Afternoon update…new story
Good Day World!
Mexican authorities have been searching frantically for the notorious drug kingpin known as "El Chapo” after his astonishing, elaborate escape from a maximum-security prison.
In a devastating embarrassment for the Mexican government, the kingpin, Joaquin Guzman, slipped into a shaft through the shower floor of his prison cell and got away in a mile-long, ventilated tunnel outfitted with a motorbike.
When it comes to tunnel tech, Mexicans have become experts.
According to the U.S.Border patrol there are four general methods for detecting tunnels:
Seismic activity (low frequency digging noises and tunnel transit noises)
Magnetic Anomaly (electrical power lines in the tunnel, metal digging tools or metal shoring)
Acoustic Activity (higher frequency noises)
Density Anomalies (the tunnel is a hole and so the amount of earth below the surface changes when you dig a tunnel)
MEETING THE CHALLENGE
One of the best ways to find a tunnel is to make a history of the area and then compare that history with what you initially found.
What is required is to first benchmark the border in such detail that any tunnel large enough to pose a threat can be recorded. The tunnel detector won't know that it found a tunnel, it will just record what it "saw."
Once a history is recorded for the border area of interest then new scans will show changes which would hint at something that is very likely to be a tunnel.
Some tunnels can be 3,000 feet long, three feet wide and seven feet high with concrete floors, railroad rails, electric lights, water pumps, and Port a-Potties half way along the tunnel.
Such tunnels are very deep.
Another good way to detect these tunnels is to detect not the tunnel, but the dirt being hauled away.
If you have a line array of seismic sensors and you listen to all the noises that are coming from south of the border then it is pretty easy to detect the thumps of trucks full of dirt driving over bumps.
By using several sensors it is possible to "point" to the spot where all those bump noises are happening. If this system determines that somebody must be building a ten story building and all that's on the site is a one story wooden house, then TUNNEL might leap to mind.
The best way - according to DHS in their instructions to border people - to find tunnels is to drive your vehicle over the ground and when your wheel falls in a hole, you have discovered a tunnel (really).
Despite the tunnel tech methods I’ve described drug cartels continue to make them by countering with their own methods – adapting after every discovery. So why do they even bother with tunnels?
Simple. Because they’re the cheapest (and safest) way to smuggle drugs and contraband into our country today.
Time for me to walk on down the road…