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IS6 gives underground view

HANCOCK COUNTY — It has been reported that more than 100 tunnels on the Mexican border have been discovered by U.S. law enforcement, compared with just 15 in the 1990s, and the pace is accelerating. But now there is new technology that promises to locate drug smugglers and terrorists in underground tunnels and caves where they hide.

The INSITE VI (IS6) system is the result of a partnership among three U.S. companies. AeroTec LLC, NVision Solutions Inc. and EnTech Engineering Inc. are jointly marketing the system to the U.S. government and the utilities industry.

The system uses a helicopter fitted with a sensor able to detect subtle changes in terrain and ground temperature originating under the earth’s surface. Specialized software processes this information to highlight locations of underground targets such as tunnels.

Using this technology, trained experts can fly over an area and “see” up to 80 feet deep into the earth to find caves, tunnels, pipes and even leaks in levees not visible from the ground.

“This technology is an exciting development in our nation’s defense capability; America’s enemies can run, but now it will be a lot harder to hide,” said Craig Harvey, Chief Operating Officer of NVision Solutions, which is based at Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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