The Draft NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 4.0 is now available for download. NIST welcomes your input on its fourth framework which informs America's development of the smart grid. Notably, Framework 4.0:
Inputs can be sent to smartgridframework [at] nist.gov (smartgridframework[at]nist[dot]gov). Your input will help NIST produce a final published version of the Framework, as part of its consensus building process. Ultimately, these inputs will help enable us to identify the needs of the smart grid community and promote progress towards meeting America’s energy needs.
On July 7-8, 2020, NIST conducted its virtual Workshop on ADS Safety Measurement and Operational Design Domain, drawing attendees from industry, government and academia to hear plenary and panel presentations and to participate in facilitated breakout discussions. The workshop continued the ADS stakeholder discussion that began with NIST's first ADS workshop in June 2019 and through meetings of the NIST ADS Safety Measurement and Operational Design Domain Technical Working Group (ODD TWG).
The July 2020 NIST ADS workshop reviewed abstractions needed for a data-driven approach to ADS safety and considered how automated driving safety can be measured, which is critical for public acceptance. One presentation noted that significant data have been gathered on automated driving system performance, but emphasized that the issue at hand is how to relate this data to safety. To assist in meeting this challenge, the workshop considered alternative abstractions, more closely tied to ADS performances, including an Operating Envelope Specification proposed by the NIST ODD TWG. This concept seeks to quantify vehicle safety behaviors, which have only been described in general terms to date. Attendees saw such specifications as enabling testing and serving as a foundation for certification, if it could be made measureable, relevant, and communicable. NIST is planning to publish a workshop summary report and a technical publication describing the Operating Envelope Specification concept.
NIST's Jeff Marron collaborated with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) personnel on cybersecurity for the North American bulk power system, and mapped NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework, Version 1.1 to the latest NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards. These requirements are designed to mitigate cyber risks to North America’s Bulk Electric System. NERC reported the collaborative mapping in its Standards, Compliance, and Enforcement Bulletin, July 27-August 7, 2020 edition. NERC posted the mapping on its website, which is already receiving stakeholder attention.
In addition, volunteers from the Reliability and Security Technical Committee (RSTC) in the Compliance Input Working Group (CIWG), along with NERC and NIST representatives, collaborated to develop a self-assessment tool. Responsible entities in bulk power can use the tool to identify gaps in their compliance with NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards and in their cybersecurity risk management. The tool will allow bulk power operators to focus resources on closing gaps, also informing fiscal planning.
The University of Antwerp will collaborate with NIST to develop tools for use by industries producing partially or fully automated systems. These tools will be based on NIST advances in the area of cyber-physical systems or IoT, including its Cyber-Physical Systems Framework and emerging concepts like an Operating Envelope Specification for automated driving system safety measurement. The partners will collaborate to implement prototype tools using NIST's co-simulation tool, the "Universal CPS Environment for Federation," or UCEF.
Ensuring the safety of automated systems is a clear industry challenge. Previous testing strategies focused on systems where human operators were involved. However, automation reduces, and may even eliminate, human involvement, demanding new approaches to testing and, ultimately, safety assurance.
Prof. Hans Vangheluwe of the Modeling, Simulation and Design Lab at the University of Antwerp, has agreed to collaborate with NIST cyber-physical systems researchers to install and use NIST's UCEF co-simulation infrastructure and NIST’s Cyber-Physical Systems Framework to develop tools for CPS/IoT design, test, and assurance. This approach has the potential to assist in identifying the range of engineering concerns related to safety. By identifying critical concerns and their interdependencies, developers can more holistically determine and address the full spectrum of engineering requirements.
UCEF's co-simulation infrastructure will further aid automated driving system (ADS) testing and design exploration. UCEF makes possible the evaluation of components and the overall cyber-physical system, or systems-of-systems. UCEF integrates existing, best-in-class simulators, and allows them to interact. In the case of ADS safety, UCEF co-simulations will be structured to assess safety concerns by providing data that help developers and testers address intended system behaviors and identify unintended system behaviors with safety implications.
“Standards are the necessary first step towards interoperability,”-- Aaron Smallwood, SEPA Research
On July 29, 2020, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), supported by NIST funding, reported the addition of three standards to its smart grid Catalog of Standards. The Catalog consists of over 80 national and international standards, and is a key reference for utilities, manufacturers, regulators, consumers, and other stakeholders, who are developing and deploying smart grid technologies. The standards recently added to the Catalog include:
The addition of these standards further aids smart grid interoperability, which is also being advanced by NIST’s Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 4.0.
In June 2020, NIST released the Global City Teams Challenge Smart Agriculture and Rural SuperCluster Workshop Report 2020, which provides the findings of the February 2020 workshop, with attendees from government, industry, and academia.
Panelists at the workshop described broadband as being similar to electricity in its foundational role, and noted that broadband can help to spread smart technologies, transforming rural areas. Broadband also can enable data analytics for predictive farming, thus reducing its risks and increasing use of robotics to improve productivity. Additionally, broadband can expand tele-health to rural communities needing medical care, a capability that was reported to provide significant results in treating diabetes in rural southwest Georgia. Broadband can also support educational opportunities in rural areas, including tribal lands.
Much of rural America lacks adequate broadband coverage, and workshop participants discussed several ideas to support deployment in remote areas, including:
The report will inform NIST's development of a consensus-based smart cities and communities framework, and will guide widespread smart agriculture and rural initiatives.
NIST's Global City Teams Challenge is co-sponsoring the third annual Cybersecurity Symposium for Smart Cities, to be conducted virtually, October 14-16, 2020. Attendance is free, and the Symposium's theme is "One World Together via Technologies." It will showcase the evolving vision of Smart and Secure Cities and Communities, and how secure cyber-physical systems can be achieved through broad public-private partnerships. The event will include high-level speakers from NIST, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, local governments, nonprofits, small business associations, and universities. More information and registration can be found online.