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NIST Smart Grid and CPS Newsletter - September 2017

Table of Contents


Upcoming Interoperability Event for IEC 61850 (October 13-19, 2017)

The UCA International Users Group is hosting an interoperability (IOP) test for IEC 61850 devices, in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 13-19, 2017. The objectives of the test are to demonstrate interoperability between devices and to focus on finding and addressing potential sources of issues between devices. A team from NIST will be attending the event, providing test equipment and software, and participating in both the Integrated Applications and Time Synchronization sub-group tests.

This is the first time that this interoperability test is going to be held in the United States. It provides an excellent opportunity for utilities based in North America to attend and see firsthand the performance of IEC 61850 devices and their interoperability with other vendors’ products. IEC 61850, a ten-part standard related to communications networks and systems in substations, is an important smart grid standard for power utility automation. For more information, visit the IOP event site.

In addition to learning more about interoperability and testing challenges related to IEC 61850 standards, NIST’s participation will allow the team to prioritize research and development of test methodologies to transfer to test labs and other industry stakeholders for future testing and certification efforts. NIST is currently participating in the IEEE Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP) for the Precision Time Protocol Power Profile, where the test equipment and software developed at NIST will help support the validation of the test suite specification developed by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL).

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NIST’s Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Completes Successful Year With 2017 GCTC Expo

On August 28-29, 2017, as Hurricane Harvey inundated Texas with record flooding, the subject of public safety and disaster response was on the minds of hundreds of smart city leaders who were meeting in Washington, D.C., for NIST’s Global City Teams Challenge Expo. NIST’s Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Public Safety SuperCluster was one of five SuperClusters whose work was being highlighted at the meeting—along with SuperClusters on transportation, utilities, city data platform, and public WiFi/broadband. 

The goal of these SuperClusters over the past year has been to document real-world examples and best practices among smart city plans and solutions implemented by cities around the world. At the Expo, each SuperCluster group presented a blueprint/playbook that will help accelerate the development and application of interoperable, standards-based IoT solutions in their sector. Details about each SuperCluster and copies of the blueprints (available now for free public download) can be found online.

The 2017 GCTC Expo, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., attracted teams from cities and communities around the world. These cities—in partnership with more than 300 companies, universities, non-profits, and federal government agencies—shared and exhibited their smart city projects. With over 1600 registered attendees, the Expo featured over 190 speakers and more than 90 exhibiting action clusters representing 120+ cities and communities.

Keynote speeches were delivered by six mayors from the U.S. and Japan, two Deputy Mayors from Taiwan, and three Deputy Assistant Secretaries from the U.S. Federal Government. Copies of all Expo plenary and panel presentations, as well as many of the action clusters’ presentations, are available online.

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GCTC Focus for 2018: Cybersecurity and Privacy

The 2017 Expo also provided a preview of GCTC activities planned for the coming year. NIST and the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate announced a new partnership for the 2018 GCTC-Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge (SC3).

According to Sokwoo Rhee, NIST lead for the GCTC Program, “If you are a cybersecurity and privacy professional, this will be a rare opportunity to explore direct partnerships with numerous cities, communities, and stakeholders deploying smart solutions worldwide. If you are already a member of a GCTC team, this is a great chance to add serious measures of cybersecurity and privacy to your project.” For more details about the Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge, see this NIST News Release.

A kickoff conference for the new initiative is being planned for later this year. The conference’s goal will be to build new action clusters and reinforce existing clusters to address shared issues such as transportation, public safety, utility, data, and public WiFi/broadband, with participation from cybersecurity and privacy experts. Details of the conference—to be held in the Washington, D.C., area in late November or early December—will be announced soon.

Also in the coming year, the five existing SuperClusters will continue and expand their activities. In addition, as announced at the recent Expo, two new SuperClusters are being launched and will be holding initial webinars in coming weeks. For more information on these new groups, please join their Google Groups at the following links:

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Recent Workshop: “IoT Sensors Challenges” (August 30, 2017)

NIST and the Sensors Council of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE Sensors Council) hosted a one-day workshop on August 30, 2017, at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The workshop focused on Internet of Things (IoT) standards, harmonization, interoperability, policy, sensors, and cybersecurity.

The morning session featured a keynote presentation by Scott Streit from Villanova University, and the afternoon session began with a panel on “IoT Applications in the Healthcare Sector.” Four breakout sessions examined security and privacy, interoperability and standardization, smart grid applications, and smart city applications. The presentations will be posted on the workshop website.

A workshop report that summarizes the presentations, panels, and recommended action items related to IoT security and sensors will be published early next year.

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Recent Workshop: “CPS Framework Open Source Workshop” (September 19, 2017)

The CPS Framework Open Source Workshop—held on September 19, 2017, at NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in Rockville, Maryland—introduced the open source CPS Framework Model to a representative community of experts in cyber-physical systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), and systems engineering. The workshop was attended, both onsite and remotely, by CPS/IoT experts and researchers from government, industry, and academia. The presentations will be posted on the workshop website.

The model introduced at the workshop is derived from the NIST CPS Framework and focuses on enhancing and extending systems engineering practices to a holistic, concern-driven model. It merges the distinct methods and tools associated with the logical and physical elements of CPS design in a data structure that enables technical and non-technical decision makers, for example, to access concern-focused “dashboards” for ‘CPS of interest’ and their development detail. These evidence-based decision aids may include ones for Trustworthiness, Human Interface, and Interoperability.

The workshop familiarized participants with NIST’s “Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems, Volume 1 and Volume 2,” the workings of the CPS Framework modeling toolset UML/XML/XSLT, and ontologies. The diverse stakeholders provided feedback on how the CPS Framework and the CPS Framework Model complement existing systems engineering processes and tools. The stakeholders also demonstrated the use of the NIST CPS Framework Model in system development and the seamless creation, using the CPS Framework Open Source Tools, of future decision aids for senior executives to line engineers.

Those involved with CPS may also be interested in another recent NIST CPS workshop, held July 27 at NIST, “Universal CPS Environment for Federation Workshop.”

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Created March 16, 2018