EMP Consulting

Robert E. Lamb's Expertise

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP)—a short burst of energy delivered naturally or via weapon—can cause catastrophic damage to non-shielded digital equipment, including SCADA systems, control systems, protection relays, and communication systems.

Robert E. Lamb has been at the forefront of integrating EMP mitigation techniques in facilities since 2016. Our early entry to the field has given us unique insight into the changing legislation, technologies, and integration approaches.

Lamb’s EMP work includes:

  • Completion of detail design for multiple, major EMP-protected transmission control centers.
  • Ongoing consultation with numerous utilities of all sizes on implementing EMP protection for their primary and/or backup control centers in the future.

We collaborate with:

  • Industry experts to ensure we are using the most up-to-date and advanced engineering and design practices to protect your facility against EMP threats.
  • Leading EMP-shielding and filter manufacturers to integrate their products into our designs and construction.

Clients across North America trust our expert architects and engineers to devise and implement tailored strategies to protect their primary and backup facilities from natural and man-made threats.

Lamb’s process involves:

  • Working with each client to determine the unique level and scope of shielding needed for each facility.
  • Addressing each type of threat separately.
  • Tackling each threat with the appropriate strategy in our planning, design, and construction phases.

Government Concerns About EMP

Federal agencies are studying the risk of widespread damage to U.S. infrastructure, potentially signaling future regulatory requirements related to EMP protections. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Federal EMP Commission have strongly stated that EMP protection should be considered at major control centers that regulate the bulk power system in the United States.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act revised the Homeland Security Act to include EMP planning and required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to recommend strategies to protect critical infrastructure.  The DHS also published “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Protection and Restoration guidelines for Equipment and Facilities” that defined EMP protection levels.

That same year, the U.S. Department of Energy released “Electromagnetic Pulse Resilience Action Plan” which set 5 goals:

  1. Improve and share understanding of EMP
  2. Identify priority infrastructure
  3. Test protection approaches
  4. Enhance response and recovery capabilities and
  5. Share best practices

In March 2019, the President signed an EMP Executive Order, which focuses on 5 tasks:

  1. Identify national critical functions and associated priority critical infrastructure at greatest risk from EMPs
  2. Improving understanding of EMP effects
  3. Evaluating approaches to mitigate the effects of EMPs
  4. Strengthening critical infrastructure to withstand the effects of EMPs and
  5. Improving national response to EMP threats

These government guidelines helped start a public conversation regarding EMPs and how we protect our infrastructure today. Many groups and organizations are working towards a better understanding of the risk of an EMP event and the effects EMPs can have on equipment.

What's New in EMP News

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