Home > News

Inventor's technology links drones to sensors

Article publisher: 
Sierra Vista Herald
Article date: 
June 13, 2017
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Glenn Spencer is an inventor who works on sensor technology paired with drones to protect the border. He lives on an expansive piece of land that spans the desert near the U.S. side of the San Pedro river; the large metal border fence is no more than a few meters from the man's house. It's decorated with a large blue sign that reads “secure the border,” which is exactly what Spencer is trying to do with his security system, SEIDARM.

For the last 14 years, Spencer has dedicated his life to developing technology for border security. What started off as a small unmanned aircraft that looks nothing like a modern-day drone is now a $1 million project that Spencer is trying to get the government to buy.

His design is simple: put some sensors in the ground, wait for a suspect walk or drive by, and send a drone out to keep an eye on them until patrol agents can catch up.

Spencer uses extremely sensitive seismic sensors to detect movement --- so much so that it's nearly impossible to hold a sensor still without it picking up on a pulse through the palm of your hand.

In theory, Spencer said the sensors can be placed underground where they can pick up vibrations from anything that passes by. He said the sensors were so carefully programmed that they know the difference between the vibrations of a human on foot and passing cattle...

Spencer said his technology could replace President Donald Trump's wall, almost like an invisible wall. The wall is estimated over $20 billion, according to an internal report from the Department of Homeland Security. Spencer said drones along the border would cost around $150,000 per mile, while sensors are estimated to cost $100,000 per mile.

With almost 2,000 miles making up the U.S.-Mexico border, Spencer claims his technology would cost around $500 million.

While Spencer is a supporter of Trump, he doesn't feel that a concrete border wall is the way to go.

“The difference between a wall and a fence is that you cannot see through a wall,” Spencer said. “My argument is: you don't want to put up a 30-foot concrete wall on the border, you don't know what they're doing on the other side.”

Spencer has sent his proposal to the government multiple times without any luck. But, it could be because Border Patrol is already using similar technology...

For Glenn, it's not over. He just got a patent for his technology in April and sent in a proposal to government agencies --- they haven't said no to his idea.

“I put a proposal when they put out request for a proposal for fencing,” Spencer said.” And, I snuck one in saying, ‘I want to use this all along the border,' they're still sitting on it.”



American Border Patrol

Pictures of American Border Patrol UAV on the Arizona border, Desert Invasion, 2004.


CAIRCO Research

Border security and porous United States - Mexico border wall / fence