Direction Finding Systems

“Officers conducting surveillance can blend right in”

Review by Nathan Wessler

Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project

For only $7,500 a pop, this cellphone tracking device is accessible for even small police departments. And at just under 2 pounds, it’s easy to carry anywhere. The bonus body-worn patch antennas mean there’s no need for obtrusive antenna gear, so officers conducting surveillance can blend right in with the crowd.


- Miniature, 8 band radio receiver able to detect and measure the signal strength of any channel in the uplink portions of common cellular communication bands (GSM, UMTS, CDMA & iDen). - The radio can be controlled via a bluetooth data link to an applet operating on select phone such as Nokia N95.

Limitations and Planning Factors

- COTS provided equipment - USB chargable - Dual output 12/24 VDC automotive pwr adapter - 3 x omni directional antennas - 3 x body worn patch antennas - Wireless headset - 2 sets of 3 antennas to cover GSM - CDMA and iDen - Dimensions: 3.3" x 2.2" x 0.6" - Weight: <2 lbs


Maryland-based KeyW’s major customers for counterterrorism products include “Special Operations forces, law enforcement officers, Homeland Security personnel and Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence agents.” The website warns, “Due to the sensitive nature of our customers’ work, we maintain ‘stealth’ mode operations and refrain from disclosing information through the usual mediums (e.g., press releases).” — Margot Williams, The Intercept


GSM, UMTS, CDMA and iDen


Title 10

Cost: $7,500.00 (w/ antennas)

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