Converged Approach towards Resilient Industrial control systems and Cyber Assurance (CAPRICA)

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Electronics Electrical Eng and Comp Sci

Abstract

Energy production and distribution is undergoing radical change driven by a "Green" agenda pushing for increased energy conservation, greater emphasis on renewable energy sources and more sophisticated demand side business models. The UK currently has 12% of its energy requirements met by wind farms. This percentage is set to grow as wind generated electricity is imported from neighbouring countries. For example Ireland (where already 50% of domestic energy requirements are met by wind farms) will become a net exporter of wind generated electricity in the near future. The significance of this market change cannot be underestimated and will lead to broad infrastructural change. Wind generated electricity is bursty in nature, largely unpredictable and seldom occurs when consumer demand is greatest. This is true of most renewable energy sources. Wind farms are typically sited in remote areas of low population density and collectively represent a highly distributed generation source. This is in stark contrast to the traditional grid which can be characterised as a strictly hierarchical, centrally managed network of carbon or nuclear energy fuelled generators which can accurately predict demand side requirements and vary their output accordingly.

Grid infrastructure and methods of operation will change radically in order to accommodate new, distributed, renewable energy generation and a growing population of prosumers - retail customers who consume and produce energy in tandem. The technical challenges are manifold and many of the assumptions underpinning traditional grid operations are rapidly dissolving. Energy network operators urgently need new guidance and direction to meet the dual challenges of:
1. Maintaining operational control over new, highly distributed generation facilities embedded in a prosumer
driven, highly connected, ICT dependent, grid infrastructure.

2. Implementing sufficient control measures to protect grid operations from Internet borne threats and attacks.

Caprica meets these challenges head on and proposes to investigate the phenomena of synchronous islanding via experimentation on the only large scale synchrophasor network available in the UK. Islanding occurs when a geographic portion of the distribution network becomes electrically isolated from the rest of the grid. Reconnecting an island back onto the grid can be very dangerous if the two portions of the network are not properly synchronised. Phase drift is a likely scenario for a self-powered island driven by wind or other renewable generation sources. The QUB EPIC team have been working on this problem and can demonstrate solutions based on a distributed control architecture using synchrophasor measurement devices. The synchrophasors operate over a public telecoms network which immediately leads to cyber vulnerabilities in the grid control system. A cyber-attack which manipulates synchrophasor measurements could cause untold damage to grid infrastructure and consumer equipment on a national scale. To counter this risk the EPIC and CSIT research groups have come together to collaboratively investigate the control and cyber security elements of synchronous islanding. By providing an integrated view of grid status and cyber defences we will demonstrate improved operational decision making, improved grid resilience in the face of cyber attack, and lay the groundwork for a new distributed control architecture for the UK smartgrid.

Planned Impact

1. New methods of control over the evolving smartgrid infrastructure containing a significant proportion of
distributed generation via renewable energy sources. Specifically new operational methodologies for dealing
with "power system islanding" whilst maintaining supply continuity to end-users and maintaining their safety.

First users of this research output will be Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) plc.

2. New cyber security technology to protect distribution network infrastructure and critical operations carried out
via synchrophasors. Specifically SCADA protocol specific intrusion detection systems based on stateful
protocol analysis and model based payload analysis of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs).

First users of this technology will be Thales UK.

3. New integrated threat detection methods using combined intelligence from both the cyber domain and the
distributed control domain.

First users of this technology will be SONI.

4. New grid operating procedures to facilitate "maintenance windows" which can be used to upgrade portions of
the distribution network. In this way grid infrastructure can be upgraded via a rolling upgrade programme and
ongoing protection against evolving cyber threats can be effectively implemented.

First users of this technology will be SSE.
 
Description The power grid resilient control related research on synchronous power islands resulted the development of a novel phasor estimation algorithm and a PMU simulator. The algorithm has been implemented using ARM processor and successfully tested with the communication frameworks of IEEE C37.118. Initials experiments have validated the successful integration of both IEEE C37.118 and IEC 61850-90-5 communication frameworks with the OpenPMU. Protocol gateway has been extended to address emerging Industrial IoT (IIOT) related protocols. The research has demonstrated that the concept of protocol gateway in combination with extended IDS can be applied for emerging IIoT technologies.
Exploitation Route For securing future smart grid systems: - integration of the developed algorithms and threat analytics in SCADA security appliances for smart grid. Commertial use:- licensing to SCADA security applinace vendors.

Taking Smart-grid control computing into the Cloud: the research has laid out basic security principals between IT and OT security and how distributed power generation can be decentralised and potentially be executed in the cloud.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy

URL https://ritics.org/
 
Description Demonstration of a full end-end secure synchronous island power system with Statnett. A number of the findings have been translated into demonstrators and prototypes for the European FP7 project, called SPARKS. Use of the finding and PoC prototype for a new high-tech start-up in ICS security called Affyon (www.affyon.com).
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description NSF Workshop - Real Time Data Analytics for the Resilient Electric Grid
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description NCSC (RITICS)
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 09/2020
 
Description NCSC - RITICS Bridging Science Programme
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID RFA15331 
Organisation National Cyber Security Centre 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 04/2018
 
Description NCSC Industrial Control System Interconnected Testbeds
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Cyber Security Centre 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
 
Title DIGSilent to Point-on-Wave for Synchrophasor Estimation 
Description Allows power system events, particularly transients, to be simulated in industry standard software but the data extracted and presented as point-on-wave sampled values which can be processed by the OpenPMU system for generation of Synchrophasor values. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This system has been used to study the effectiveness of PMUs during transient events. The outcomes and model will later be published. 
 
Description SSE Power Distribution interest in PMU Measurement Technology 
Organisation Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution An outcome of this project was the development of an open source hardware platform yielding GPS synchronised measurements of power system voltages and currents. This is an important precursor, indeed a fundamental enabling technology, of Phasor Measurement Units (PMU). SSE are interested in very high quality phasor estimation for their system state estimation projects. This work is targeted to delivering a resilient power system in light of changing generation and consumption patterns brought about by sustainable energy programmes. The open source measurement hardware developed is unique in that it allows complete visibility over the entire analogue and digital signal path such that the measurement process is transparent, deterministic and predictable. This is not readily available in the commercial sector.
Collaborator Contribution SSE have made recommendations as to their needs in terms of the performance of the measurement device and have made available to QUB datasets to allow the device to me made compatible with existing methods of data exchange.
Impact This work is in the early stages of development so there are limited outputs specific to this collaborative work at this time. However, the open source measurement system has been accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. It will appear in a forthcoming issue titled "GPS Disciplined Analogue to Digital Converter for Phasor Measurement Applications".
Start Year 2017
 
Description Statnett SF interest in PMU Calibration 
Organisation Statnett
Country Norway 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution An outcome of this project was the development of a test procedure to validate the compliance of a Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) against the IEEE C37.118.1-2011 and C37.118.1-2014 dynamic test requirements. Statnett use PMUs to provide real-time system condition information, and to initiate certain operations related to grid stability. It had been anticipated that there was variation between vendors in terms of standards compliance. The CAPRICA project was able to determine this was the case, and evaluate the magnitude of the discrepancies and the impact this may have on system operation.
Collaborator Contribution Statnett SF provided seven commercial PMU devices (approx. £150k of equipment) to be evaluated in the study, and provided significant resource in terms of protection engineer time and liaising with device vendors with regards setting up the laboratory
Impact The outputs from this work exist as a report made to Statnett SF. The report is also being prepared into a journal article for publication. Another journal article which details the test procedure itself has been submitted for review, and is presently being prepared before resubmission.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Thales UK interest in GDOI project outputs 
Organisation Thales Group
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution An outcome of the project was the development of software implementing the Group Domain of Interpretation (GDOI) cryptographic protocol for key management in in the IEC61850-90-5 protocol. Through discussion with Thales around securing satellite communications we have become aware of a separate interest of theirs in group key management protocols. The GDOI implementation from CAPRICA will therefore be evaluated by Thales to establish its potential usage in satellite related applications.
Collaborator Contribution Through a long-established agreement with Thales UK, they will have access to our code, and developers in order to assess the developed GDOI implementation software for commercial applicability.
Impact Although Thales have been a partner in the CAPRICA project from the outset, this application space for the GDOI work has only recently emerged as a possible route for exploitation. Consequently the outputs remain to be fully explored and developed. This collaboration is intended to lead to economic impact via commercial exploitation by a leading UK company.
Start Year 2017
 
Title GPS Disciplined Analogue to Digital Converter 
Description OpenPMU is a project concernd with developing an Open Source Phasor Measurement Unit. This intrinsically requires open source hardware and open source software. The objective is to yield a measurement device in which the signal path is completely transparent to the end user from the application of analogue voltage and currents, to the generation of packets of numerical measurements. The CAPRICA project has enable a significant new stage in the OpenPMU project through the development of an open source Analogue to Digital Converter which is synchronized to GPS time signals using hard real-time embedded software. Details of this design have been accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement and will appear in a forthcoming issue under the title "GPS Disciplined Analogue to Digital Converter for Phasor Measurement Applications". The work will also be presented at the IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technologies Conference (I2MTC) 2017, Turin, Italy. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact SSE Power Distribution has indicated that this work has potential to contribute to their system state estimation project, to improve the resilience of the electrical power system. 
URL http://www.OpenPMU.org
 
Title Instrumentation & Protection Laboratory 
Description A laboratory is developed featuring several pieces of commercial instrumentation, protection and control equipment from multiple vendors. The goal is to establish a means for interoperability testing and validation. 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact This lab is state of the art and uses novel protocols such as SDN, OpenFlow, PTP, not previously used in this context. 
URL http://www.openpmu.org
 
Title OpenPMU Telecoms Library - IEEE C37.118.2 
Description A software library which enables open source PMU applications to communicate using the industry standard IEEE C37.118.2 format. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact This software makes many improvements on reliability and compatibility compared to incumbent softwares. 
URL http://www.openpmu.org
 
Title Precision Time Laboratory 
Description A precision time protocol clock and related equipment has been purchased and installed in the laboratory, providing atomic time to various test and measurement studies in the PMU area. 
Type Of Technology Systems, Materials & Instrumental Engineering 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Validation of novel PMU data acquisition clock technologies. 
 
Description Invited talk at ERIGRID Workshop, Vienna, Austria 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Members of the large ERIGRID H2020 project consortium attended. The project focuses on smart grid technologies, from a power systems perspective. The talk initiated a number of discussions, and further research relationships were established as a result.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://erigrid.eu/erigrid-side-event-at-ired-on-16-october-2018/
 
Description NASPI DisTT Webinar - OpenPMU: Experience and lessons from operating PMUs in Distribution Networks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of state of the art PMU communications technologies and update on the OpenPMU project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation in a advisory committee - NSF Workshop - Real Time Data Analytics for the Resilient Electric Grid (2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussion forum on the use of PMU technology especially in power distribution networks, and the measurement, data and communication issues that arise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018