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Snapshot: Protecting our Northern Border with the Slash CameraPole


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The border between the United States and Canada is the longest in the world. It stretches across remote wilderness for 5,525 miles, from Maine to Alaska, and presents a formidable surveillance challenge. Though the terrain can be treacherous, illegal crossings and smuggling still occur.

However, a unique opportunity for detection exists in the form of a cleared stretch of land at the border that is approximately 20-feet wide, 1,349 miles long, and is referred to as the “Slash.” This man-made, treeless zone is mandated by the International Boundary Commission and is home to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T)’s latest technology transition success story.

As an operational component of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the United States Border Patrol needed a self-triggering platform with wireless data retrieval to detect and give warning of suspicious activities at the U.S.-Canada border. CBP came to DHS S&T with a request for a low-cost, low-power, and low-maintenance solution. The resulting innovation is the Slash CameraPole.




U.S. Department of Homeland Security · · 202-282-8000