According to CBP, it hasn’t been canceled outright — but it has been delayed for much, if not most, of 2013. The problem: The sensors can’t talk to the rest of the tech along the border. “We’ve determined that we need to resolve issues with saturated radio frequencies, limited bandwidth and system integration with the existing CBP infrastructure,” Jenny Burke, a public affairs officer with CBP, tells Danger Room. The agency will try again to replace its aging sensors “within the next six to nine months.”
The delay is only the latest set of woes for the border security program. In recent months, it’s has been reportedly beset by delays and changing requirements, and the agency as a whole has been reportedly short-staffed and plagued by budget cuts.
The sensors are also supposed to be tough. They have to able to survive in extreme weather, and be finely tuned enough to distinguish between individuals and groups of people, as well as telling people apart from animals. Finally, CBP wants the sensors to spot vehicles, and tell different vehicles apart from each other, like in spotting whether a vehicle is a truck or actually a motorcycle.