Security Technology Executive

SEP-OCT 2018

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48 SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE • September/October 2018 • www. PERIMETER SECURIT Y I t's no secret that we rely on the grid for just about everything , from our cell phones to public transportation to our national defense systems. We are heavily dependent on the electricity we use every day. For this reason, it is vital that the electric grid, specifically the power plants, electrical substations and transmission lines that comprise it, remain safe and secure. Electrical utility substations are com- monly located in rural areas, set up on large plots of land making it difficult to effectively secure and patrol. In recent years, substations have become a major target for intrusion and sabotage. After the Metcalf sniper attack of 2013, a sophisticated assault on a Pacific Gas and Electric Company 's transmission substation supplying power to Califor- nia's Silicon Valley, it was clear that new precautions needed to be implemented to safeguard these locations. In 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) study found that if nine of the United When it comes to deploying radar, many external and physical factors should be considered. When looking to install radar onsite, it is best to work with a systems integrator with a proven track record of accurately assessing substation environmental conditions and effectively configuring radar solutions to fit the needs of the individual property. Photo Courtesy of Magos Systems Radar Proves an Effective Security Option to Protect the Grid Many security professionals have viewed radar as a military tool but commercial applications abound By Yaron Zussman States' key electrical substations, or less than 0.01 percent of the 55,000 substa- tions in the nation, became inoperable, the U.S. would be without power for over 18 months. These facts underscore how critical it is for utility companies to implement advanced perimeter security technologies that can detect and deter intruders approaching the site. Early detection is the key to prevent- ing physical security breaches for electri- cal substations throughout the country, and this is where radar comes into play. Radar stands for "Radio Detection And Ranging," and while the technology itself is simple, its effect is substantial. Radar offers 24/7 360-degree coverage allowing for cost-effective, volumetric perimeter protection in all weather and lighting conditions. When installed, radar creates a virtual boundary around a substation, and the value of this technology is that it's able to detect threats long before they reach the fence line. While many tradi- tional perimeter security methods, such as cameras or fiber optics, can be limited by environmental factors and plagued by false alarms, radar has found a way to per- form optimally no matter the conditions all while keeping the nuisance alarm rate (NAR) at a minimum. Introduction to Radar Historically, radar has been utilized in military and government operations. For this reason, many security profes- sionals have viewed radar as a DoD technology. However, greater produc- tion of radar solutions has brought the price point of the technology down, opening the door to more applications for the commercial market. This evolu- tion has led to radar becoming a viable option for applications with wide area and perimeter monitoring needs that security directors should consider. In simple terms, radar is an object detection system, employing radio waves to determine an object's range, speed, altitude and direction of movement. Yielding a wider coverage than any other sensor with 120-degrees in azimuth, and 30-degrees in elevation, a single radar can easily cover any changing environment.

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