SMartER Power Grid

The title "SMartER Power Grid" might give the reader the misleading impression that what follows is a description of (yet another) project that falls under the broad area of (the so called) Smart Power Grid.

Quite to the contrary, we describe our novel, out of the box, cross-domain invention of methods (including algorithms, communication protocols), and a new system architecture to protect the critical infrastructure(for example: refineries, chemical plants, nuclear plants, electric power generation stations and distribution grids, etc., ... i.e., in general, any real-time SCADA control system) against ALL REMOTELY EXECUTED SUBVERSION ATTEMPTS. Our architecture leverages the last hop of the electric-power (distribution) grid; from the end-user's electric meter to the nearest upstream distribution point (which is usually a curb-side transformer or a substation) as a separate physical path to implement a secure, out-of-band communication channel which is used to to exchange location-authentication messages.

We demonstrate that our architecture has the unique capabilities to verify in real-time that

  1. The source of a requested trans_action is physically connected to a specific Electric Meter at any pre-designated (safe) location
    (such as the control-room of a nuclear reactor)
  2. Additionally, that the connection to the Electric Meter goes through a physical device that we call the "Human Authorization Detector (HAD)", and

  3. A human operator has inspected and approved the requested trans_action by using a specific HAD device.

This in-turn leads to ** provably secure ** and robust methods to defeat any/all remotely executed attacks that attempt to subvert critical infrastructure.

Additionally, we demonstrate how to leverage our novel architecture and methods to also support/enable the following entirely new classes of applications
  1. Real-time location based access control (ex. an adversary cannot remotely download sensitive documents about new inventions/designs ...)
  2. Tracking, theft monitoring and reporting, reliable custody-chains.
  3. Emergency Signaling.
Our methods require minimal changes to the existing power-grid. Furthermore, the modification we require are slated to be phased in under the auspices of the "Smart Grid" initiative. The main idea behind "Smart Grid" is sound; in other words, in the (near and certainly in the distant) future, the Smart Grid is necessary for fundamental PHYSICAL reasons arising out of "long-term sustainability".
(Most of the reasons that are usually given to justify the need for the Smart Grid, such as turn out to be superfluous and fall apart under genuine scientific scrutiny).
In any case, all we do is take a free-ride (i.e., piggyback our methods and architecture) on top of the Smart Grid and demonstrate how to create permanent, steady revenue streams for the Grid Operators/Utility Companies.

Sounds too good to be true? check out the following links

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Last update: November, 2016