A key component of a smart grid is its ability to collect useful information from a power grid for enabling control centers to estimate the current states of the power grid. It has been envisioned that wireless technology will be widely used for local-area communication subsystems in the smart grid (e.g., in distribution networks). However, various attacks with drastic impacts can be launched in wireless networks such as channel jamming attacks and DoS attacks. In particular, jamming attacks can cause a wide range of damages to power grids, e.g., delayed delivery of time-critical messages can prevent control centers from properly controlling the outputs of generators to match load demands.
In order to provide resilient data delivery under jamming in smart grid, the researchers are trying to design a communication subsystem with enhanced self-healing capability under the presence of jamming through intelligent local controller switching. For their paper "Towards Self-Healing Smart Grid via Intelligent Local Controller Switching under Jamming", Dr. Yingying Chen and her graduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recently received the Best Paper Runner-up Award at the IEEE International Conference on Communication and Network Security (IEEE CNS 2013), which is a high-profile conference for communication and network security research.
The team exploits local controller switching to provide resilience of data delivery under jamming in the distribution network. The proposed framework enables smart meters to utilize all the available channels from nearby local controllers to ensure successful data delivery. They also provide a guideline on the optimal placement of local controllers to ensure effective switching of smart meters under jamming, leading toward a self-healing communication subsystem in the smart grid.
As an Associate Professor at Stevens, Dr. Chen leads the Data Analysis and Information Security Laboratory (DAISY Lab). She has been the PI on multiple National Science Foundation (NSF) grants as well as the recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER Award. Dr. Chen's research addresses wireless security and the challenges faced as wireless networks become increasingly pervasive and ubiquitous.
IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS) is a conference series in IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) core conference portfolio and the only ComSoc conference focusing solely on cyber security.