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News Archive

News Archive

NIST QKD System Received 2007 R&D 100 Award

October 1, 2007 - The high-speed fiber Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system built in ANTD won a 2007 R&D 100 award. It was selected by an independent judging panel and the editors of the R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant products within the past year. It was noted that this year's program was particularly competitive. The team has been invited to attend a black tie gala event at Chicago's Navy Pier on October 18 to formally collect their award.
Contact: Xiao Tang (xiao.tang [at] (xiao[dot]tang[at]nist[dot]gov))

Montgomery Receives Federal Computer Week 2008 Federal 100 Award

March 2008 -- Doug Montgomery received the Federal 100 Award for his leadership and technical contributions in the development of a standards profile, A Profile for IPv6 in the U.S. Government - Version 1.0, to support the implementation of Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) by government agencies. The profile provides a long-term strategy for 2010 and beyond; it recommends technical standards for common network devices, such as hosts, routers, firewalls and intrusion detection systems. It also outlines the compliance and testing programs that NIST will be establishing to ensure that IPv6-enabled federal information systems are interoperable and secure, and that they work with existing IPv4 systems. The winners are nominated by Federal Computer Week readers and selected by an independent panel of judges for their contributions to the development, acquisition or management of federal IT.
Mr. Montgomery will be honored at a March 24 gala in McLean, Virginia.
Contact:Doug Montgomery (dougm [at] (dougm[at]nist[dot]gov))

New Guide on BGP Security Published

September 4, 2007 - A new guide that provides information on BGP and the methods available to improve the security of BGP routers was recently issued by NIST. While primarily directed toward helping federal agencies carry out their responsibilities under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002, the new guide is also available to private sector organizations that wish to use it.  NIST Special Publication 800-54, Border Gateway Protocol Security: Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was written by Rick Kuhn, Kotikalapudi Sriram, and Doug Montgomery. The publication explains the structure and the functions of BGP in terms that will enable those who are not familiar with the protocol to understand its use in networking. Potential attacks that threaten the security of BGP functions, the countermeasures that are available to thwart attacks, and their associated costs and benefits are discussed in detail in the guide. The emphasis is on countermeasures that can be applied without significant additions or changes to equipment. NIST SP 800-54 identifies specific recommendations that help decision makers select the measures that can be deployed rapidly and that will significantly improve routing security. The publication is available at:

Excerpts of comments posted by a private industry user on the NANOG mail list about NIST SP 800-54: “Nice guidelines, sensible stuff all, and probably of great help if this is all new to you (perhaps helpful even if you've been around a while). For those overwhelmed with too much work and too little time, there's even an Executive Summary with actual useful information in it.â€
Doug Montgomery (dougm [at] (dougm[at]nist[dot]gov))

New Quantum Key System Combines Speed and Distance

August 3, 2007 - Researchers at ITL's Advanced Networking Technologies Division have built a prototype high-speed quantum key distribution (QKD) system, incorporating a new wavelength conversion device that achieves dramatically lower noise levels than other systems. The new system can perform a theoretically unbreakable one-time pad encryption, transmission and decryption of video signals in real-time over a distance of at least 10 kilometers (see news story).

One important requirement for any practical QKD system is that it be compatible with existing fiber-optic telecom networks that transmit at wavelengths of either 1550 or 1310 nanometers (nm) to reach the greatest distance. However, one of the best low-noise detectors, a silicon-based avalanche photo diode (Si-APD), does not function at the telecom wavelengths. Instead, it operates best at much shorter wavelengths around 700 nm. To take advantage of the Si-APD, the research team in ITL designed a sub-system to convert single photons from a transmission wavelength of 1310 nm to 710 nm for high-efficiency detection. Further information can be found at

ITL Conducts IPv6 Testing Workshop

On May 4th, 2007, NIST hosted a IPv6 testing workshop with major internet technology providers, Civilian and DoD technology policy players and representatives from national and international testing consortia. The first of its kind workshop served to open a much needed dialog between providers and internet technology and services and large users groups looking to establish test and certification programs for IPv6. The workshop provided ITL staff with significant input from, and interaction with, IPv6 product and testing organizations that will be used in the development of recommendations and technical plans for the establishment of IPv6 conformance and interoperability testing programs for the USG.
For further information, contact: Doug Montgomery (dougm [at] (dougm[at]nist[dot]gov)).

Announcing DRAFT NIST SP500-267 A Profile for IPv6 in the U.S. Government - Version 1.0

A DRAFT of NIST Special Publication 500-267, A Profile for IPv6 in the U.S. Government - Version 1.0, is now available for a 30 day public comment period. This publication provides a standards profile to assist federal agencies in developing plans to acquire and deploy products that implement Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). The profile recommends IPv6 capabilities for common network devices, including hosts, routers, intrusion detection systems, and firewalls, and includes a selection of IPv6 standards and specifications needed to meet the minimum operational requirements of most federal agencies.

Additional details on downloading the draft special publication and the process for submitting comments can be found here:
The comment period closes at 5:00 PM EST on March 2, 2007.

ITL Research Influenced Design of 2nd Generation Service Discovery Systems

On September 20, 2006, Kevin Mills, a senior research scientist in ITL's Advanced Network Technologies Division, visited Enschede, Netherlands, where he served on the examination committee of Vasughi Sundramoorthy, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Twente, a technical and engineering school with about 6,000 students. The Ph.D. defense culminated collaborative research on designs for service discovery systems between Dr. Sundramoorthy and NIST scientists (Chris Dabrowski, Kevin Mills, and Ceryen Tan), which started two years prior, during a four-month visit to NIST. Sundramoorthy initiated the visit after reading various research papers published by the NIST team. The visit stimulated an exchange of ideas that formed the directions for Sundramoorthy's doctoral research. Interactions continued over the intervening two years, leading to a successful project, the publication of papers referencing related NIST research, and ultimately to defense of a thesis describing the work. After the Ph.D. examination, faculty at the University of Twente stated publicly, Dr. Sundramoorthy's visit to NIST marked a turning point in her thesis research - helping convert a collection of ideas into a focused research program.

ITL Researchers Demonstrate Effective 1310 nm to 710 nm Wavelength Conversion for Single Photons

September 2006 - ANTD researchers have developed a system for the conversion of single photons at 1310 nm to 710 nm, allowing quantum communication systems to benefit both from the low absorption in optical fiber associated with 1310 nm and the enhanced photon detection efficiency of Si-APD photon detectors at 710 nm. As the result, the working distance for a QKD system at 1310 nm can be extended 10 times longer than the current NIST system at 850 nm (see related news), while generating quantum keys at Mbit/s rates , in contrast with kbit/s for a system using traditional InGaAs based infrared single photon detectors. A periodically poled MgO-doped lithium niobate waveguide is used as a nonlinear optic wavelength conversion device operating at a quasi phase-matching condition. Strong light pulses at 1550 nm are used as a pump for the wavelength conversion process. In this process the energy of the converted photons at 710 nm equals a sum of energies of the signal photons at 1310 nm and the pump photons at 1550 nm. The photon-number conversion efficiency has steadily and repeatedly reached 43% in the experiment.

Another Record-Breaking Milestone for the NIST Quantum Communication Team.

NIST Releases Networking Research Compendium

Information technology is undergoing a paradigm shift from desktop computing, where isolated workstations connect to web servers across a network, to pervasive computing, where myriad portable, embedded, and networked information appliances continuously reconfigure themselves individually and collectively to support information requirements of mobile workers and teams. The NIST Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) recently released a compendium of 27 research papers investigating technical issues surrounding networking for pervasive computing. Six papers explore interference effects between wireless personal-area networks (WPANS) and wireless local-area networks (WLANS). Eight additional papers identify and characterize technical approaches to mitigate interference among WPANS and WLANS. Six papers investigate robustness of various service discovery systems proposed by industry. Six papers identify and characterize self-adaptive approaches to improve performance in discovery systems. Findings from this research were conveyed to appropriate standards-setting organizations and commercial engineers to provide a better understanding of current systems and to help improve future designs. This work was part of a five-year program of research conducted by NIST to help the information technology industry overcome some looming technical roadblocks that seemed likely to slow development and acceptance of pervasive computing. In addition to networking concerns, NIST's pervasive-computing research program also examined issues related to human-computer interaction and programming models."Networking for Pervasive Computing,"
Kevin Mills, x3618
Nada Golmie, x4190

NIST Demonstrates First Responder Technologies to Fire Fighters

On July 16 BRFL, ITL, and MEL jointly hosted a meeting of fire fighters and rescue personnel to demonstrate technologies under evaluation by the NIST Distributed Testbed for First Responders. In attendance were fire chiefs/commissioners and their associates from communities in Arizona (Phoenix), New York (NYC), North Carolina (Wilson), Pennsylvania (King of Prussia), Virginia (Arlington, Charlottesville, Fairfax, and Prince William), and Maryland (Fort Meade, Montgomery County). The demo was followed by a discussion on the needs and priorities of first responders. The technologies demonstrated include access to building information database and dynamic building status from sensors, sensor-driven fire model using the NIST Virtual Cybernetic Building Testbed (VCBT) simulator, standardization of communications interface for sensors, biometrics for identification and authentication, dynamic self-organizing wireless networks for voice and data, voice over Internet, and emergency personnel localization and tracking. The Distributed Testbed for First Responders was established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to evaluate different technical approaches and to carry out the NIST mission of assisting industry in the development of standards for interoperability and open systems. This testbed, which builds on work already underway in BFRL, ITL, and MEL, will enable collaborative research at NIST on issues relating to improving the safety and effectiveness of first responders. Research will be conducted on a variety of topics, including developing and demonstrating highly capable communication and localization systems, increasing the quality and quantity of information available to first responders, improving information display and decision support systems, and the seamless integration and interoperability of smart wireless sensor networks in buildings.
George Kelly (BFRL)
Kang Lee (MEL)
Nader Moayeri (ITL)

NIST Joins Java Community Process!

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently completed the application process to gain institutional membership in the Java Community Process (JCP). The JCP is an open, international organization chartered to develop and revise Java technology specifications, reference implementations and test systems. Multiple NIST laboratories have projects focused on making significant technical contributions to the state of Java technologies. Examples include the Information Technology Laboratory's efforts in Java Numerics and Java API's for Intelligent Networks (JAIN) and the Physics Laboratory's efforts in Unit Specifications for Java. Having cleared the hurdle of attaining membership in the JCP, NIST staff can now participate directly in JCP expert groups and lead development of new Java technology specifications.

ANTD Researchers Lead Development of Standards for Wireless Personal Area Networks

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) approved the IEEE 802.15.1 standard for wireless personal area networks (WPAN) on March 21, 2002. This was the long awaited formal acceptance of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group's (SIG) Core Specification by a recognized standards body. Although the Bluetooth Core Specification defines all the layers from physical layer to the application layer, only the lower layers, which are considered within the scope of the IEEE 802 Medium Access Control and Physical layers, are included. This wireless technology operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band and provides voice communications at 64 bit/s and data transfers up to 732 kbit/s at distances up to 10 meters. This technology is meant to be inexpensive, thus positioning itself for system integration as one of the pervasive computing technologies.
ANTD has been involved in this effort since the Bluetooth SIG first released the specifications and the IEEE 802.15 Working Group was formed. The work consisted of reviewing, verifying, and validating the protocols being defined. As a means to speed, and ideally show the completeness and correctness of the protocols, ANTD undertook the task of creating a formal description of the text prose using the ITU-T standardized formal description language called Specification and Description Language (SDL) that was included as an informative annex in the standard. SDL uses a finite state machine and describes the behavior in the form similar to a flow chart. This process generated thousands of comments and suggested changes that were incorporated in the Bluetooth specifications v1.1. In addition, ANTD held editorship of several sub-clauses in the draft standard and participated in the creation of the Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement (PICS) proforma.
IEEE 802.15.1 is the first in a series of new WPAN technologies being developed in IEEE 802.15. Under development are standards for higher (20 Mbit/s) and lower (250 kbit/s) rate WPANs.
For more information check out the official IEEE press release
For more information about ANTD's participation in this effort Contact:
Nada Golmie, (301)975-4190 or David Cypher, (301)975-4855

Evaluating Dynamic Service Discovery Protocols Using Architectural Description Languages

Two Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) researchers, working as part of the ITL Pervasive Computing program, have applied architectural modeling to analyze the quality of service provided by dynamic service discovery protocols under conditions of network failure. The protocols currently under investigation include Jini �, Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), and the Service Location Protocol (SLP). ITL has already shared early results from the work with industry to help improve specifications for commercial products.
To perform their analysis, the ITL researchers used Rapide, an architectural description language (ADL) developed by Stanford University as part of a DARPA program on the Evolutionary Design of Complex Software (EDCS). The ITL researchers transform natural-language specifications of specific discovery protocols into architectural models that include network topologies and essential software behaviors. The architectural models are then executed using scenarios devised by the researchers to simulate network degradation and failures. During model execution, the researchers use logical assertions to gauge consistency among state maintained on different nodes, and they use quantitative metrics to assess latencies and overhead associated with restoring the system to a consistent state.
To date, the researchers have produced one paper, "Analyzing Properties and Behavior of Service Discovery Protocols Using an Architecture-Based Approach, describing their approach in detail and demonstrating initial results. The next stage of the project will focus on comparative analysis of generic, alternative architectural models common to different protocols. This work appears to be particularly timely because of the proliferation of service discovery protocols in private industry. Results from this project will help the industry to better understand the logical and performance properties of the current generation of discovery protocols, will help to design improved versions of such protocols in future generations, and will provide practitioners of software architecture modeling with a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the research tools available to date.
Contact: Christopher Dabrowski (301) 975-3249 and Kevin Mills (301) 975-3618
Created May 12, 2009, Updated October 5, 2010