One of Borelli Consulting’s protocols for testing products is that we actually have to have the product to test. We don’t perform reviews based on something we’ve been told by someone else, and only once in the history of our evaluations have we written up a product without beating it up (The Neil Roberts Warrior Knife #1 & Prototype knives). This becomes sometimes problematic when a company requests that we test and evaluate a product that is more costly. After all, do you think a company really wants to send us a $30,000 piece of equipment for us to try to break? Not usually. Millennium Sensor, however, sent us a demo unit to test specifically because they were interested in the feedback on performance. This week’s review is on the Millennium Sensor Mobile Remote Sensing System.
A few decades ago, and today to some extent, setting up a perimeter in an open field or wooded area was relatively easy. Any string or line could be rigged to give warning or set off trip flares. In the last twenty years though, our primary mission (for the military) has been peacekeeping, and those missions are being performed in urban areas, not open fields or jungles. Sure, the desert is pretty open, but cities are where we seem to be seeing most of the action. That city is a 360 degree environment two ways: horizontally and vertically. You have to secure your position from the left and right, forward and backward and up and down. That’s a big net if you try to do it the old way. Now introduce the Millennium Sensor Mobile Remote Sensing System (MRSS from here forward) and you have an easily deployed, easily monitored, multi-directional security system that you can use for your own security or to limit the mobility of someone else you form a perimeter around.
Now, being a former grunt, my first question was, “Define ‘mobile’?” To me the thing just isn’t mobile if it takes two infantrymen – already carrying their own ruck, weapon, ammo, water, etc to carry this thing between them. The answer was quick and easy: my test unit came in a box smaller than a briefcase (although a tad thicker). The Body Worn Monitor (or BWM for short) weighs less than 3/4 of a pound. Each sensor is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and weighs less than 1/5 pound. Well, okay… I can accept that as “mobile”.
So the support material I received with the test unit says that the BWM can receive signal from the sensors up to 300 yards away without a repeater. In my testing – in a straight line outdoors – I had no issues out to more than 250 yards. The only reason I couldn’t do well testing beyond that was due to the area: I couldn’t get far enough away from it fast enough without it being tampered with. Inside of a school structure (local high school) I was able to get about 175 yards away around corners in hallways before I noted any change in performance. I consider that pretty good in a school with cinder-block walls, metal doors, etc.
I wanted to test the performance specifically in a school setting because the MRSS has (to me) huge potential for use in Active Shooter / Immediate Response scenarios all too often associated with the events at Columbine High School. When the first entry team enters the school, closed doors get passed as they move to the sound of shots. That doesn’t mean that a threat doesn’t exist behind any of those closed doors. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if any of those doors were opened behind them? Especially in today’s world of “lock down and shelter in place”, no one should be exiting any of those rooms… unless it’s a bad guy coming up behind you. Again, the team can deploy sensors as they move, and the team leader (or other designee) will be notified if there is a security breach behind them.
Of course, when you look at that diagram – if you’re a sneaky cop or soldier like some I know – you immediately consider the possibility of using the MRSS as a means of keeping someone trapped inside a building. By “trapped” I mean that you get notified if they try to come out. While Millennium Sensor’s design personnel probably weren’t thinking about keeping teenagers from sneaking out at night, they obviously did think about the perimeter control potential. In the below diagram you can see how they showcase the example of using the MRSS to keep a barricaded gunman from exiting a structure, even if limited response personnel are available.
Now, because I know how things work under stressful conditions, or simply when your hands are slippery, I made a point of dropping the MRSS sensors (sorry, Jon). I didn’t throw them up in the air, but simply let them drop from my fingers at heights of three feet or less. What I wanted to know was whether or not they’d still function if they’d been dropped by the cop trying to set them in a hurry. No issues. They all worked even after I’d dropped them two or three times. In fact, everything I got in the test unit worked even after I banged it around, bumped into stuff with it and in general treated it like it wasn’t worth several thousand dollars.
The system can be customized to suit an agency’s needs (or a military unit’s requirements). Pricing runs between $5,200 and $10,855, depending on the system configuration and whether or not you want the ruggadized aluminum version (an ABS version is available for less). Millennium Sensor reports their units being used all around the world and in multiple configurations. In my mind, thinking about small municipal police departments and the trouble they can sometimes have simply getting enough personnel on the scene of some crimes, I’d recommend the Millennium Sensor MRSS as a viable option to hiring extra manpower. It can increase performance efficiency by reducing manpower requirements in a number of different manpower-intensive situations such as building searches, barricaded suspects, immediate response / active shooter, perimeter security, etc. Heck, I can even see plenty of uses for it in the Executive Protection field.
For more information about Millennium Sensor LLC or their MRSS system, visit them online at http://www.msensor.com.
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