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Monday, December 6th, 2021

DHS initiates air domain awareness demonstrations at northern border

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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) officials said the agency is evaluating air domain awareness technologies as a means of protecting northern border airspace.

S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory recently spearheaded a test team that included the Montana National Guard, the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, and MITRE — in accordance with Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Federal Aviation Administration and Canada.

“S&T is excited about this opportunity to conduct these air domain awareness demonstrations and test these unique technologies, sensors and capabilities in realistic environments,” S&T Program Manager Shawn McDonald said. “Safeguarding the vast geographical landscape and skies surrounding the northern border is no small feat, so these ongoing efforts to increase our security and ensure our safety, both there and throughout the rest of the country, is a whole-of-government effort that we’re proud to be a part of.”

Per authorities, the three-week test and demonstration of air domain awareness technology systems in Limestone Hills, Mont., involved evaluating and assessing radar systems, infra-red and electro-optical cameras, radio frequency detection systems and acoustic devices.

The overarching goal, per officials, was to determine effectiveness to monitor, safeguard and secure the northern border, as well as surrounding terrain and airspace.

“Air domain awareness has always been a major challenge for all of us, whether it’s DoD, DHS, or any of the other components of our government responsible for protecting our borders,” Major General Pete Hronek, Adjutant General for the State of Montana’s National Guard, said. “The Montana National Guard was honored to host these evaluations at our Limestone Hills training area. It was the perfect setting for industry to showcase their technologies.”