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


2019 Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge Expo: Global Interest Grows

The 2019 Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge Expo, held at the Walter E Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., on July 10-12, 2019, attracted attendees from around the world, including Asia, Europe and the U.S. The Expo was co-hosted by NIST, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The Expo highlighted the importance of privacy and cybersecurity for community-based, smart cities and smart regions. Speakers also addressed progress towards smart regions in the Columbus, Ohio and Washington, D.C. areas, in addition to smart region trends across the U.S. The Expo featured international perspectives on smart regions, with Bernard Dy, Mayor of Cauayan, Philippines and Wen-Tsan Cheng, Mayor of Taoyuan, Taiwan, describing their initiatives.

The Expo highlighted the results of "Action Clusters," consisting of organized government and industry partnerships pursuing Internet-of-Things-based innovations to improve the quality of life in cities and communities. In breakout sessions, speakers and participants described ongoing initiatives in transportation, healthcare, education and more. Over 100 exhibits displayed such innovations and technology solutions. Additionally, "Birds of a Feather" meetings covered multiple topics, including the roles that women can play in successful Smart and Secure Cities initiatives.

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NIST Releases Cybersecurity Risk Profile for Power System Owners/Operators

In July 2019, NIST published Technical Note 2051 Cybersecurity Framework Smart Grid Profile. It is the first publicly available cybersecurity risk profile for the smart grid that applies risk management strategies from NIST’s Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (Cybersecurity Framework). The Smart Grid Profile provides cybersecurity risk management guidance to power system owners/operators.

The Smart Grid Profile can be useful to an audience that ranges from non-experts, who might benefit from a basic understanding of cybersecurity concepts as applied to power systems, to experienced security professionals seeking to understand the smart grid-specific considerations for more than 100 cybersecurity outcomes described in NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework. The report also includes a mapping of NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework and the Smart Grid Profile to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection standards which govern the cybersecurity requirements for the high-voltage bulk power grid.

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NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee Supports Smart Grid Interoperability Framework 4.0

The NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee met on June 4-5, 2019 to review the current status of the draft NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Framework Release 4.0, including latest revisions and updates. NIST researchers also presented recent Smart Grid Program research successes to the members of this federal advisory committee.

The committee members supported the Framework 4.0, with members commenting that the draft Framework 4.0 represented a significant advance, relative to the previous Frameworks, including its updated communication scenarios diagrams and analysis of existing testing and certification programs for smart grid standards. During the public comment portion of the meeting, an observer stated that the Framework was the one document that pulled together insights and information on the smart grid. Minutes from the meeting are posted on the Committee website.

When additional edits and revisions are completed, NIST plans to publish the framework in the Federal Register later this year, with a 45 day public comment period. After internal review and revision to address comments, the final document is anticipated to be published in early 2020.

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Report: NIST Tests Show Accuracy of U.S. Smart Meters

In May 2019, NIST detailed its tests and findings of smart meter accuracy in its NIST Internal Report (NISTIR) 8248 “A NIST Testbed for Examining the Accuracy of Smart Meters under High Harmonic Waveform Loads.” This report was motivated by concerns that distorted electrical power waveforms could affect the accuracy of smart meters. These concerns also were based on a European report that showed over 500 percent measurement errors in European smart meters, under certain conditions.

In 2018, NIST developed a testbed for evaluating smart meters and tested eight smart meters for use in the U.S. NIST staff recorded the baseline performance of the smart meters and then measured their performance with distorted waveforms, some with greater distortion levels than those used in the European study, and then compared the results. NIST's tests showed that the U.S. meters had good accuracy, compared to those in the European study. Three meters showed only variations within the test uncertainty — essentially 0 percent error; three meters showed maximum errors of less than 2 percent; and only two U.S. smart meters had errors approaching 4 percent.

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Stakeholders Meet on Automated Driving System-Equipped Vehicle Safety at NIST

Stakeholders from the Automated Driving System (ADS) community met at the NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland campus, on June 25-26, 2019, to explore the ADS community’s interest in developing a framework for ADS-equipped vehicle safety measurement. Many participants provided input that developing a consensus-based and technology-neutral framework would be an effective means of accelerating the deployment of ADS. A government-industry partnership, led by NIST and the U.S. Department of Transportation, sponsored the workshop, "Consensus Safety Measurement Methodologies for Automated Driving System-Equipped Vehicles."

The workshop presentation sessions examined ADS safety from different perspectives. Users reviewed how state and municipalities' policies had enabled increased testing of ADS on roadways, for example, in Arizona. Developers discussed their need for an ADS safety assessment model, which they anticipate to be different from existing safety models. Organizations, focused on standards and testing, presented examples of existing safety models, and reviewed challenges that advanced ADS systems pose to existing regulation. Others presented the results of their efforts toward frameworks and testing methods for ADS-equipped vehicle safety.

Breakout groups were then tasked with summarizing their views on the key questions about ADS-equipped vehicle safety, including ADS-equipped vehicle safety definitions, measurement methods and metrics, best practices, role of humans in ADS-equipped vehicle safety, and possible next steps. The groups reported their findings in the plenary session. The recorded webcasts of the workshop sessions' presentations are available on the workshop website. In addition, NIST and partners are preparing a report on the workshop for future public release.

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Created September 13, 2019