Power grids have evolved into complex networks comprised of multiple layers (physical, cyber, economic and social) with strong coupling and increased dependencies between different layers. The complexity and fluidity of the power grid makes high precision detection of cyber-attacks near impossible. FRONDES will work in conjunction with an anomaly detector and an anomaly triage engine. For each detection class, FRONDES will develop supervisor workflows that will promote engagement, build situational awareness and enhance the supervisor’s chances of successfully dealing with true malicious events.

Technical Details

FRONDES will guide the grid supervisor through a variety of engaging tools including:

  • tactical decision games that focus on key decisions and situations,
  • trending information to provide advance warning,
  • and alerts aggregated according to their severity.

The effects of false alarm can be mitigated, and even turned into an advantage. For this purpose, FRONDES will bring to bear three human factors innovations: tactical decision games, proactive trend monitoring tools, and likelihood alarms.

Anticipated Benefits and Applications


Barnstorm will pursue military transition opportunities to protect the following:

  • Critical Infrastructure, by mitigating acclimation to anomalies in the presence of high false alarm rates, thereby increasing Situational Awareness and accelerating intervention.
  • Satellites in geosynchronous orbit, by augmenting Situational Awareness to pertinent details of changes in orbiting patterns and behaviors, that may be indicators of attack or sabotage or a false alarm.


Barnstorm will pursue commercial transition opportunities to protect the following:

  • Smart homes, commercial buildings, and any environment monitored through Internet-of-Things technology by increasing Situational Awareness by tracking trends and deviations therefrom.
  • Computer Networks of companies dealing with intrusions, misuse, and high false alarm rates by maintaining high Situational Awareness.


This research was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as reflecting the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. (Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited 4/27/17)