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Vital Infrastructure, networKs, INformation and control systems manaGement (Viking)
Start date: Nov 1, 2008, End date: Nov 30, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Society is increasingly dependent on the proper functioning of the electric power system, which in turn supports most other critical infrastructures: water and sewage systems; telecommunications, internet and computing services; air traffic, railroads and other transportation. Many of these other infrastructures are able to operate without power for shorter periods of time, but larger power outages may be difficult and time consuming to restore. Such outages might thus lead to situations of fully non-functioning societies with devastating economical and humanitarian consequences. For this reason, this consortium has decided to concentrate its research to the systems for transmission and distribution of electric power. We anticipate that most of the results will be applicable to the protection of other critical infrastructures.The operation and management of the electric power system depend on computerized industrial control systems. Keeping these systems secure and resilient to external attacks as well as to internal operational errors is thus vital for uninterrupted service. However, this is challenging since the control systems are extremely complex. Yet, the systems are operating under stringent requirements on availability and performance: If control and supervision are not done in real-time, the power network may come to a collapse.The objective of the project is to develop, test and evaluate methodologies for the analysis, design and operation of resilient and secure industrial control systems for critical infrastructures. Methodologies will be developed with a particular focus on increased robustness of the control system. As mentioned, the focus is on power transmission and distribution networks. The project combines a holistic management perspective--in order to counteract sub-optimization in the design--with in-depth analysis and development of security solutions adapted to the specific requirements of networked control systems.

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