procurement later in the year., but that would be an interim fix--the sensors would be similar to or compatible with the existing system, she said.

Many of the sensors CBP already has have been worn down by rain and insects, according to a Los Angeles Times article from October. They have also triggered false alarms, one of which may have led to the death of a Border Patrol agent last year, the article also says.

Nicholas Ivie and other agents responded to a tripped sensor, and Ivie apparently died in friendly fire.

For more:
- go to the RFI on FedBizOpps

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