A declassified surveillance technology developed by The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) and GCS Research uses GIS (geospatial) technology to specifically locate and track acoustic sounds coming from people, animals or vehicles. This technology has the potential to serve as a fast and efficient mode of means for communicating between leaders and front line workers for national security needs.
What led to the creation of Tripwire was the need for hi-tech surveillance and covert intelligence in a World that's now more focused on national security. Tripwire is able to pick up acoustic sounds (footsteps, cars, airplanes, and submarines) and incorporates GIS technology to specifically locate the source of the sound. With border and port security being top issues for the Department of Homeland Security, Tripwire has the potential to serve as an important tool for frontline workers in the battle against a porous national border and port security that's not up to par.
Tripwire began as a project by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) to protect marine bases and naval employees, it was titled Blue Rose. Blue Rose "was developed by the Navy to locate and track nearby events by sound. It employs highly sensitive sensors, control and measurement electronics, and buried optical fiber"3.
GCS Research was intrigued by the technology and wanted to see if they could use it to locate moving objects making sound on land and in remote locations. GCS Research combined their GIS (geospatial) technology with the existing Blue Rose system, creating Tripwire.
In February of 2006, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) announced a research and development agreement with GCS Research to expand upon the capabilities of Tripwire and to make updated and beneficial enhancements.
There has been some critique that distant sounds set off a false alarm too often, though it's been assured by Theresa Baus that NUWC engineers have addressed the problem1.
The lesson learned was that GIS technology is an amazing tool which can be used in many instances, ranging from being used in Google Earth for education/awareness or being used by military technology companies for national defense.
What was also learned was that an increasingly fast and efficient correspondence between leaders and frontline workers will help secure international borders and ports.