Drones and Port Security at the Port of Brownsville




Sullivan, John P

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Institute for Homeland Security


This technical paper recounts a geospatial drone security assessment for the Port of Brownsville, Texas (Brownsville Navigation District). The Port of Brownsville is a major intermodal transportation center and is expanding into a major venue for industrial development. The Port of Brownsville is the only deep-water port directly on the US-Mexico Border. The drone assessment will evaluate the threats posed by aerial drones/unmanned or uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) to the port; assess the potential effects of drones on port operations and port security; suggest potential counter measures (counter-UAS); provide an introduction to emerging drone threats, including unmanned/uncrewed vessels and ground vehicles; and drone swarms (or swarming attacks). The impact of various drone threats with port operations is discussed. Mechanisms for enhancing indications and warning, detection, and response to drone threats on the Port of Brownsville, and potential vehicles for sharing these threat data with other ports, port security personnel, law enforcement, and emergency responders will be discussed.



Counter-Unmanned/Uncrewed Aerial Systems (C-UAS), Counter-Swarm, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Drones, Port Security, Unmanned/Uncrewed Ground Vehicles (UGVs), Unmanned/Uncrewed Maritime Vessels (UMVs), Unmanned/Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS), Swarms/Swarming


Sullivan, J. P., Davis, G. W., & Adams, T. (2023). Drones and Port Security at the Port of Brownsville. Sam Houston State Institute for Homeland Security, (Report No. IHS/CR-2023-1001).