Military Embedded Systems

DARPA selects BAE Systems to develop tech that restores electrical power after cyberattacks


March 14, 2017

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Photo by BAE Systems

NASHUA, N.H. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) officials selected BAE Systems to develop technology designed to quickly restore power to the U.S. electric grid after failure caused by a cyberattack. The $8.6 million contract is part DARPA?s Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation, and Characterization Systems (RADICS) program.

Under the program, BAE Systems’ technology aims to quickly isolate both enterprise IT and power infrastructure networks from all conduits of malicious attack. The technology also establishes a Secure Emergency Network (SEN) among trusted organizations, enabling the coordination necessary to restore power to the complex electric grid.

Once the technology is activated, it will detect and disconnect unauthorized internal and external users from local networks within minutes, officials say. It creates a robust, hybrid network of data links secured by multiple layers of encryption and user authentication. The systems rely on advances in network traffic control and analysis that will enable utilities to establish and maintain emergency communications. They also establish the SEN using advances in broadcast, satellite, and wireless technologies developed for agile communications in contested environments.

BAE Systems’ RADICS technology is designed to operate in the absence of prior coordination among affected organizations and regardless of power availability, Internet connectivity, disparate IT networks and grid infrastructure technology, situational awareness, and ongoing disruption efforts by adversaries.

Work on the RADICS project will be performed in Burlington, Massachusetts; Merrimack, New Hampshire; and Arlington, Virginia.

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