Critical Infrastructure Security – 3D LiDAR-based Security for Electrical Substations

Leading Provider in the Energy Sector Protects Electrical Substations with LiDAR Technology to enahnce Critical Infrastructure Security


To address critical infrastructure security concerns, the energy sector player faced the challenge of effectively protecting its electrical substations from unauthorized access, aiming for a comprehensive expansion of security measures under heightened regulation of the KRITIS umbrella law to safeguard its properties from unauthorized entry, with a primary focus on ensuring reliable detection with a low false alarm rate.

Critical infrastructure security: photograph of electrical substation


The energy sector player faced the challenge of effectively protecting its substations from unauthorized access. Due to heightened regulation under the KRITIS umbrella law, the client aimed for a comprehensive expansion of critical infrastructure security measures to safeguard its properties from unauthorized entry. Essential for the client was ensuring reliable detection with a low false alarm rate.

Existing systems such as cameras, thermal cameras, and radar quickly reached their limits: cameras often conflict with data protection, their deployment often requires approval from the works council and can be a lengthy process. Thermal cameras frequently trigger false alarms due to animals. In summer, ambient temperatures significantly rise, affecting the performance of thermal cameras by reducing the temperature contrast between objects, making detection and differentiation challenging. Additional sensors, such as radar, couldn’t be flexibly adapted to different situations. In particular, the metallic structures of the properties or their proximity to public areas with pedestrians led to false alarms.

substation at night illuminated by light


In collaboration with the client, Blickfeld developed a tailored security solution based on LiDAR technology. This solution aims to reliably detect unauthorized individuals entering defined security zones. The sensors were installed along the fence surrounding the electrical substation and continuously monitor the defined security areas. The accompanying software allows precise definition of security zones and immediate alerting if necessary.

The Blickfeld LiDAR sensors capture the environment in 3D using laser-based technology, regardless of lighting conditions and environmental influences. The three-dimensional data ensures privacy, as individual identification is not possible. Object detection is precise and reliable, significantly reducing the risk of false alarms. Upon detection of an object above a predetermined size within the defined security zone, an alarm is immediately triggered to inform security personnel. By flexibly adjusting the object size, false alarms due to animals and vegetation can be avoided. This solution provides the client with reliable alarm generation, uninterrupted 24/7 operation, and privacy-compliant data collection.

LiDAR point cloud showing no detected intrusion in the perception software



The implementation of this advanced LiDAR technology has helped the client increase the critical infrastructure security of their electrical substations while also maintaining data privacy. Looking ahead, we are exploring the possibility of implementing this solution at additional substations to further enhance security across their infrastructure.

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