The Need

Electrical substations are a substantial crucial infrastructure and have become a target for terrorist attacks, as happened with the attack on the Metcalf PG&E substation in April 2013. As a result, it has become mandatory for utility companies to implement a perimeter security system that can detect and deter intruders approaching the substation. Early detection is the key to preventing successful attacks on electrical substations throughout the country.

The Solution

Complete on-Site and off-Site Coverage

The Metcalf substation can be completely covered with 5-7 SR-500 Magos Perimeter surveillance radars (see site diagram below) depending on the desired coverage. It offers the optimal perimeter security solution for substations as it creates a perimeter around the substation, and intruders will be detected approaching the secure area.  

The radars can deploy at the perimeter of the substation on-site and off-site with wireless communication and solar power that can be achieved due to Magos radars' low power consumption of <3.5W and low required bandwidth of <1kbps.

The integration of the radars into the PTZ cameras via the control software automatically allows for real-time slew to the cue of the PTZ to the radar’s detection and also supports the possibility of integrating advanced video analytics for automatic target classification.

All other sensors (such as an indicative fence, non-lethal weapons, etc.) are connected via the control software and integrated into a complete turnkey solution that solves the utility company's challenge of protecting the substation. 

Conclusion & Advantages

The substation perimeter security system uses ground-based surveillance radar to detect vehicles and people approaching the substation on the ground. The radar system creates a perimeter that reaches out beyond the physical perimeter of the substation to allow for early detection. Once a threat is detected, substation operators can quickly react and deal with the threat before the intruders reach the critical infrastructure of the substation.

The principle themes guiding this solution are the cornerstones of Magos perimeter security vision:

High Reliability of Detection - Radar-based solution provides full protection in all weather and lighting conditions.

Multi-Layered Protection - Relying on several types of detection sensors to create verification of threats and intrusions, which leads to reduction of false alarms and minimum hassle when detection is triggered in non-hostile scenarios.

Easy Installation - The entire solution is controlled and managed via a single software simplifying the installation and minimizing compatibility issues and mishandling errors.

Cost-Effective - Compared to alternatives this is the lowest cost solution available as it minimizes the use of high-end expensive thermal cameras, and minimizes the infrastructure needed. For example, a VMD-based alternative with the same performance must rely on multiple thermal cameras supplying double coverage over every corner of the site.

This site demonstrated the ease of integration of Magos products with other sensors and means. The extensive solution of VMS software, different cameras, and the indicative fence were chosen by the customer. After site construction and sensor placement, the entire technological solution was brought up within less than a week. 

The site can be easily relocated by the customer without requiring additional support. The solution is also scalable allowing for much larger sites with additional sensors and/or multiple sites controlled either locally or in a single command and control center that groups several sites.

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