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Cyber-Physical Experimentation Environment for RADICS (CEER)

funded by DARPA

Illinois researchers: Tim Yardley and David M. Nicol

Researchers seek to close the gap between future needs and current state-of-the-art through an advanced electric power grid testbed, CEER, that is innovative in several ways.

CEER brings to the ICS domain, for the first time, production quality software to flexibly (and remotely) define experiments, configure testbed resources, and run an experiment. It uses state-of-the-art modeling of grid systems to provide a synthetic but realistic dynamic grid state. In addition, it brings cutting-edge applied research in the temporal coordination of real devices, device emulation, and simulators of diverse kinds, which enable creation of experimental topologies that are much larger than the ensemble of physical ICS devices in the testbed.

Further, CEER brings best-of-breed ICS system instrumentation and monitoring technology to enable users to closely track the results of testing. It employs the expertise and tremendous real deployment archives of information from a major electric utility, and two major ICS device vendors.

CEER provides the fidelity necessary to build confidence that newly developed technologies will work to protect, detect, mitigate, and restore the electric power grid in the face of a determined adversary. CEER will be able to accurately represent smart grid interactions from generation to transmission to distribution. It will support high-fidelity exploration of assets in each of these domains including, but not limited to, generation assets, grid components in transmission and distribution substations, control center operation, and advanced metering infrastructure.

This will specifically enable researchers to operate in a full-fidelity utility environment that allows them to:

  • map the industrial control systems.
  • gather configuration data.
  • understand the behavior of the system.
  • explore the physical telemetry.
  • determine which devices are behaving correctly or incorrectly.
  • discover and characterize malware.
  • observe real-time operation.
  • pull from historical operation.
  • determine a path forward to restore and maintain control of the electric grid moving forward.