Galil DMC-4020 Motion Controllers for Border Patrol

With an estimated 850,000 people unlawfully entering the United States since 2002, U.S. Border Patrol agents are tasked with monitoring over 6,000 miles of land along the US-Mexican and US-Canadian borders. To assist in their monumental task, they employ helicopters, canine units, the Texas Rangers, unmanned drones, all-terrain vehicles, watchtowers, and 20-foot tall steel walls. All of these tools are still not enough.

To help fill the gaps and increase border security, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency accelerated efforts to build a “virtual fence” utilizing the steel watchtowers. These watchtowers are to be equipped with infrared sensors, remotely operated cameras, communications devices, and radar.

Conquering this project is the Night Hawk High Torque (HT) Surveillance Platform developed by PVP Advanced Electro-Optical Systems, Inc. (PVP) in cooperation with L3-CE.

Galil Motion Controllers

A DMC-4020 two-axis Ethernet motion controller from Galil Motion Control handles the azimuth and elevation motors and delivers a positioning accuracy of 0.05 degrees. Each Night Hawk HT can provide round-the-clock, 360-degree surveillance up to 20 miles. The Galil DMC-4020 motion controller allows the user to point the sensors at the region of interest. Then, the sensors are used to locate and track targets at long range using narrow fields of view. Because of these challenges, the motion controllers must make very small and accurate movements to keep targets within the field of view. At times, agents will be cued to these targets, requiring precise location accuracy.

The Night Hawk HT features a high-performance, rugged, and flexible gimbal. Accepting a wide range of sensors and tracker configurations, it can function continuously even under extreme conditions without scheduled maintenance.

The torque limit, tracking error and modulo position features were key in PVP’s choice to utilize Galil products. However, the most crucial factor is that the DMC-4020 provides both the servo controller and motor drivers as a single integrated package. Not only did this save space and wiring, it also saved programming time and cost. Because it supported rapid integration and utilized a familiar DMC programming language, the DMC-4020 Galil motion controllers sped production from concept to prototype in four months.

DHS experts expect this so-called “virtual fence” to help border patrol agents identify and intercept some 70 to 85% of all illegal passages into the U.S.

Electromate supplies Galil motion controllers like the DMC-4020 utilized in these “virtual fence” surveillance platforms. Contact us today for a quote.

The Night Hawk HT helps the U.S. Border Patrol in its fight
against illegal and unwanted crossings.