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EL Highlights May 2013

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Technical Accomplishments

EL Studies CO Resulting from Indoor Operation of Portable Generators

EL has completed an analysis of indoor carbon monoxide (CO) levels associated with the operation of portable generators in single-family homes. In recent years, concerns have increased regarding the hazard of acute residential CO exposures from portable gasoline powered generators that can result in death or serious and/or lasting adverse health effects in exposed individuals. As of April 2012, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) databases contain records of at least 755 deaths from CO poisoning associated with consumer use of generators in the period of 1999 through 2011. EL has developed a computer simulation to evaluate indoor CO exposures as a function of generator source location and CO emission rate, in support of CPSC analyses of potential CO emission limits. These simulations employed the NIST-developed multizone airflow and contaminant transport model CONTAM, which was applied to a collection of 87 dwellings that are representative of the U.S. housing stock. A total of almost one hundred thousand individual 24-hour simulations were conducted. The results of these analyses are presented in the form of maximum levels of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) that would be experienced by occupants in the occupied portions of the dwellings as a function of CO emission rate for different indoor source locations. The simulation results show that the generators located in occupied portions of homes (e.g. basements) result in much higher CO exposures than for generators located in garages, but that garage locations can still result in significant exposures. Lower CO emission rates are associated with lower exposures. Considering all the cases, this reference maximum CO emission rate was found to be 27 g/h for a generator operating continuously for 18 h. This work is presented in NIST Technical Note 1782, Residential Carbon Monoxide Exposure due to Indoor Generator Operation: Effects of Source Location and Emission Rate
Contacts:  Andrew Persily, (301) 975-6418


EL Joins ROS-Industrial Consortium

Through efforts of the NIST Engineering Laboratory, NIST became a government member of the ROS-Industrial Consortium in May 2013. The Robot Operating System (ROS), established by Willow Garage, Inc., provides software libraries and other tools to help system developers create robot applications. The availability of a common, license-free software platform has accelerated development of new robot control algorithms and entire robot systems. Initially embraced by research organizations, thousands of ROS software modules are now available in a central repository. As the software base matures and grows, developers of commercial applications are also interested in using the wealth of available tools and algorithms. The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) recently formed the ROS-Industrial Consortium (RIC) to foster development of industrial and manufacturing applications of robots by leveraging the growing body of robot software and tools within ROS. The consortium seeks to accelerate transition of robotics research to real-world applications. The RIC currently has over a dozen members, including aerospace manufacturers, robot developers, controller developers, universities, and non-profit organizations. Membership in the ROS-Industrial Consortium allows NIST to attend consortium events, including training, and to provide input to the ROS-Industrial roadmap that is being developed. Consortia such as RIC are instrumental in advancing robot capabilities, particularly for manufacturing applications, through consensus definition and understanding of the requirements for advanced applications. The RIC members jointly agree on precompetitive research to accelerate achievement of the required capabilities.
Contact: Elena Messina, (301) 975-3510

Programmatic/Technical Accomplishments

EL and ITL Publish Revised Guide to Industrial Control System Security

Led by staff from the NIST Engineering Laboratory and with support from the NIST Information Technology Laboratory published NIST Special Publication 800-82, Revision 1, Guide to Industrial Control System (ICS) Security This NIST SP provides guidance on how to secure industrial control systems, including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, Distributed Control Systems (DCS), and other control system configurations such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), while addressing their unique performance, reliability, and safety requirements. Updates in this version include integration of the ICS material transferred from Special Publication 800-53, Revision 3, Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations, that is used by federal agencies to secure their industrial control systems. Substantial inputs from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Defense (DOD) were incorporated in this revision.

The revised guide responds to responsibilities assigned to NIST under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). The law directs NIST to develop information security standards and guidelines for non-national security federal information systems. While these FISMA-related specifications are not mandatory for the private sector or state and local governments, many businesses and other organizations have adopted the NIST-developed standards and guidelines. NIST SP 800-82 has 180 citations and has been downloaded over 2,500,000 times since the initial public draft release. NIST SP 800-82 is recognized by the community as one of the most valuable ICS security documents available today and is heavily used and referenced in the private sector, which owns/operates 90% of the critical infrastructure. NIST SP 800-82 is also used as part of the curriculum for several college courses, including an undergraduate cybersecurity course at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.
Contact: Keith Stouffer, (301) 975-3877


EL's Chris White Awarded ASTM Lou Toporcer Hall of Fame Award

EL's Chris White, Acting Leader of the Polymeric Materials Group, was presented the Lou Toporcer Hall of Fame Award by ASTM Committee C24 on Building Seals and Sealants, "for distinguished service in stimulation of research, promotion of knowledge and service to the building industry in the area of voluntary standardization." This award, the second-highest given by ASTM, was presented in Indianapolis, IN on June 11, 2013. The accomplishments that led to Chris's Hall of Fame induction include chairing ASTM Subcommittees C24.20 (General Test Methods) and C24.10 (Citations), championing five standards, and giving numerous technical presentations. Further, he introduced the now-accepted premise that imposed strain movement affects sealant durability. This was accomplished through the development of the ability to measure time-dependent modulus for sealants (C1735), incorporating movement in the outdoor weathering of sealants (C1589), and technical presentations at the symposium showing results from these methods.
Contact: Chris White, (301) 975-6016
Created June 26, 2013, Updated September 21, 2016