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Home : T2 Success Stories : Article Display
NEWS | Sept. 30, 2023

Interagency Collaboration Achieves Far-Reaching Perimeter Security Solutions

The collaboration between the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and two components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a testament to the power of cooperation across agencies to deliver impactful technologies to the nation. ERDC Perimeter Security Solutions were originally developed with funding from the U.S. Army to meet the needs of the future warfighter to be agile in urban settings by providing a perimeter that could be rapidly deployed, quickly recovered, and easily moved. Specifically, ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL) developed the following:

Deployable Expedient Traffic Entry Regulator (DETER) provides an active vehicle barrier that serves as an expedient access control solution to protect critical assets and soft targets from vehicular attacks.

Aggressor Vehicle Entry Readiness Technology (AVERT) is an active, friction-based vehicle-barrier using man-portable components and mechanical operation for rapid deployment to mitigate hostile vehicle threats.

Ready Armor Protection Instant Deployment (RAPID) is anaccordion-like security wall for quickly establishing physical barriers with ballistic protection in urban environments.

RAPID and AVERT were demonstrated at two events in New York City in 2019, opportunities that gave the GSL team valuable feedback from soldiers and the New York Police Department. More importantly, the demonstrations caught the attention of DHS. Specifically, the Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) within DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) expressed an interest in procuring the technologies. CISA’s OBP saw the potential to use the perimeter technologies, not only for the future warfighter, but also for today’s civilian law enforcement and homeland security needs.

After connecting with OBP, ERDC entered a five-year interagency agreement with the DHS S&T Directorate to further develop the Perimeter Security Solutions technologies with the new focus on the civilian sector. With funding from DHS S&T, ERDC was able to start the process of demonstrating technologies at public events to assess them in an operational environment with the new user focus in mind.

In April 2023, DETER and RAPID were deployed at the 88th annual NFL Draft in Kansas City, Missouri, to see how the technologies needed to be tailored to fit the needs of U.S. law enforcement. ERDC researchers received valuable feedback from end users, including law enforcement, NFL security contacts, and local security officials.

This interagency collaboration has been valuable because it resulted in the rapid development of the perimeter technologies, including taking technologies originally developed for the battlefield and tailoring them for U.S. domestic security. This collaboration has furthered partnerships, to include Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and commercial licenses. Thanks to the visibility of the NFL Draft demonstration, the Secret Service is interested in purchasing RAPID. In addition, the interagency team was able to secure an opportunity to demonstrate DETER at the next Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500).