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Wei Sun (PI), Zhihua Qu (Co-PI), Aleksander Dimitrovski (Co-PI)

Total: $4,700,000

Funder: Department of Energy

The project goal is to identify and address cybersecurity gaps by developing multi-layer multi-channel cyber-physical defense and survival mechanisms for operating distribution networks with high penetration of DERs. The proposed security enhancements are built upon the distributed framework and solution architecture for both information technology and operational technology systems. The technical solutions consist of two composite functionalities and six layers: proactive defense (vulnerability assessment, communication protection, and attack detection, as layers 1-3), and adaptive self-healing (attack-resilient control, adaptive recovery, and resilient survival, as layers 4-6). The project has six technical objectives: 1) Quantify impact of potential sophisticated attacks and identify major vulnerabilities in IT OT systems; 2) Develop a multi-channel robustification scheme to protect the communication infrastructure for utility and customer assets; 3) Extend situational awareness to the grid edge for attack detection; 4) Develop attack-resilient cooperative controls for DERs; 5) Recover and survive from attacks through distributed reconfiguration and resilient restoration; 6) Integrate novel technical solutions into the distributed and interoperable framework, OpenDSP.

Principal Investigator

Wei Sun, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Zhihua Qu, Ph.D.
Thomas J. Riordan and Herbert C. Towle Chair and Pegasus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Aleksandar Dimitrovski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering