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Critical Infrastructure

Critical infrastructure includes the vast network of highways, connecting bridges and tunnels, railways, utilities and buildings necessary to maintain normalcy in daily life. Transportation, commerce, clean water and electricity all rely on these vital systems.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) program managers, working closely with infrastructure owners, operators and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, have identified potential infrastructure vulnerabilities. S&T works with national labs, universities and public and private industry partners to develop better ways to protect infrastructure, or, in the event of a problem, provide the means for the most rapid recovery. Specifically, S&T is pursuing the development and testing of new concepts to provide better protection from flooding, explosive blasts, solar storms and other man-made and natural disasters. This work will help improve infrastructure, reduce the threat of interruption to the daily commerce and interaction that these systems provide and enhance the overall security of our nation.

S&T projects address the following key infrastructure elements, which are critical to day-to-day operations.

  • Bridges and Tunnels
  • Energy
  • Drinking Water
  • Disaster Response

Global Positioning System (GPS) Program
Accurate position, navigation and timing (PNT) is necessary for the functioning of many critical infrastructure sectors. Precision timing is particularly important and is mainly provided through the Global Positioning System (GPS). However, GPS’s space-based signals are low-power and unencrypted, making them susceptible to both intentional and unintentional disruption.

Recovery Transformer (RecX)
Extra high voltage (EHV) transformers are critical components of our nation’s backbone transmission grid. Approximately 90 percent of consumed power flows through the transmission grid and through such a transformer. These EHV transformers are very large, challenging to transport, and often have lengthy procurement times of one year or greater.

Solar Storm Mitigation
Solar storms are a naturally occurring phenomenon where the sun releases solar flares, energetic particles and/or coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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