A Bottom-Up Technological Solution
Under Linköping university's leadership, pilot project partners have developed a technical solution, which includes a software platform that has been deployed for a first surveillance system. Sensor systems will connect to that platform providing perimeter control, intrusion detection and wildlife monitoring. Advanced network and radar technologies will also be applied to provide an overview of a larger area and to detect large objects. An in-depth technological analysis is available upon request.
We have a phased approach in our deployment plan. To avoid 'technology dumps', we start with a smartphone based software platform to which we later add more high-tech solutions:
- App and smartphones to all rangers, tablets and desktop solutions for the officers, and a backend server solution for secure data handling and access control.
- First wave of sensor systems, including surveillance radar covering the park and perimeter, thermal cameras and ground sensors along the perimeter and hot spots such as waterholes.
- More advanced surveillance systems based on emerging technologies. Examples include airborne camera systems for border monitoring and area surveillance, and fiber optical border protection systems.
Though we are investigating and researching many of the above solutions right now, it is important to stay patient with the deployment in the field until we have developed appropriate training and support programs, and the rangers are ready to accept the next leap in technology assistance.
Eventually, the phased approach above will be replicated in other parks and scaled to larger contexts.
Project Design and Implementation Partners
Over the past two years, project partners have engaged a wide range of stakeholders in designing this project, including several UN agencies, the World Bank, donor governments and wildlife conservation organizations. Global telecommunications and high technology firms have also assisted in the efforts. We are prioritizing local ownership and development and have therefore mobilized participation from ICT consultants, programmers and user interaction experts in Kenya.
In the near term, the project aims at assisting rangers and commanders in protecting rhinos from poaching. Following the successful implementation of a pilot project, this will be an environment for governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs and private industry to learn about and promote security, technology and training associated with border security and critical infrastructure protection, which are growing markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Beyond wildlife security, the model is scalable and replicable throughout the law enforcement community, including applications for police, border security agencies and protection of critical infrastructure. As such, it is part of Security Link's commitment to internationalization of security technology.