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Electric Grid Protection Through Low-Cost Sensors, Machine Learning

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Connections to the electric power grid.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have developed a cost-effective method for detecting power-grid attacks on the fly.

Credit: Government Computer News

Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a cost-effective method for detecting power-grid attacks on the fly through the use of phasor measurement units (PMUs).

Berkeley Lab's Sean Peisert says, "If we could leverage the physical behavior of components within the electrical grid, we could have better insight in terms of whether there was a cyberattack that sought to manipulate those components."

The team used micro-PMUs designed to take four times more measurements than current PMUs, to deliver a higher-resolution view of the grid's status and more redundancy. They then combined the measurements and transmitted them to the existing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems used by utilities.

The team also tweaked the cumulative sum algorithm, which sequentially analyzes data to spot aberrant behavior.

Berkeley Lab's Ciaran Roberts says, "All the computing is done in real time during the physical data collections, and the algorithms are designed to run in real time."

From Government Computer News
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