Progress Towards a Resilient Power Grid Infrastructure

Sanders, W. H.

IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, pp.1,3, 25-29 July 2010.

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This panel presentation gives an overview of the DOE/NSF/DHS TCIP Center which is addressing the challenge of how to design, build, and validate a cyber infrastructure for the next generation power grid that can survive malicious cyber attacks while providing continuous power delivery. TCIP's research plan is focused on securing the low-level devices, communications, and data systems that make up the power grid, to ensure trustworthy operation during normal conditions, cyber-attacks, and/or power emergencies. At the device level, new key functionality is being designed in hardware in order to detect attacks and failures and to restore proper system operation. Likewise, virtual machine technology is being developed and adapted for advanced power meters in order to permit new power use scenarios while preserving privacy. At the protocol level, new techniques are being developed to detect, react to, and recover from cyber attacks that occur while preserving integrity, availability, and real-time requirements. Further, lightweight authorization and authentication techniques are being developed that can react quickly in emergency situations. Simulation and evaluation techniques are employed to analyze real power grid scenarios and validate the effectiveness of the TCIP designs and implementations. TCIP has also developed interactive and open-ended applets for middle-school students, along with activity materials and teacher guides to facilitate the integration of research, education, and knowledge transfer by linking researchers, educators, and students. In addition to providing an overview of current TCIP research, this presentation will suggest challenges that remain, and future research that is needed to create the resilient power grid of the future.

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