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ARA's newly developed simulation software offers the capability to improve security


Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) understands the need to provide different technologies as force multipliers in the monitoring and effective interdiction of illegal border activity. ARA brings a suite of innovative modeling and simulation capabilities to the table, offering innovative solutions for the nation's border security challenges. The United States has approximately 7,000 miles of international border and 95,000 miles of shoreline, both with varying terrain, urban and rural, with differing climate and topography. Weaknesses in this border can give terrorists, drug dealers and human traffickers openings to exploit. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is charged with identifying and correcting those weaknesses -- preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons, as well as individuals involved in illegal drug trade and illegal immigration, from entering the United States.

One approach to deterring, detecting, and apprehending these individuals is called border calculus. In border calculus, officials analyze the distance and lag time between an illegal entry and an imaginary line beyond which the Border Patrol's capability to intercept the suspect significantly diminishes. The distance and time after which a suspect is unlikely to be caught is much shorter in some areas of the border than others, especially urban areas. With border management so closely coupled to national security, the best available technology is needed to form an agent-focused approach to mitigating this problem and securing operational control of our borders.

The E-SIM Event Simulator software recently developed by ARA uses an agent (occupant) based methodology well suited to assisting personnel in effectively planning, rehearsing, and analyzing border calculus and developing interdiction strategies. ARA leveraged its extensive experience in modeling and simulation in creating E-SIM to allow 'what-if' analysis that simulates people movement and their interactions with varying infrastructure. People are programmed as agents that are intelligent and autonomous. They can communicate and are able to perceive and respond to changes in the environment.

With E-SIM, planning, reaction time, points of entry, choke points, and likely areas of ingress can be assessed electronically in a synthetic environment. E-SIM can be programmed with actual historical data to investigate potential illegal alien and border patrol agent interactions at both the southern and northern U.S. borders, resulting in a decision aid and training aid for border patrol agents in detecting, identifying/classifying, responding to and resolving/apprehending illegal aliens. Incorporating terrain, infrastructure and border interdiction sensor and communications assets in a synthetic simulation environment is a key step in creating smart border technology.