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National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center
This article describes the features of BorderTrack, which uses GPS (global positioning system) and laser range-finder technologies to pinpoint the location of a target; and the status of its use by the Border Patrol is reported.
BorderTrack incorporates a laptop computer and/or personal digital assistant (PDA) with the laser range-finder binoculars, enabling the user to sight on a target, obtain its GPS position, and generate a report. A simpler application of BorderTrack, called LaserFind, produces just the target's location, which the user can either enter as a waypoint into a handheld GPS, plot on a paper map, or enter into separate mapping software. Another software option is called TeleMapper, which adds mapping capability--locating the observer, the target, and a sightline between them on a map-- and enabling users to select commonly used roads and well-known geographic features. The Border Patrol has tested BorderTrack from a helicopter and generated results that were accurate within 100 meters, despite movement and vibration. Officers also field-tested the binocular/scope mount and obtained more accurate results. The National Institute of Justice's Border Research and Technology Center (BRTC) plans further field-testing with local law enforcement agencies; and additional innovations are in development, including advanced mapping capabilities and wireless data transmission. BRTC is also exploring a way to add the device to the Office of National Drug Control Policy-Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center Technology Transfer program.
Date Created: September 21, 2008