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Network / IP - Case Studies

SightLogix smart thermal camera systems protect Eastern U.S. electric utility substations
The SightLogix system has successfully detected several unauthorized substation security intrusions, allowing the utility to prevent security violations
SightLogix’s SightSensor enables the utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents

SightLogix smart thermal camera systems have been deployed to protect substations for a major electric utility serving the eastern United States. SightSensor thermal systems enable the utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sites, ranging from copper theft to vandalism while also meeting regulatory compliance.

Since being installed, the SightLogix system has successfully detected several unauthorised substation security intrusions, allowing the utility to prevent security violations before damage could occur.

At each substation facility, Thermal SightSensors are positioned along the perimeter, and are paired with a high resolution Pan Tilt Zoom camera for alarm assessment. When a Thermal SightSensor detects an intruder, the target’s location information is sent over the network to a SightTracker PTZ controller, which automatically zooms and steers PTZ cameras to follow the intruder. The target’s location is also displayed on a topology site map to provide real-time situational awareness. Alarms are sent to the utility’s 24-hour security operations centre, which will contact law enforcement in real time when unauthorised intrusions are detected.

Greater detection accuracy, lower costs

According to the utility’s corporate security director, the SightLogix solution has provided excellent detection with minimal nuisance alarms. SightLogix thermal cameras are designed to detect with a high degree of accuracy outdoors, in complete darkness, low-light, bright sun, and difficult weather conditions.

The utility and their security integration firm also reported much lower costs associated with the SightLogix system. By selecting long-range and wide area SightSensors, the integrator was able to reduce the number of devices otherwise needed to protect each substation, lowering infrastructure and maintenance costs. The utility also reports that the ruggedised SightLogix system has stood up well to the elements, and has been a very easy system to install, setup and maintain.

The utility serves several million customers in their coverage territory, which includes various types and classifications of electrical transmission substations, which must comply with North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC CIP) regulations. The electrical utility plans to continue installing SightLogix systems at additional sites, with emphasis on higher-risk substation security locations.

“Threats to electrical assets can take many forms,” said John Romanowich, President and CEO, SightLogix. “Vandalism, theft, and sabotage can cause disruptions in operations and serious safety concerns with far-reaching repercussions. These installations exemplify how smart thermal solutions are being used today to protect assets of the nation’s power grid.”

SightLogix systems are being used at utilities throughout North America, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, protecting assets that include substations, solar farms, hydro facilities, power transmission and distribution, and nuclear power plants.

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