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Innovation

Exploring a future without limits

Innovating with the power of the Gig and Smart Network

With tools such as the nation’s smartest Smart Grid and the world’s fastest internet, we’re exploring the seemingly endless possibilities of how these advanced technologies can enhance the quality of life in our community. Below are just a few projects we’re working on right now.

Gaining insights with an autonomous vehicle corridor

To better understand how cars and people move about a heavily-traveled area street, EPB partnered with UTC’s Center of Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) to establish an Autonomous Vehicle Corridor. A camera system and a variety of speed, audio and air quality sensors installed along the testbed of Chattanooga’s Martin Luther King Boulevard can detect and track up to 80 different objects – like vehicles, pedestrians, bikes and more – while maintaining their anonymity.

Supported by our gigabit fiber optics network for high throughput and low latency backhaul, captured data such as traffic patterns, near-miss accidents and even air quality can help city officials address street and signal modifications.

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Envisioning Smart Grids of the future through Microgrids

We are taking steps to maximize the scalability and reliability of our community Smart Grid by developing “microgrids.” Specially-equipped to work independently of the Smart Grid, microgrids are self-contained networks with the unique ability to scale in size depending on the immediate power needs of a particular area. Through partnerships with the Department of Energy and the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, we’ve also completed the deployment of utility-scale batteries to assist with demand reduction at the airport.

With positive results from initial testing of the airport mircrogrid’s communications network and controlling devices, we’re well on the way to better narrowing and reducing the risk of outages in the future.

Enhancing Smart Grid security with quantum physics

Cyberattacks are a constant threat in today’s society. So we’re working hard to reduce the Smart Grid’s vulnerability to ever-present attempts on its security. Through our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge and Los Alamos Laboratories, we continue to explore the latest safeguards for protecting the Smart Grid.

A team of scientists worked closely with our security experts to develop and test Quantum Key Distribution. This technology utilizes quantum physics to encrypt data, rather than traditional mathematics-based methods used today. In theory, this encrypted data cannot be cracked by any computer nor intercepted without detection. If testing proves successful, this security will be deployed in Chattanooga within the next few years.

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