Life Safety Border Beacon

Life safety beacons can save lives on both sides of the border


When solar energy is coupled with water collection, it also offers a key component for the establishment of life safety beacons along the border. The principal cause of death among migrants attempting to cross the border illegally is dehydration. Solar generated electricity could power beacons that inform border patrol of both immigrants or American citizens who find themselves in danger in the harsh extremes of the southern deserts. The photovoltaic panels would also be designed to collect water runoff; to power atmospheric water extractors; or to pump water from wells or rivers that could be stored, purified and dispensed as needed to distressed crossers in the desert.

Section drawing showing water storage, filtration and dispersion

Engaging the water dispenser, or even approaching the life safety beacon would alert border patrol. Such devises could also ameliorate the effects that access to water has on wildlife, who find themselves unable to travel their natural routes in search of water. Food, vegetation and shade could also be generated by these technological oases.

Project Date: 2009
Project Team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Brian Grieb, Nicholas Karklins, Emily Licht, Plamena Milusheva, Colleen Paz, Molly Reichert
Project Info: Border Wall as Architecture was selected as a finalist in the WPA 2.0 competition. Read more about the Border Wall as Architecture here.

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