Thousands of cities and communities worldwide are currently developing “smart city” solutions for specific challenges they face in their individual communities. These solutions—based on the Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), or Industrial IoT (IIoT)—link and integrate the worlds of “cyber” (information and communications technologies) and “physical” (devices that can sense and take actions in the physical world).
These smart city technologies promise benefits to citizens in diverse sectors, from transportation and energy to agriculture and public safety. Examples include autonomous vehicles, microgrids, precision agriculture, and flood detection and control systems.
The potential scale and economic value of these IoT and CPS technologies are breathtaking. A report from Gartner estimates that 3.3 billion connected things will be used by smart cities globally in 2018, and a report from McKinsey estimates that the economic impact of IoT in the smart city setting could exceed $1.7 trillion worldwide in 2025.
Individual citizens and consumers will also benefit from smart city technologies. A very recent study by Juniper Research estimates that smart cities have the potential to “give back” a remarkable 125 hours to every resident every year. The time savings will come in areas such as transportation, public safety, and healthcare. For example, an integrated IoT-enabled transportation infrastructure—including intelligent traffic systems, safer roads, directed parking, etc.—can save up to 60 hours a year for a typical driver.
The path forward, however, holds numerous technology challenges—from precision timing and data analytics to performance measurement, safety and reliability, and engineering for cybersecurity and privacy.
NIST scientists and engineers are playing important roles in addressing these challenges, especially those that call on NIST’s expertise and leadership with subjects such as standards and interoperability; measurement and metrics; and testing and certification.
Nearly 500 smart city leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6-8, 2018, to launch the Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge (SC3). The kickoff conference featured 50 speakers, as well as breakout sessions for six SuperClusters in smart city domains such as transportation, public safety, and wireless. All kickoff event presentations can be downloaded here.
Official representatives from over 30 cities, communities, states, and countries participated in the meeting. On the final day of the conference, NIST and its international partners released and discussed a draft of the Internet-of-Things-Enabled Smart City Framework (see related article below).
This year’s challenge, which emphasizes cybersecurity and privacy as focus areas for the 2018 Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), is co-hosted by NIST and the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T). Organizers are encouraging participating GCTC teams—ongoing action clusters and SuperClusters, as well as newly formed action clusters—to focus on cybersecurity and privacy as a first-order design concern, along with existing GCTC goals of replicability, scalability, and sustainability.
For more details about GCTC, SuperClusters, and SC3, see this NIST News Release, visit the GCTC collaboration website, and read this interview with NIST’s Sokwoo Rhee and DHS’s Scott Tousley. In the coming weeks and months, action clusters and SuperClusters will be meeting regularly and working on their projects.
The next major in-person GCTC event will be the 2018 GCTC-SC3 Tech Jam, to be held in Portland, OR, on June 20-22, 2018. The event will be co-hosted by the City of Portland, Tech Oregon, Urban Systems, NIST, and DHS S&T. The goal of Tech Jam is to share the progress made by all 2018 GCTC action clusters and SuperClusters and open up additional collaboration opportunities to all interested parties. The event website and registration are available online.
On Feb. 8, 2018, NIST and its international partners discussed and released a draft of the Internet-of-Things-Enabled Smart City (IES-City) Framework at a workshop attended by over 100 smart city experts. The workshop marked the beginning of a 60-day period for review and comment by all interested stakeholders. Following the review period, which closes on April 9, the authors will review and incorporate the feedback received into a version 1.0 release.
The framework, drafted by an international technical working group, addresses a challenge commonly faced by those interested in developing smart city applications—how to deal with the many existing smart city and IoT architectures put forward by various organizations, associations, and companies. The IES-City framework uses NIST’s CPS Framework (published in 2017) to identify, compare, and distill pivotal points of interoperability across diverse architectures. In addition, the framework includes a smart city application analysis tool that will help smart city stakeholders do early research related to smart city applications—their breadth, the readiness of cities’ infrastructures, and the benefits to citizens. This recent news article provides a brief overview of the framework.
For further details about the IES-City Framework project, to download a copy of the draft framework (and accompanying technical artifacts), and to provide feedback on the draft, please visit the IES-City Framework Collaboration Site.
The NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee (Committee or SGAC) was established in 2010 to advise NIST in carrying out duties authorized by section 1305 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The committee charter, originally approved in 2010, was revised and renewed once again in January 2018. (A copy of the charter is available online here.)
The objectives of the committee are:
The committee members are well-known smart grid thought leaders, who represent a diverse cross-section of the smart grid sector. The committee meets approximately twice a year, and the next face-to-face meeting is scheduled for April 24-25, 2018, in Gaithersburg, MD. Details about the upcoming meeting will be available soon on the committee’s web page and in the Federal Register.
For biographical sketches of the committee members, as well as minutes and reports from previous meetings, please visit the committee web page.
Over 400 smart grid experts from 28 countries attended the Ninth Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT 2018), sponsored by the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) on Feb. 19-22, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
NIST has been a strong supporter of this conference since the first conference in January 2010, which was held at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, MD. This year, NIST’s Jerry Fitzpatrick served as the Technical Chair of the conference, leading the committee that developed the four-day program of tutorials, keynotes, panels, papers, and posters.
During the conference, NIST staff participated on the following panels and in the following sessions:
All conference presentations (free for PES members) are available online on the IEEE website.
The GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC), in partnership with the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), will convene the Fifth International Conference on Transactive Energy Systems in Cambridge, MA, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), June 12-14, 2018.
NIST will once again be a sponsor for this conference, as it has been for previous conferences. NIST has demonstrated its strong interest in transactive energy through the NIST Transactive Energy Modeling and Simulation Challenge for the Smart Grid (TE Challenge). Launched in 2015, the TE Challenge has identified and advanced modeling and simulation tools and platforms that can support analysis of TE systems; raised awareness of the potential benefits of TE; and helped build a community that can work toward applying knowledge gained to TE demonstrations. NIST’s David Holmberg will present final results from Phase II of the TE Challenge.
The Call for Papers is now available for download (abstract submission deadline—April 30, 2018).
Bilil H, Gharavi H (2018) MMSE-based Analytical Estimator for Uncertain Power System with Limited Number of Measurements. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems PP:99. https://doi.org/10.1109/TPWRS.2018.2801121
The expected penetration of a large number of renewable distributed energy resources (DERs) is driving next-generation power systems toward uncertainties that can have a huge impact on the reliability and complexities of state estimation. This paper proposes a new state estimation method referred to as “mean squared estimator” (MSE) to deal with the uncertain nature of the power system parameters.
Song EY, FitzPatrick GJ, Lee KB, Gopstein AM, Boynton PA (2018) Interoperability Testbed for Smart Sensors in Smart Grids. Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference. http://indexsmart.mirasmart.com/ISGT2018/PDFfiles/ISGT2018-000064.PDF
Interoperability testing provides a means for achieving and assuring the integrity of smart sensor data exchanges. Interoperability testbeds can provide technical foundations for standards development for smart sensors in smart grids, including test methods and tools. This paper introduces an interoperability testbed for smart sensors, which has been built at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).