1. Global Earth Science Community
  2. Community Data System Programs
  3. REASoN Projects
  4. Border Spatial Decision Support System (BSDSS)

Border Spatial Decision Support System (BSDSS)

The objective of this project is to enhance development of a spatial decision support system (SDSS) for allocating and deploying resources to secure the U.S. borders against terrorists, smugglers, and other illegal entry. A team of Homeland Security, state and local law enforcement agencies, are collaborating with researchers from San Diego State University (SDSU) on this project. Image-derived products are being integrated with thematic layers in GIS-based models to support the SDSS. NASA developed technologies such as Earth Science satellite data, very high resolution (VHR) airborne imaging, high precision image registration and automated object detection routines are being integrated with commercial satellite and airborne data, web-based geographic information systems (GIS), integrated global positioning system/personal data assistants, and ground-based sensors, into a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) SDSS. Data products and information extraction algorithms are being developed for the SDSS that will be utilized by all levels of the CBP and collaborating local, state, and federal agencies.


Multi-temporal VHR imaging enables monitoring of features such as trail networks, origination/destination facilities, and contraband staging areas within the border enforcement zone. Such imagery also enables border security agents to record locations and provide geographic context for interdictions of smugglers and undocumented immigrants. Landsat ETM+ and Terra Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite image data support efforts to detect and locate potential landing sites for smuggler aircraft and to assess foot and vehicular trafficability in the tactical response zone.Terra/Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data are used to map fire and weather-related risks to both border security agents and undocumented immigrants. Mobile communication equipment, web-based GIS, spatial models, and remote hand-held computers with GPS functionality are being integrated to link directly to the SDSS, thereby facilitating near real-time resource allocations and enforcement actions for securing the international borders of the U.S. Enhancements to the SDSS will be operational in the CBP San Diego Sector by the end of the five-year study and will serve as a prototype and operational model for the other 20 CBP sectors. A web-based GIS data portal for San Diego Office of Emergency Services has been established to provide integrated GIS services for the San Diego Community.


Dr. Douglas Stow - PI, SDSU

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017 at 10:21 AM EST