Nuclear Science


Border Security

Testing of unmanned aerial surveillance equipment.

ORNL performs border security research at the Security Sciences Field Laboratory (SSFL), which is an indoor/outdoor facility designed to support testing and evaluation of a wide range of intrusion detection, assessment, surveillance, and peripheral physical security equipment including sensors, cameras, power generation, access control, remote communication, unmanned aerial, and activated delay systems. At the heart of SSFL is a simulated border region of varied terrain including open grassy fields, hilly wooded areas, sand pits, and lakes and streams which approximate the actual challenges of border and facility applications. A critical facet of this facility is the ability to test systems year-round under the seasonal variations and climatic swings prevalent in East Tennessee. These extreme environmental conditions, including heavy rains, high winds, heavy fog, high humidity, high temperatures, and snow/ice accumulation, provide realistic evaluations of a system’s interaction with the environment and integration of performance testing data under varied conditions.

SSFL outdoor testing area.

The SSFL uses an industry cross section of detection, assessment, surveillance, infrastructure, and situational awareness equipment.  This  equipment enables staff to work on far-reaching projects related to surveillance and security including  hands-on training, data fusion algorithm development, situational awareness enhancement, and computer model verification.

For more information, contact:
Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division


We're always happy to get feedback from our users. Please use the Comments form to send us your comments, questions, and observations.