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Critical Infrastructures Monitoring

The problem
Modern energy production plants, such as electrical, wind, nuclear, chemical plants, are often structured in "Smart Grid" architectures, where different sites are interconnected, though being physically far away.
Such systems have a strong need for a continuous monitoring, in order to promptly identify malfunctions as well as cyber attacks and brute force tampering.
Currently,  the health of the plant is checked on a schedule basis by evaluating sample points,  but only a few times per year, due to logistic and cost reasons.

Our solution
In the SCISSORS (Security in Trusted SCADA and Smart-Grids) project, financed by the European Community in the framework of Horizon 2020, R6E developed a new wireless platform for real-time surveillance.
The infrastructure is made of a network of wireless sensors, batteryless and lowcost, to be spread in the area to be monitored and of course also on the machinery to monitor. Such sensors can measure

  • door and windows opening
  • light turnon
  • physical presence of authorized and not-authoryzed personnel
  • temperature and environmental humidity
  • eventually, room flooding
  • abnormal temperature increases on and inside the machinery
  • the personnel interaction with machinery
  • eventual tampering of the machinery

The RadioScan acquisition software is compatible with a broad range of proprietary and commercial radio-sensors. It allows a real-time remote control of the above mentioned parameters, as well as a detection of anomalies, with the corresponding generation of alarm messages.

A demonstrator is currently operative on the Favignana Island (Italy).

Expected Benefits
Using low-cost devices allows to obtain a high-density monitoring of complex infrastructures.
Moreover,  using batteryless sensors (i.e. that receive their energy wirelessly from few hot-spots), drastically reduces the need for mainteinance.
The sensors can also be freely moved to new positions, in case new needs arise.
Finally, thanks to the low computational power of the single acquisition node, the monitoring network is more robust with respect to potential cyber attacks.

Project H2020 SCISSORS (link)
RFID Sensor Network (tutorial)
Battery-less wireless sensor network (Video)
Non-authorized access monitoring (Video)