Reinventing the UK border management framework is key to success
Brexit has highlighted the crucial role that border management has on UK trade, the flow of people and goods, and keeping the country secure. Brexit presents the opportunity to reinvent border management operations. Innovative, efficient and rapid approaches to provide value to UK citizens, government, and industry are real and available.
Our point of view: The UK needs a fresh approach to people, process, and technology
Borders are no longer simple lines drawn on a map, nor do border crossings take place only at distinct points of contact along those lines. Long before a passenger lands at an airport or a cargo container offloads from a ship at a port - visas are requested, cargo manifests are filed, customs declarations may be completed on airplanes en route, and intentions to re-export may change while goods are in transit. To operate efficiently in this environment of fluid border crossings, all nations require integrated and frictionless digital technology solutions.
The problem the UK faces is that current systems for immigration and customs control operate within siloes built up over nearly a half-century of layering legacy software system upon legacy software system to support changing regulations. While it may be tempting to wipe away all of these systems and begin fresh with a clean slate on Brexit Day One, a wholesale revamp of the UK's customs and immigration systems is not practical or cost effective, and comes with many associated challenges. In reality, true value will be realised by applying powerful, smart solutions to specific, data-intensive problems. The effective application of which is combining this transformation in the context of the supporting people, process, and technology.
Our approach: Open architectures are key to keep Britain open
Alongside a deep appreciation of the data implications surrounding border management, our knowledge of the underlying physics in many domains allows us to take a disciplined, science-based approach that distinguishes our border security solutions. Running holistically from prediction to resolution, we integrate the people, process, and technology to create solutions that leverage the right applications across the end-to-end security spectrum needed to support the UK Border.
To do this, open architectures are key to provide flexibility to change as we tackle customer challenges through the integration, application, and advancement of information technology and supporting services.
Key capabilities that provide the pillars of border management
Leidos’ border protection solutions are designed to meet UK border management security needs, now and long into the future. We have more than 50 products and applications that form the components of end-to-end border security solutions and services, running from prediction to resolution. From unmanned vehicles, safety and security, and software/hardware integration to transportation, simulation, and geospatial applications. Our capabilities span air, land, and maritime ports of entry, between ports, and integrated border technology.
In successful operation globally, and of particular relevance to the UK, our solutions include:
Integrated pedestrian management at ports
The UK National Audit Office estimates border crossings by non-UK nationals will increase 230 percent post-Brexit. Fixed or portable entry and exit-processing stations present an effective solution to support surge in arrivals by ship.
Each station contains document and biometric-readers for processing international embarkation and exit. This system also integrates with cruise ship processes for enhanced identification to facilitate boarding, improve tracking, and enhance security. Similar technologies can be integrated into kiosks or ePassport gates to improve queue processing and facilitate throughput at pedestrian crossings of land borders.
Flow management of vehicles
A solution that optimises the flow of vehicles is paramount to providing quick queue processing for all travellers. Leidos recommends this is established based on traveller status. Car-ready lanes use facial recognition and credential readers, enabling pre-registered cars to be verified using Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).
In automated truck lanes, kiosks are raised/lowered to the level of each cab. Credentials are read, and biometrics are confirmed. ANPR and bills of lading-readers validate vehicles and their cargo. Non-Intrusive inspections such as X-rays further cut processing times to a few seconds. To accommodate unregistered vehicles, non-ready lanes can be set up and staffed with Border Force officers conducting traditional methods of inspection.
Use of automation to speed processing in this way, permits risk-based segregation of queue traffic, reducing the number of staff needed to deal with the anticipated influx of new traffic
Processing at international airports
Leidos provides solutions that ensure the efficient processing of airline passengers across airports throughout the world. The Integrated Airport Management System (IAMS) assimilates legacy systems and applications, upgrades, and integrates, into a single platform to improve data collection, sharing and situational awareness. This combines:
- Managing CCTV video surveillance system to detect perimeter intrusions and facilitate breach management.
- Installing 3-D imaging detection systems that scan up to 1,000 bags per hour to assist security personnel in detecting threats while processing passengers efficiently.
- Running unmanned security checkpoints that utilise radio waves and low impact technologies to scan for potential hazards as passengers pass through.
Building on this, upon UK entry, traveler status based immigration queue choices can be made available. For instance, pre-registered individuals and UK citizens admitted into a queue equipped with Facial Recognition equipment and QRC Readers to read ePassports. These queues provide fast-track services supported by additional automation. EU citizens and UK permanent residents directed to Global Entry kiosks issuing paper tickets that are then submitted to an immigration official for a validation check. This model permits risk-based processing while speeding up processing of travellers overall. Increased use of biometrics will both enhance security, and enable immigration and border officials to focus their time on higher risk individuals.
Appropriate use of biometrics for security
Leidos’ multi-modal biometrics capabilities are deployed across airports, sea-ports, in-vehicle, pedestrian, and mobile ports. Verifying identity through: fingerprint, face, voice, iris, and DNA, these technologies greatly simplify immigration official's workload and overhead, whilst improving threat awareness and targeting efficiency.
The IDHaystack solution is one example. This service-based, multimodal, biometric storage and matching platform is an open and extensible identification and verification operation. Available on our secure government community cloud, it can be deployed on client cloud environments, or traditional server networks, and is currently in use on the FBI Next Generation Identification programme in the United States.
Efficient and rapid non-intrusive inspection
Leidos uses X-ray and gamma ray technology to scan shipping containers, trucks, cars, railcars, and other vehicles, producing detailed images to help inspectors find weapons, explosives, stowaways, and other contraband.
These systems are safe for personnel and cargo, achieving very high throughput, in full compliance with stringent US and EU guidelines for scanning occupied vehicles, whilst requiring very little operating space. Vehicles drive through the system without stopping as the entire vehicle is scanned in seconds. These systems can be implemented across any number of lanes without lane reconfiguration, much like non-cash toll systems.
Improved command centres for faster and better decisions
Border command centres face the difficult task of managing multiple sensors simultaneously, recording the history, while predicting movements of tracked objects. The Leidos Adaptive Fusion Tracker (AFT) system is a real-time multi-sensor correlation system designed to perform data fusion and composite tracking across land, sea, and air domains. Incorporating full-motion video and data from a "drone fence" and other sensor feeds, AFT can enhance a command center’s situational awareness, providing powerful, actionable intelligence to decision makers.
AFT's open architecture design is developed using a model-driven development approach that allows for significant software reuse. This ability to reuse software also enables Leidos to rapidly develop new sensor interfaces and solutions to accommodate new and upgraded hardware over time.
Securing land, sea, and air borders against intrusion requires a solution that provides an automated, wide-area surveillance capability to predict, deter, detect, track, identify, classify, respond to, and resolve incursions. Leidos' Integrated Wide Area Surveillance System (IWASS) is an intelligence-based operational solution to provide such border security.
IWASS fuses the data from multiple sensor inputs to create a comprehensive managed view of the border and its surroundings, enabling enhanced situational awareness. Potential sensor inputs that can contribute to IWASS include a) mobile surveillance (for example, drones and aircraft), b) CCTV and other daylight and infrared cameras, c) Heat and motion detectors, and d) Fixed, long range persistent surveillance such as ground-based and aerostat-hosted radar.
Leidos solutions integrate these and other sensor technologies to form a collective view that ensures 24/7/365 complete coverage of a targeted area.
Benefits to UK government
There's a staggering amount of work to be done if we want to improve the UK’s border management capabilities. However, by taking full advantage of biometric technologies, non-intrusive scanning, and data sharing among government agencies – the UK can achieve a smooth exit from its EU membership in the immediate term or improve its border management posture if the country stays as part of the EU.
Looking to the future, these step changes in UK border management will lay the foundations to achieve the Government’s long-term being world class in border management — enhancing the security of border crossings, accelerating processing of people and trade — all at a reasonable cost.
Leidos has a proven record of accomplishment in implementing large-scale technology, and systems integration projects and looks forward to applying this experience alongside our portfolio of border management products to continue supporting the UK Government on its journey.
Founded by scientists and fueled by innovation, Leidos solves complex technical problems every day. During times of chaos and change, we support our clients on the front line, where failure is not an option. As one of the world's leading global science and technology solutions providers, Leidos possesses the expertise, the experience in implementing and integrating technology, and the scale of capability to help solve your hardest, most mission critical problems.