Attacks on substations are not new. For years, thieves have been risking their lives for copper wire and leaving costly repair bills behind. However, the break-ins making headlines in the past few months have not been motivated by theft. Instead they appear to be coordinated, deliberate acts of sabotage that have taken entire counties offline for days. This chilling trend is generating a lot of discussion about how vulnerable the U.S. power grid is and what can be done to defend substations from physical attack.
The most challenging aspect of securing substations is that they are often located in remote, isolated areas where saboteurs can enter unnoticed and undeterred. Mobile Pro Systems offers a number of practical, cost-effective solutions that not only provide reliable camera surveillance but also proactively deter intruders. The Commander 3400, for example, is an imposing platform that trespassers can see immediately. It can also be fitted with sirens, speakers, and strobe lights to serve as impactful deterrents if protected areas are crossed.
When used as a base for the MPS Defense System, the Commander 3400 connects motion sensors on perimeter fencing and additional MPS products on site such as Sentry mounted camera units, Gate Sentry towers and other advanced equipment. This allows utilities to create multiple layers of detection around a substation that work together. Authorized personnel manage all the equipment through MPStatus and Control, a secured, online interactive dashboard where users can set up automatic messages and alerts, arm/disarm devices and be kept informed about important changes in a unit’s operating status.