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Cyber security analysis for the power grid using the virtual control systems environment

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3 Author(s)
Stamp, J. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; Urias, V. ; Richardson, B.

The Virtual Control System Environment (VCSE) is a hybrid simulator that is used to analyze the effects of cyber security vulnerabilities for control systems on the power grid. The VCSE allows a heterogeneous environment of real, emulated, and simulated components which allow the modeler freedom to instantiate components at varying levels of detail necessary for the analysis. Stronger modeling effort can be applied to specific systems under test while the remainder of the environment can be filled in with less labor-intensive elements. The VCSE includes software that federates and automates together capabilities across simulation domains (here, the control system components, their networking, and the power grid). This document introduces the VCSE approach to hybrid simulation of the grid and control systems (compared with other approaches). In particular, the VCSE incorporates one key feature: simulation software and hardware are federated through networking interfaces (both real and virtual). This allows for straightforward system-in-the-loop (SITL) analysis, which is of paramount importance for cyber security analysis, as the failure modes of the system under test depend so strongly on its ensemble characteristics (hardware/software/configuration/application). The paper also details the existing modeling approaches in VCSE for each major domain of simulation elements at the real/emulated/simulated levels.

Published in:

Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

24-29 July 2011