Accession Number:

ADA454031

Title:

Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-02-07

Pagination or Media Count:

7.0

Abstract:

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs to improve border security is a technique that has garnered congressional attention. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the northern and southern borders of the United States and related issues for Congress. The northern border separating the mainland United States and Canada is 4,121 miles long and consists of 430 official and unofficial ports of entry. The expansive nature and the possibility of entry through unpopulated regions make the border difficult to patrol. In July 2003, U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner announced that an additional 375 border patrol agents would be reassigned to the northern border. This increase brought the number of border patrol agents to 1,000. Commissioner Bonner also noted that CBPs border agents had, the front line responsibility for detecting terrorists and terrorist weapons. The southern border separating the United States and Mexico is 2,062 miles long and consists of 30 ports of entry and innumerable unofficial crossings. Unlike the northern border, however, over 10,000 border patrol agents are typically stationed on the southern border. Despite this larger presence, illegal border crossings and significant drug smuggling activities occur frequently. This report discusses the types of UAVs that could be used in border security how UAVs have been used historically legislation regarding the use of UAVs for homeland security benefits e.g., precise imagery, loiter capabilities, long flight times, low costs, extended range and endurance, and limitations e.g., high accident rate, sensors limited by poor weather, safe integration of UAVs into civilian airspace, and privacy issues of UAVs and issues for Congress.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE