PTI project gets new funding
The Columbia, Md.-based Maryland Technology Development Corp. has provided $70,000 to Cumberland, Md.-based Instant Access Networks (IAN) to help fund a project that IAN is developing along with the Washington-based Public Technology Institute (PTI) to address the threat of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) interruption of electric power. EMP is a wave of energy that can cause certain electrical equipment to short out and become inoperable.
While there are natural causes of EMP interference, such as solar flares, several federal studies show a terrorist attack in which a nuclear device is detonated at high altitude could create an EMP that could shut down power systems regionally or nationwide. “We’re working on some ideas with some engineers to harden facilities in local governments in case an EMP attack occurs,” says Ronda Mosley, PTI’s senior director for Research Programs. IAN and PTI are inviting local governments to participate in a pilot program to identify mission-critical applications and the power and cooling requirements of the equipment used in those applications. Information from the study will be used to make a prototype room that would be shielded against EMP and in which sensitive equipment, such computers and radios, could be stored. The room will be loaded onto a trailer and tested at a military site, Mosley says. More information about the program and EMP is available from www.pti.org or the IAN Web site, www.stop-EMP.com.
Local governments that want to participate in the pilot program can contact IAN’s Vice President for Intergovernmental Affairs Robin Frazier at (443) 867-6807 or at [email protected]. There is no charge to participate in the pilot.