Cyber-Physical Modeling and Analysis for a Smart and Resilient Grid

Power grids are complex, interconnected networks comprising generators, transmission lines, distribution networks, and communications infrastructure that facilitate command and control of thousands of power network devices. Operating that network in a reliable way involves significant planning, analysis, coordination, and continuous monitoring and control. Solutions today often consider the power network in isolation. However, given the significant penetration of “cyber” technology in day-to-day power network operation, the “cyber network” is essentially part of the power grid. Reliable operation depends upon it. Thus, power systems analysis needs to be extended, a need made urgent by the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks.

This project is developing monitoring and analysis tools that account for cyber characteristics and thereby increase the resiliency and reliability of the grid in the face of cyber attacks. The objective is to develop a novel security-oriented contingency analysis tool that takes into account the state of both the cyber infrastructure and the electrical system. Power system simulation is combined with cyber analysis so that the impact of failures, malicious and otherwise, in the electric grid’s cyber networks can be assessed.

Investigators include Rakesh B. Bobba, Robin Berthier, David M. Nicol, Edmond J. Rogers, William H. Sanders, Peter W. Sauer, Saman A. Zonouz (Rutgers University), and Matt Davis (PowerWorld).

(Funded by the Department of Energy)