In BSF of the future, balloons with cameras, unmanned aircraft
The BSF guards borders of 2,289 km with Pakistan and 4,096 km with Bangladesh. Officers said the Bangladesh border alone has 875 gaps that require urgent attention, but fencing is not possible everywhere.
Apart from the camera-fitted aerostat balloons and unmanned aerial vehicles, the BSF's futuristic vision includes electro-optical imaging cameras, and special platforms for observation as well as reconnaissance.
Each fitted with a high-resolution camera, these would float around five to seven kilometres above the water surface. The BSF is looking at introducing them in the Sunderbans, where the areas around the border are too marshy to allow fencing. Currently, speedboats man the rivers along the Bangladesh border. If aersostat balloons are introduced, the cameras will send out live feeds to the BSF control room so that the nearest team can, whenever necessary, foil an infiltration or smuggling attempt.
These will be for manning the land borders. The BSF was looking for a technology that could capture any movement from a distance of at least five to seven kilometres. "Currently we have thermal imagers, which are not effective enough. Our observations are limited to what the human eye can detect," said an officer. "Electro-optical cameras can detect any threat moving in the area." The hand-held thermal imagers in use have a limited capacity, and images are not clear beyond 500-700 metres.
Unmanned aircraft UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are a possibility for for the Pakistan border. Primarily aircraft without a pilot, these will be of help in detecting suspicious activity and relaying the pictures.