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NIST Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Newsletter - October 2019

Global Tech Jam 2019 Tackles Smart City and Regional Issues

The Global Tech Jam convened in Portland, Oregon, on September 10-12, 2019, co-sponsored by the Technology Association of Oregon, NIST, Portland General Electric, AmerAsia Technologies Inc., ESRI, Google, Comcast Business, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Urban Systems.

The Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, kicked off the Tech Jam, speaking on "challenge-based procurement" for governments seeking technology solutions. Subsequent discussions focused on approaches to acquiring Internet of Things solutions for smart cities and regions. Several participants advocated the transfer of innovations across the mega-region, rather than just focusing on cities, thus enabling economy of scale. Mayors of municipalities near Portland also detailed their approaches to smart cities.

Relevant to discussions were recent publications. NIST initiated the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) and subsequently published the IoT-Enabled Smart City Framework (IES-City Framework) to guide development and acquisitions. NIST's Sokwoo Rhee provided an overview of the plan for NIST’s Smart Cities and Communities Framework (SCCF) publication series, which includes the IES-City Framework. Also, the GCTC Wireless SuperCluster published the Municipal Internet of Things Blueprint, in July 2019, including descriptions of three business models for adopting smart city networks.

Several participants emphasized that smart initiatives must advance community wellbeing, including fostering health and wellness; connecting with the natural environment; enabling cultural expression; and promoting good user experiences.
Additionally, the Technology Association of Oregon presented Sokwoo Rhee with the Portland Golden Globe Award, in recognition of his leadership of NIST’s Global City Teams Challenge. The Association described the GCTC as “the most influential organization in the United States Smart City movement in placing our companies in line for well paying jobs, improving the efficiency of our cities, and boosting their economies."

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NIST Provides Green Button Lessons Learned at Smart Cities and Communities Symposium

NIST's Cuong Nguyen presenting to the Association for Computing Machinery Emerging Interest Group on Smart Cities and Communities
NIST's Cuong Nguyen presented the lessons learned from the implementation of the Green Button initiative, at the symposium held by the Association for Computing Machinery Emerging Interest Group (EIG) on Smart Cities and Communities, September 10-12, 2019. The Association conducted the symposium jointly with Global Tech Jam in Portland, Oregon.
Green Button is an important component of smart city and region solutions as it provides an approach to make electricity and water usage data available to customers and third parties while ensuring privacy and security are addressed. NIST and the Department of Energy launched Green Button, now widely available in the US and Canada, and encouraged the establishment and participate in ongoing activities of the Green Button Alliance to enable this increased adoption.
Nguyen detailed the steps for implementing Green Button, which included:
•    Focusing on a format for exchanging data, which, for Green Button, is extensible markup language
•    Standardizing data requirements, especially for security and privacy
•    Developing testing and certification to ensure that data exchange conforms with standards
•    Forming an entity to lead the ecosystem for technology development and adoption

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NIST Workshop Report Published on Automated Driving System Safety

In September 2019, NIST released its Special Publication 1900-320, Workshop Report: Consensus Safety Measurement Methodologies for Automated Driving System (ADS) Equipped Vehicles. The report provides an overview of the June 25-26, 2019 workshop at NIST that explored the need for common methods for measuring the safety of ADS-equipped vehicles. The report summarizes workshop participants' perspectives on the need for common metrics on ADS safety. Participants proposed engaging the ADS community to identify existing safety best practices and to work towards development of a community-based framework. Participants also proposed defining safety measurement requirements and methodologies and to collect available data to support framework development. Additionally, participants recognized the need to measure ADS safety in specific situations. Throughout development, participants recommended engaging the public to foster confidence in ADS-equipped vehicles. 

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NIST Researchers Develop Device to Help Assess Timing Disruptions on Grid

Timing is everything on the power grid. Operations are tightly synchronized. Specific functions must occur at a precise time and in a set sequence. Thus, accurately measuring time is critical, especially in power substations. However, grid operators are realizing that timing disruptions have occurred, but for reasons that are still to be determined.
NIST's Dhananjay Anand (pictured on the right) and colleagues developed and implemented a device that introduces timing disruptions, similar to those seen in grid operations. The device's use will allow researchers and operators to assess the impact of timing disruption on grid systems and components, and to establish preventative measures. The device, called the Timing Impairment Module, was successfully tested in the NIST Smart Grid Testbed in mid-September 2019. Anand et al. presented the paper, "A Timing Impairment Module for Electrical Synchrometrology," at the IEEE Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization for Measurement, Control, and Communication. The paper details the device's development and provides testing approaches. The goal is to make the device available to industry for compliance testing of substation equipment.

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Smart Electric Power Alliance Recognizes NIST Staff for Service

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an industry-led, non-profit organization, which absorbed the NIST-initiated Smart Grid Interoperability Panel and continues to advance grid interoperability. It identifies interoperability gaps and brings them to the attention of standard development organizations, such as IEEE, IEC and others. For several years, NIST personnel have provided expertise and guidance to SEPA's Technical Advisory Committee, in addition to leading some of its working groups. In August 2019, David Forfia, Chair of SEPA’s Technical Advisory Committee, recognized the following NIST personnel for their service: David Wollman, Avi Gopstein, Cuong Nguyen, and David Holmberg.

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In The News

On YouTube: Mayor Describes how GCTC Expo Helped Seat Pleasant, Maryland

Seat Pleasant, Maryland mayor, Eugene Grant, talked about his community's progress toward a smart city, in the July 15, 2019, Mayors Moment 2019 Global Cities Team Challenge Conference Recap. The Seat Pleasant government partnered with a tech firm, thus enabling it to pursue a smart city initiative, including making street intersections safer for pedestrians, while optimizing vehicle flow.

On YouTube: Seat Pleasant, Maryland Mayor Showcases Smart City Initiative to NIST leaders

The September 2, 2019, Mayors Moment Featuring the National Institute of Standards and Technology, focused on Seat Pleasant, Maryland's smart city initiative and its presentation to NIST's Chris Greer, Dave Wollman, and Sokwoo Rhee. The YouTube video shows the Seat Pleasant's command and control system – the Center for Government Synergism – and its mobile command bus. Community leaders also demonstrated the police department's aerial drone capabilities.

Smart Cities Dive: A NIST GCTC Cluster to Use AI, Supercomputing to Plan Smart Cities

On August 6, 2019, Smart Cities Dive reported that a GCTC cluster will use supercomputers to trial solutions for some of the biggest issues facing cities. Supercomputers will use vast amounts of data to train artificial intelligence systems, thus improving solutions. These AI-aided solutions will be included in a repository for licensing and deployment.

RCR Wireless News: NIST GCTC Super Cluster Offers Blueprint for Cities Adopting Internet of Things

The Internet of Things can greatly enable smart cities, but cities must first decide how they will own and operate these networks. GCTC Wireless SuperCluster developed the Municipal Internet of Things Blueprint, offering cities three business models for adopting smart city networks. On July 17, 2019, RCR Wireless News reported the development and summarized the three business models.

Lexology Reports NIST's Publication of Cybersecurity Framework Smart Grid Profile

The July 29, 2019 Lexology report provided a link to the Profile and summarized its five core areas – identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover – for developing cybersecurity for the Smart Grid. Lexology also stated, "The Profile is an important contribution to an evolving national discussion aimed at enabling power system owners/operators to prioritize organizational cybersecurity activities..." 

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Created February 1, 2021, Updated June 27, 2023