Solar-Powered Bollards for Stopping Terror Attacks

Bollards can stop vehicles up to 30,000 pounds traveling at 50 miles per hour


Intelligent Perimeter Systems (IPS), a manufacturer of advanced counter-terrorist vehicle barrier and traffic control systems headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, has finished installing a unique perimeter security system at an undisclosed dam in the western part of the United States.

The contract was awarded to IPS in July 2004 by the Bureau of Reclamation, which managed the dam.

"The mission was to provide counter-terrorist protection in a remote location lacking access to electrical power," said IPS CEO Ronald E. Scherer in a statement. "Our solar-powered Model 400 barriers, combined with a custom monitoring system that permits authorized personnel to monitor the status of the barriers in real-time, created an ideal perimeter security system for this unmanned location."

IPS bollards (retractable steel posts) are designed to stop vehicles weighing up to 30,000 pounds that are traveling at 50 mph. A standard tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The system is designed such that a signal from a variety of different inputs can send the bollards into an upright position. The 1,400-pound bollards rise to a height of 36 inches in less than 6 seconds, using self-contained hydraulic pumps with a battery back-up. The system is designed in a redundant manner such that the system will work even if one of the barrier fails. The barriers are usually installed in groups of three or four.

"The ability to operate from solar power represents a distinct advance in vehicle barrier technology," said Scherer in a statement to the media. "From desert locations to mountainous areas, we are taking orders for anti-terrorist vehicle barriers in places that couldn't be adequately protected prior to the introduction of our products."

IPS already has a number of installations and orders on the books, and the company is expanding its manufacturing facilities located in Battle Creek, Mich.