Sandia National Labs FY20 LDRD Annual Report


Developing an EMP-resilient electric grid for national security. The Resilient Energy Systems Grand Challenge project is pioneering a comprehensive approach to defend the grid against electromagnetic pulses. The primary task focused on identifying potential component and system vulnerabilities and providing quantitative hardness-level requirements through modeling and testing facilities unique to Sandia. A material and device innovation subtask is investigating EMP surge arrestors and “smart” transformer oil additives. A further grid-scale assessment sub-task will develop scalable approaches to grid-scale probabilistic outages models. (PI: Ross Guttromson) Radio frequency feature extraction using wireless protocol informatics, pattern matching, and natural language processing. Identifying radio frequency (RF) emitters and assessing the sophistication of a potential cyber-attack through RF means on U.S. space assets requires the development of RF fingerprinting techniques and algorithms. To identify how sophisticated the attacker may be, it is essential to identify the level of protocol-compliant knowledge the attacker is employing such as jamming characteristics and/or waveform utilization, which may also provide information on the potential target(s). The research on this Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space Mission Campaign LDRD project includes pattern matching and machine learning techniques to help identify waveform and protocol information. During a demonstration in August 2020, the algorithms demonstrated over 98% accuracy in identifying the waveform most commonly used for satellite command and control. (PI: Chris Howerter)

Algorithms demonstrated over 98% accuracy in identifying the RF waveform most commonly used for satellite command and control during an August 2020 demo. (Photo by Chris Howerter)



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