Ebook: Monitoring and Protection of Critical Infrastructure by Unmanned Systems
The attention of many developed countries has increasingly focused on the security and protection of critical infrastructure. The use of Unmanned Systems (USs) for this purpose has been growing rapidly in recent years, as advances in technology, increased versatility and smaller size, together with the reduced risks and costs associated with removing the need for a pilot or operator on board, have all made these systems more attractive.
This book, Monitoring and Protection of Critical Infrastructure by Unmanned Systems, presents 15 papers delivered at the NATO Advanced Training Course (ATC) of the same name hosted in Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova, from 30 May to 5 June 2022. This event was held in a hybrid format, and was attended in-person by 12 of the 31 speakers and the majority of the 92 attendees. The aim of the ATC was to explore the monitoring and protection of critical infrastructure using USs. Various USs, including ground control stations (GCS), data communication links, and a range of unmanned aerial (UAV), ground (UGV) and underwater (UUV) vehicles are covered, and the papers included here also deal with topics such as the use of drones for buildings inspection and the new technologies which can help with the recognition and monitoring of anthropogenic threats and natural hazards. There is also a focus on data analysis and modeling.
Providing an overview of the use of unmanned vehicle systems and sensor-network technology for monitoring and protection, the book will be of interest to all those working to protect critical infrastructure.
This book, Monitoring and Protection of Critical Infrastructure by Unmanned Systems, presents 15 papers delivered at the NATO Advanced Training Course (ATC) hosted in Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova, and held in hybrid format from 30 May to 5 June 2022. The event was attended by 31 speakers, among them 12 in-person, and 92 attendees, the majority of them in-person. This NATO ATC was indeed a wonderful experience for many who attended it, with speakers and attendees from 19 countries, all seeking innovative methods and best practice to use state-of-the-art technology to enhance the monitoring and protection of critical infrastructure by unmanned systems. The organizing committee worked closely with the NATO Liaison Office and the Information and Documentation Center on NATO in the Republic of Moldova.
The ATC explored the issues of monitoring and protecting critical infrastructure through an interdisciplinary approach. Over the past decade, the attention of many developed democratic countries has been drawn to the protection of vital objects. Science and research increasingly focus attention on security and critical infrastructure protection. Legal frameworks for the protection of critical infrastructure elements, with a focus on energy, transport and ICT, have gradually been developed in European countries, but such frameworks are still missing in some, mainly non-EU, countries. The protection of infrastructure objects is achieved by technical, technological, and organizational measures and the protection of soft targets appears set to become another key activity of modern states in the future.
The concept of critical infrastructure arose mainly because of the occurrence of unexpected events. To identify the key elements for efficient security management, it is necessary to define and describe the types of threat, as well as estimating the probability of their occurrence along with their expected consequences. When discussing critical infrastructure protection, the influence of the entire spectrum of possible threats should be considered. These threats are classified into three main types:
technical failure/human error
intentional acts such as terrorism, crime, or war.
Block 1: General aspects of Protection of Critical Infrastructure
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Protection of critical infrastructure in Moldova.
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Protection of critical infrastructure in NATO countries.
Block 3: Monitoring, data analysis and structural modeling
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Monitoring and forecasting of natural catastrophes.
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Modeling and data analyses.
Block 4: Cybersecurity and protection of IT infrastructure plus one practical session: Practical training activities.
A practical session was organized after the theoretical interdisciplinary presentations, during which the participants were taught practical skills related to the presented areas, such as using drones for building and critical infrastructure inspection; 3D mapping in the laboratory using the licensed software Pix4Dmapper; environmental monitoring platform Flying laboratory SOWA; and the building of information modeling and finite element modeling of critical infrastructure elements.
If critical infrastructure elements (physical and IT) must be protected, the essential task is prevention, i.e. discovering and predicting threats. The ATC aimed to cover this issue through an interdisciplinary and innovative approach, using advanced methods for monitoring and protection. The ATC was therefore focused on the new methodology (Unmanned Systems – USs, sensor networks, etc.) which can help with the recognition of various threats (terrorist explosions, criminal-cyber-attacks, natural events such as flooding, etc.) and on the modeling behavior of critical infrastructure elements under such threats and the consequent design of adequate means of protection, which may include USs, from new intentional actions.
USs have grown rapidly in popularity in recent years. Tactical USs are now used extensively by the military and various security services, while professional USs are becoming increasingly common in a variety of civilian fields. This expanding use of USs is due to advances in technology, to their improved versatility and smaller size, as well as to the reduction in risks and costs that remotely operated systems offer as a result of not having a pilot or operator on board. USs include ground control stations (GCS), data communication links, and a range of unmanned aerial (UAV), ground (UGV) and underwater (UUV) vehicles. USs are now used more and more in mainstream applications thanks to advances in technology. This increased use in turn leads to refining the way in which platforms are deployed and integrated into teams of workers.
Performance in autonomy mainly comes from the massive use of advanced IT technology as the core of USs, and operators should consider the security of data collected via a US as a critical part of their risk management program. Questions of cybersecurity in the domain of USs are crucial, and the potential misuse of small USs for criminal and other malicious purposes is another growing development that needs to be addressed in education and training, so that there are sufficient qualified personnel to engage these challenges.
The ATC was also focused on data analysis and modeling, addressing in particular the application of computer modeling software for forecasting dangerous natural hazards such as the 3D mapping of the current state of risk factors, etc., as well as the procedure for defect detection through the data fusion of processed images and vibration measurements, automation in defect image acquisition by UAV, automatic data storage in bridge management systems, the embedding of sensor systems to revalorize and transform elements and structures into self-diagnostic elements, and data-driven automatic procedures for alerts in monitored structures.
The practical training activities of the ATC took place in the teaching laboratory “Educational for Drone” (Erasmus+ eDrone project OED) and the research laboratory Environmental Physics and Modeling Complex Systems (ePhysMCS Lab) at the Moldova State University (MSU), home to the environmental monitoring platform Flying laboratory SOWA, the SmartCity eALERT platform, air quality sensors, etc.
The trainees were researchers and students specializing in the area of security of infrastructures (security studies, infrastructural engineering, electrical engineering, etc.) from Moldova State University, Military Academy Alexandru cel Bun, Alecu Russo Balti State University, State Agrarian University of Moldova, Technical University of Moldova, and the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, together with local government security experts from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova, and the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova. Also present were security officers who deal with security challenges of critical infrastructure, stake holders, experts who deal with terrorism or other violent threats looking for specialized knowledge, and experts who deal with problems related to the protection of critical infrastructure.
There were two very significant benefits for attendees.
Acquaintance with and knowledge of the development of modern technologies for technical protection systems that can provide safety and security for critical infrastructure, concentrated on civil engineering objects.
The sharing of knowledge and ideas for future scientific and technical activities in the field of research and development for the protection of critical infrastructure using elevated monitoring systems and high-performance structural materials.
Following the impact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic have had on every individual and in every aspect of life, the ATC talks began with Moldovan security in the light of the war in Ukraine, and emphasized general aspects of the protection of critical infrastructure in the Republic of Moldova and NATO countries, including the technology used for counter-terrorism, tactics and strategies to prevent support for breakaway regions, as well as the current energy security situation in Europe and how it affects the Republic of Moldova.
The event provided attendees with the opportunity to consider the many ways in which unmanned systems and sensor network technology can be used to monitor threats to critical infrastructure. Sessions on the monitoring, data analysis and structural modeling monitoring and forecasting of natural catastrophes, as well as on cybersecurity and the protection of IT infrastructure, were also of special interests for local students and experts studying and working in the ICT field.
Students from the Military Academy Alexandru cel Bun took part with great interest in the onsite practical training activities on using drones for building and critical infrastructure inspection, such as 3D mapping in the MSU ePhysMCS research laboratory using the licensed photogrammetry software Pix4Dmapper for professional drone mapping, and the civil application of the environmental monitoring platform Flying laboratory SOWA.
The event included an official visit to the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. Also, several presentations took place. These were from DANAERO, a Moldovan company located in Chisinau, for UAV solutions for industry; from JSW Innowacje S.A., a Polish research and development company located in Katowice, Poland, for an automatic UAV system as an enhancement for critical infrastructure protection; from Selelgroup, an Italian company located in Rome, for an innovative unmanned vehicle suitable for the monitoring of critical infrastructures in an amphibious environment; and from MSU ePhysMCS research laboratory for the development of the eALERT environmental monitoring platform. These added to the substantial impact of this workshop on speakers and attendees, and it is hoped that the follow-on activities, such as joint research projects, innovative courses, and the design, development and testing of new Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) applications will have a similar impact on the broader scientific communities of the participants.
ATC website: unmapped: uri https://ephysimlab.usm.md/spsatcg5816/.
The application fields of modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), such as light Remotely-Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), are moving from military fields to a wide range of civilian applications. These platforms embed several sensors that enable the use of RPASs as mobile remote measurement systems. This chapter deals with a survey of measurement applications based on RPAS. In the first part, an overview of the architecture of a RPAS is given. Then, a review of sensors used for RPAS flight and for mission tasks is discussed. Attention is paid to measurement uncertainty sources. Therefore, RPAS as a mobile remote measurement system is analyzed and a design guideline is described. Several examples of embedded measurement systems included in RPAS are described. A review of civilian applications using the RPAS as a remote measurement system is presented and discussed. Issues concerning RPAS safety and testing are analyzed. The new trend in the field of insurance for RPAS users is discussed. Finally, RPAS security is introduced. Conclusions and future trends end the chapter.
DESDEMONA achievements constitute a series of steps beyond the status of knowledge at the EU funded project starting on 1st June 2018, in the development of novel design methods, systems, procedure and technical solution, to integrate sensing and automation technologies for the purpose of self-inspection and self-monitoring of steel structures. The obtained results will lead to an increment of the service life of existing and new steel civil and industrial infrastructure and to a decrease in the cost associated to inspections, improving human activities performed in difficult conditions, safety and workers’ potential by the use of advanced tools. The research succeeded to expand new high-quality standard and practices for steel structure inspection and maintenance through the interrelated development of the following actions: i) steel structure geometry and condition virtualization through data fusion of image processing, thermography and vibration measurements; ii) developing of procedure for steel defect detection by robotic and automatic systems such as Cable-Driven Parallel Manipulators (CDPM), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Wall Climbing Drone (WCD), Cable Climbing Robot (CCR) and Wheeled Robot (WR) iii) embedding sensor systems to revalorize and transform steel elements and structures into self-diagnostic (smart) elements and materials even through nanotechnologies, iv) realizing an experimental lab-based apparatus and a series of case studies inspected by intelligent and robotic systems. The project outcomes are determining an impact on the reduction of the cost of steel structures inspection and maintenance and on the increase of user safety and comfort in industrial and civil environment.
The article concerns selected issues of positioning and assessing of the X-Y-Z coordinates designated to marine drones related to the ground points. The considered terrain points concern the research dedicated to the Tombolo effect – Polish case study. The X-Y-Z coordinates of the studied terrain points are identified by geodetic and hydrographic measurements. The measurement methods and systems are based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), and the PL-2000 National System with related DSP with a dedicated software running. Taking into account aforementioned assumptions and considered case study region conditions the problems of positioning and assessing were analyzed and illustrated by the authors’ case study calculations for TLS method and proposed methodology of accuracy analysis for UAV method. Finally, the future research directions are shortly appointed.
An amphibious vehicle is a transport able of moving both on land and on water. In these last years, the ability of autonomous and semi-autonomous amphibious vehicles to operate in harsh environments is becoming increasingly important for military and civilian operations. Apart from the size of the vehicles, they can be divided into two broad categories: Hovercraft and all those vehicles that can operate not only on water, but on multiple terrains (all-terrain) such as ice, snow and mud. Some of them are based on tracked or wheeled movements; there is also a “screw” configuration used for muddy soils. In some cases, when vehicles are heavier than water, therefore unable to float, rigid or inflatable floats are applied. For propulsion in water, propellers or ducted propellers are used, or the rotation of the wheels themselves or of the tracks is exploited. In this chapter some amphibious vehicles, both civil and military will be presented.
AutoInvent System was designed as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system that enables the automation of volume measurements and three-dimensional terrain modeling. The measurement head can be easily swapped with an observation head extending the functionality of the system to monitoring and protection of critical infrastructure. The AutoInvent System is the result of a project implemented as a part of the research program organized by the National Center for Research and Development in Poland – INNOSBZ and co-financed by European Union from European Regional Development Fund within the Smart Growth operational Programme 2014-2020.
Besides the military and commercial applications of drones, there is no doubt in their efficiency in case of supporting emergency management. This paper evaluates some experiences and describes some initiatives using drones to support disaster management.
This paper focuses mainly on operational and tactical drone application in disaster management using a time-scaled separation of the application, like pre-disaster activity, activity immediately after the occurrence of a disaster and the activity after the primary disaster elimination. Paper faces to some disasters, like dangerous material releases, floods and forest fires. Author gathered international examples and used own experiences in this field.
Results and discussion:
In case of hazardous material leakage drone can be a very effective or can be the only one tool for supporting disaster management. Floods are typical for a slow onset disaster. In contrast, managing floods is a very complex and difficult task. It requires continuous monitoring of dykes, flooded and threatened areas. Drone can help managers largely keeping an area under observation. Forest fires are disasters, where the tactical application of drone is already well developed. Drone can be used for fire detection, intervention monitoring and also for post-fire monitoring.
The NATO SPS Workshop (unmapped: uri https://ephysimlab.usm.md/spsatcg5816/) on monitoring and protection of critical infrastructure by unmanned systems provided participants the opportunity to consider state-of-the-art ways of the use of Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) and sensor network technology for threats monitoring of critical infrastructures. Also, sessions on the monitoring, data analysis and structural modelling, monitoring, and forecasting of natural catastrophes, as well as on the cybersecurity and protection of IT infrastructure were of special interests for students and experts working in the ICT field. We present a drone-based platform for the monitoring of air pollution with gaseous pollutants and solid microparticles, PM2.5 and PM10, as well as chemical and radiological contaminations. In addition, results on air pollution analysis for particulate matter including Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) are provided in this paper.
The number of malware is increasingly growing and they become more and more sophisticated. This is a sign that malware is nowadays a real industry, with investments, infrastructures, and skilled professionals organized in groups that look and behave like companies. Such a tumultuous development of the malware marketplace requires effective products which can overcome undetected security controls. The techniques adopted for achieving this goal are known as evasion techniques. This paper provides an overview of the most common evasion techniques that malware leverages and the challenges that researchers have to face for countering this phenomenon.
This paper describes different vulnerabilities in the infrastructure of unmanned systems. Unmanned systems and wireless communication are prone to software and hardware attacks. Security is an important issue during system design. This study shows that hardware security implementation of FPGA-based design in the unmanned system and provides a robust security design method. The use of logic encryption technique is implemented to change the value of the input signal based on the security key value. The increase in the number of bits in keys protects against different cyberattacks but it increases the complexity of the design depending on the application and the level where it is applied. This security method is implemented in the Zedboard device and is used to ensure hardware security for the application.
Some applications of the Building Information Modeling for civil Infrastructures (I-BIM) will be presented. The I-BIM applications were tested in the three sectors of Roads, Railways, and Airports. The existing infrastructures are located in European Union.
Finite Element (FE) numerical methods are particularly helpful in civil engineering applications, to assess the load-bearing capacity of existing or novel elements and systems. When applied to relatively simple glass windows, major challenges could arise from mechanical characterization and interaction of basic components of assembled systems, with a critical role in damage and failure detection under design actions. This is especially the case of extreme events like impact and explosions, where a multitude of aspects should be properly taken into account. This paper elaborates on some major issues and expected outcomes from FE numerical analyses carried out on composite ordinary windows, such as triple glass unit (TGU) windows, when exposed to blast loads, with evidence of possible numerical methods and damage/failure detection approaches, as well as critical performance indicators for response analysis.
The growing necessity to design and digitally representation of historical pavements has led the specialists to use different Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools to control the road design and construction phases. In this chapter, a Heritage BIM (H-BIM) approach was developed to recreate an archaeological road to accomplish the disruption analysis of stone pavements. In detail, within Autodesk Infraworks the conceptual model of the road and the digital terrain model (DTM) was generated; then the road corridor design process was performed within Autodesk Civil 3D using a parametric road section which was created by means of Subassembly composer, a Civil 3D extension. Subsequently, a visual programming application, Dynamo, based on Python language, was adopted to extract and update corridor information. In detail, a workflow was developed to implement a disruption analysis of road stone pavements and the output of the calculation were inserted in the model. As preliminary results, a tool is proposed to support the authorities and experts during the managing process.
Critical infrastructure, military or civil equipment, buildings, and Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) can be exposed to blast and ballistic loading during their lifetime. Such loads can cause large deformations and stresses within a very short period of time. For that purpose, it is necessary to examine and improve their response to these high-intensity and short-term loads. The analytical approaches are complex, the performance of large-scale experimental tests is extremely expensive since it involves a number of experts, special legal permits, and safety requirements which makes numerical analysis the most valuable examination tool. On the other side, a precise numerical analysis requires precise material properties, to describe the material behavior under various conditions. Before analyzing the response of structures under blast loads, the numerical model should be carefully validated first. This paper presents the validation results of the numerical model of small-scale explosion tests of charges laid on the ground or buried in the soil. The numerical results for time of arrival, maximum pressure, and specific impulse are compared with the experimental results showing a good correlation. The influence of depth of burial (DoB) on blast wave development and soil ejecta formation and loading parameters is investigated in detail.
The paper threats on the critical infrastructure elements provides an up-to-date view of relevant threats that currently affect critical infrastructure and critical entities. Research in the field of resilience and protection of critical infrastructure brings daily results. The company gradually moved from stating that the activated threat caused the following damage to the opposite procedure. Today, thanks to prepared scenarios, we can anticipate possible impacts even before a specific threat is activated. In the future, all significant threats will be evaluated and procedures will be prepared in the information systems to prepare for individual threats in the phase of ordinary life. How to reduce possible impacts at the time of activation of the threat and how to bring the infrastructure or entity to the state before the emergency as effectively as possible during the recovery phase.
This paper reviews the application of AI in maintenance and inspections. It gives an overview of the development of AVs and distant inspection operations for industrial assets using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It discusses the use of AVs in infrastructure inspection and explain the types of sensors used for these applications. It explains how autonomous robots, including drones, are currently used in various industrial settings for inspection and maintenance. The paper concludes by discussing the use of AI in predictive maintenance