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This paper presents the design of new real time digital simulator (RTDS) based relay test systems. The background of the developments in protection relays and their associated technologies, such as optical transducers and IEC 61850, are introduced. The new developments in RTDS systems are described. It is shown that the recent developments in transducers and communication technology will have great impacts to the developments of protection relays and their associated RTDS based relay test systems. The paper further describes the existing, new developments and future trend in the development of protection relays and their associated RTDS systems.