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Bedrock releases video documenting EMP resistance of cybersecure ICS

June 22, 2022

Bedrock Automation released a new video documenting the independent test procedure by which its Open Secure Automation (OSA) platforms have achieved compliance with U.S. Military Standard 461 (MIL-STD-461G) for electromagnetic pulse (EMP) resistance. The system withstood repeated EMP blasts per the RS105 test, equivalent to what a high-altitude nuclear EMP detonation might deliver.

“We are seeing EMP protection specified in more RFPs, especially those from military sources. This video shows how the Bedrock OSA control platforms can meet and even exceed such requirements, surviving the rigorous RS105 test necessary for compliance with Military Standard 461G. I believe this is the first time that this test has been run on such a complete control system configuration,” Bedrock Automation Founder, CEO and CTO, Albert Rooyakkers said.

The possibility of an electromagnetic pulse knocking out critical infrastructure is considered a high-impact security threat by many global security experts. According to the EMP Taskforce on National and Homeland Security, it would take only a few EMP weapons launched from freighters in international waters to inflict as much as 10 years damage on infrastructure and electronics. High altitude detonation of such devices could permanently damage digital electronics and large high-voltage transformers, denying electric power to homes, businesses, government and military operations.

In early 2016, Bedrock Automation conducted its first RS105 test for U.S. MIL-STD-461G on its cyber secure industrial control system, involving multiple electromagnetic pulse (EMP) blasts, each measuring 50,000-volts/m. In July of 2017, it received the same certification for its standalone primary and uninterruptible power supplies. In testing conducted this year, Bedrock achieved full compliance on an assembly containing a fully integrated and operational DCS/PLC system with control, I/O, power, UPS, gateways, cabling, and SCADA all running during the test.   

As defined by the RS105 Test Criteria, National Technical Systems Inc., an independent provider of qualification testing, inspection and certification solutions, subjected the Bedrock systems under test to a total of 67 EMP strikes in X, Y, and Z orientations. The 67 strikes are part of the test, starting at 50% (25,000 volts/m) and the last five strikes are at the full 50,000 volts/m.

Although surviving electrical blasts of 50,000 volts/m was required to meet the standard, the test equipment could produce blasts of more than 100,000 volts/m. Bedrock wanted to see just how much voltage the system could withstand. At the end of the video, the testing team maxed out the test chamber at 107,000 volts/m, and the Bedrock systems under test survived multiple rapid strikes and remained operational.

“This demonstrates the extremes of protection and reliability we build into all Bedrock products. Threats to our infrastructure will continue to evolve and our ability to mitigate those threats must evolve as well. Whether we talk about electromagnetic pulse, environmental attack, cyber security or other emerging threats, our commitment is to continue to deliver the simplest, most scalable and most secure automation solutions possible,” Rooyakkers said.

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