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Second Sight Finishes 2018 With No OHSA Safety Incidents

As 2018 is now closed and in the past, Second Sight is proud to announce that it finished the year with no recordable OSHA safety incidents! And what makes this more incredible is that our field technicians drove over 1.8 million miles and put in 165,709 work hours, a truly amazing feat. Second Sight prides itself on safety, constantly monitoring our fleet with a state of the art geographical tracking system which provides real time speed, road conditions and whereabouts. We are always prepared to overcome any adverse situation that may arise and we look forward to continuing our fantastic record in 2019 and beyond!

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Veterans Benefit Trivia Champs!

Another trivia night to support military veterans, and another FIRST PLACE win for team Second Sight!  Over $13,000 raised and all proceeds will go to Missouri Patriot Paws, a non-profit organization that provides training of service dogs for Missouri veterans and first responders with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

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Smart Water Summit

As a presenter and sponsor of the Smart Water Summit 2018, Second Sight is actively involved in finding ways to enhance technology to improve Water Utility Infrastructure.  sws2018

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STEM Camp – Scott Air Force Base

While many teenagers were taking the summer off to recover from an intense school year; 40 young men and women took the opportunity to dedicate their summers to training to be some of our nations next generation of superior engineers! Over the past week Scott Air Force Base has hosted the Society of American Military Engineers STEM Camp. Great young minds were put to the test and Second Sight Systems added our expertise to help push them to the next level. By organizing the Combat Control Team Tower Construction Event, named in honor of our nations Special Operations Forces communicators. The Second Sight team helped this amazing group of future innovators learn engineering concepts such as: effective use of time, engineering trade offs, and using their creativity to solve difficult problems. Thank you to all the volunteers and participants who allowed us to be apart of this amazing event. hashtagSTEM hashtagSAME hashtagEngineers

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A Total Eclipse of the Old

Lights Out! August 21, 2017. Barnhart, Missouri. Just minutes before our moon began to travel across the disc of the sun, Second Sight Systems launched its first Cloud Based Data Acquisition System to record the momentous event. Using a photovoltaic (PV) array, and a GE MDS Orbit 4G Cellular Radio, Second Sight Engineers successfully recorded the power developed in a 1K Ohm load by the PV array during yesterday’s eclipse and securely transported the data via IPSec to a virtual cloud based server.

PV Array Power Time

This method of utilizing cloud based virtual assets to record and store data will allow Second Systems to provide customers with secure, scalable options for remote data acquisition while greatly increasing their data reliability. By virtualizing and decreasing the number of physical devices required to operate such a system Second Sight can provide an affordable way to meet your data acquisition needs.

We can securely bring you data from anywhere!


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How Trump’s budget plans may affect utilities & the smart grid

As promised, the Trump administration is shaking up the country’s energy policy, one plan at a time. Shortly before announcing the US will pull out of the Paris climate deal, Trump’s administration released its 2018 budget proposal late May and requested $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade.

If approved, these cuts will affect several Department of Energy (DOE) programs including  Resilient Distribution Systems, formerly Smart Grid Research and Development. Many in the electric utility and data systems industry are anticipating what these proposed changes will mean for the grid.

To help you stay on top what’s happening, here’s a breakdown of some of the budget cuts that may significantly affect utilities and the smart grid.

The Trump administration's proposed budget might change the future of the smart grid.

The Trump administration’s proposed budget might change the future of the smart grid.

42% reduction in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE)

OE leads the Department of Energy’s effort to improve America’s energy delivery system through grid modernization. It’s a key driver behind technology and policies to ensure the grid is secure, resilient and reliable. OE’s initiatives include the smart grid, cybersecurity and energy storage programs. The Trump administration proposed a 42% overall cut to this office in fiscal year 2018. This includes a:

  • 67% cut in the Transmission Reliability program
  • 71% cut in Resilient Distribution Systems (Smart Grid Research and Development)
  • 32% cut in Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems

Minimal cuts were proposed for Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration. See the chart below.

DOE - Electricity Office - Proposed Budget FY 2018. Source: Green Tech Media

DOE – Electricity Office – Proposed Budget FY 2018.


Elimination of the State Energy Program (SEP)

Trump’s budget plan will eliminate the SEP which offers financial and technical assistance for energy efficiency, the reduction of energy costs, and economic development along the line of alternative energy. The program says it generates $585 million in economic development for every $50 million in SEP funding.

Elimination of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E)

This program helps support new energy technologies to enhance the energy security of the US. Trump’s administration has proposed closing this office and transferring activities to another program within the DOE. In 2015, ARPA-E spent $95 million to fund 22 projects focused on  innovative methane detection and thermal management technologies. Two of these projects went public, while 20 raised $625 million in private-sector investment.

It’ll be up to Congress to ultimately decide where the money goes. In the meantime, smart grid providers and utilities must prepare for any significant changes at the federal level. We have to also stay steadfast in modernizing the grid and realizing grid cybersecurity.

At SSS, our utility engineering services team offer guidance and support to utilities, rolling-out new technology in the most effective and cost-saving way possible. To get in touch with our team, call us at 844-789-9111.


The picture of President Trump and Ivanka Trump used in our June newsletter is compliments of The White House.

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Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day!

While traveling on behalf of Second Sight and meeting with customers all over the U.S., one of our esteemed engineers, Andrew, settled in for a protein-packed meal in the Houston airport late Friday night.

Andrew and SSS wish you a Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you Andrew for sacrificing so much of your time, and diet, on behalf of our customers and Second Sight! More importantly, Happy Memorial Day! And thank you to all of our service men and women who have paid the ultimate price in protecting our country. On behalf of Second Sight, we honor you!

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3 exciting ways electrical and telecom engineers can protect the grid

Electrical and telecom engineers are incredibly vital to managing and protecting our new smart grid. While the grid guys maintain power and transmission substations – in addition to the physical layers of the network – telecom guys install communication connections and ensure end-to-end reliability of data transfer and related layers.

Technology wise, new IoT capabilities must merge with legacy equipment, requiring the jobs of telecom and electrical engineers to also merge. With their roles at the forefront of the job, we’re excited about the new ways electrical and telecom engineers will combine skills to advance solutions for utilities everywhere. After all, it will be their dual efforts that will result in a stronger, better protected grid. Here’s how:

1. Translating megawatts and megabits.

IoT integration is both exciting and increasingly complex. Decoding the new linguistic repertoire can be a big challenge. Both electrical and telecom engineers have technical jargon that only they understand. But taking the time to decode each other’s technical language will be key to troubleshooting the future grid as a shared language will improve integration.

Working together is the best way to protect the grid.

2. Moving beyond obscurity.

Both electrical and telecom guys know that SCADA systems are not inherently secure. But often times the obscure protocols and network systems make it easy to overlook some things. Because the smart grid utilizes different technologies and applications, integration is a great touch point for electrical and telecom engineers to understand this evolving attack surface and jointly develop new standards for how this technology will interact. IT security and OT reliability will continue to be a top priority, requiring telecom and electrical engineers to develop common standards.

3. Maintaining the Code of Ethics.

IoT integration can put grid operators outside their realm of expertise. Companies like SSS provide this specialized capability which is often hard to find. Both telecom and electrical engineers can bridge the knowledge gap by adhering to the IEEE Code of Ethics, particularly Article 6 requiring engineers “to maintain and improve our technical competence and to undertake technological tasks for others only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure of pertinent limitations.” By coming to terms with any limitations, engineers can combine their capabilities to maximize the reliability of networks and equipment.


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Behind the scenes of advanced wastewater system management

SSS tours MSD’s pumping stations.

Have you ever thought about what it takes to keep a major riverfront city like St. Louis, Missouri free and clear of rising stormwater and run-off? Recently the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) provided SSS with a private, behind-the-scenes look at their operations and exclusive tour of the two main pumping stations around the city of St Louis:

– The Bissell Point Pump Station
– Mill Creek Pumping Station

It’s amazing to see the inner workings of these vast machines that help keep the city above water and keep cracks from flowing through the streets. With the pumping stations linked to thousands of lines of piping and infrastructure built decades ago, it’s also fascinating to see how operators manage this complex system through technology and innovation.

Tour of MSD pumping stations

Technology & innovation is key to maintaining MSD’s vast network.

An automated, integrated network

MSD’s mission is to provide effective wastewater and stormwater management to protect our environment and the health and safety of our community. The underground water system is literally the digestive system of the city, funneling non-potable water through pipes and into pumping stations that treat and safely discharge the water.

A fully-integrated SCADA network that enables automated monitoring and alerting is key. For sites that aren’t manned, MSD has vast telemetry sensor arrays that monitor the status of these giant pump stations and control systems. Often, the remote locations of these stations require that the data be carried using wireless technology. Preventing the need for costly physical data transport infrastructure. This wireless network allows their system engineers to monitor the operation from one central location and identify and fix problems using both historical and real-time data.

Automation also helps MSD by reducing engineering time and maintenance costs. This in turns allows the agency to balance water quality protection and compliance with economic growth and sustainability.

Mission-critical radios

MSD uses GE’s MDS radios to transport telemetry data from lift stations forming a broad SCADA network encompassing multiple sites and allowing command and control of remote PLCs that manage tank levels and water flow. This industrial wireless solution provides long distance communications over licensed, unlicensed and cellular radio bands, allowing users to interface with both Ethernet and serial devices such as PLCs, RTUs and meters with host monitoring and control systems.

Behind the scenes tour of MSD pumping stations

Team work makes the dream work.

Strategic partnership

SSS is a strategic technology partner with MSD, supporting their deployment of SCADA communications products across their operations which covers over 1.3 million residents. This includes providing wireless data solutions that allow for remote monitoring of pumps, water level sensors, flow meters, and alarms. SSS is also in position to help MSD find synergies with the city’s major electric utility – Ameren Corp – identifying ways both agencies can benefit from each other’s knowledge asources.

Learn more

To learn more about how SSS provides strategic partnership and solutions for water and wastewater operators, or to get a free demo of the GE MDS radio technology, contact our Engineering Services Team today at 844-789-9111.