NIST Cooperative on 21st Century Smart Systems

Thursday, October 20, 2011



The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) last week awarded a $1 million cooperative agreement to the University of Maryland at College Park (UMD).

Researchers at UMD’s Institute for Systems Research will help NIST as it develops and deploys standards, test methods and measurement tools to support consistently reliable performance of new smart systems.

The new technologies, known as cyber-physical systems (CPS), are networked physical, computer and biological technologies. Examples are building control systems and remotely monitored and controlled medical devices.

Computing, communication and automation capabilities are integrated into nearly every interconnected component of such systems, including the materials from which they are made.

By developing standards, test methods and measurement tools, the UMD/NIST effort can help U.S. industry accelerate development of innovative cyber-physical system products that create jobs, while also protecting these new types of CPS infrastructure from cyber threats.

“Smart vehicles, buildings, electric grids and manufactured products that combine IT and physical technologies into interactive, self-fixing systems are transforming industries,” explains Shyam Sunder, director of NIST’s Engineering Laboratory.

“These systems are fiendishly complex. Yet, the hardware and software must work 100 percent of the time. We want to help industry ensure that the systems are safe, secure and resilient.”

Computing, sensing, communication, control and related technologies already account for significant shares of the cost of cars, planes, machine tools, medical equipment and a host of other products. For many of these products, the CPS portion is expected to exceed 50 percent by the end of the decade. Innovations that distinguish one competitor’s offerings from the rest of the pack will depend increasingly on the mastery of CPS.

Under the new cooperative agreement, UMD and NIST will evaluate the existing technical and theoretical foundation for today’s rapidly evolving CPS, identify gaps and obstacles, and ascertain needs for measurement and standards. Institute for Systems Research staff also will assess existing and anticipated markets and develop a framework to help guide investments in CPS-related research.

Awarded over three years, the funding also will support efforts to devise a framework to foster an “open standards platform” approach that will enable systems and underlying subsystems and components to work together in an interoperable manner, unleashing creativity in developing innovative, new applications. A fourth set of research activities will focus on developing modeling and analytic tools for designing, integrating, testing and managing CPS.

“While we can expect an ever larger and more diverse range of smart operating systems and applications, they all share a basic set of requirements that should not be addressed in stovepipe fashion. With this effort we will take a broad view of these new technologies as we develop standards and measurement tools that would apply to all," says Sunder.

“Current approaches to engineering CPS are at their infancy at best, and they are too application-specific, too costly, too error prone, and they take too long,” explains UMD principal investigator John S. Baras, the Lockheed Martin Professor in Systems Engineering and former (founding) director of the Institute for Systems Research.

“There is a clear need for unifying principles within and across application domains. Investigating and understanding how the cyber components can be synergistically interweaved with the diverse physical components in CPS pose foundational research challenges in science, engineering and computing, and they will transform science and engineering education. We welcome the opportunity to help meet this need and the associated challenges by working closely with NIST scientists and engineers.”

Established in 1985 as one of the National Science Foundation's first six Engineering Research Centers, the Institute for Systems Research is an interdisciplinary research unit within the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. It is home to about 100 faculty and other researchers from 14 departments and four colleges across the university.

NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce. It promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.


Possibly Related Articles:
NIST Research Government Cyber Security Headlines Network Security cyber-physical systems CPS Smart Systems
Post Rating I Like this!
Sylvester K I would like to congratulate the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for receiving this honor. Several advances in scientific research are flourishing as new proposals and discoveries are presented by the Science enthusiasts. Indeed, human-computer hybrids were a thing only of theory. Two new improvements, however, have made them even more feasible. Scientists, however, have introduced two brand new developments to light. They will probably cost huge payday loans after they come out.
karmie bach Human and computer hybrids have always been a theoretical likelihood, but not a real possibility. Experts, however, have introduced two brand new developments to light. Two new developments bring biological computing closer than ever. In a combined effort, Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University have announced that a wearable touchscreen has been developed. The system uses a laser projector and depth-sensing camera. The system projects a touch screen onto any surface (including skin), and tracks hand and finger movements. This means that any surface can become a touchscreen or keyboard. The current OmniTouch system is housed in a shoulder-worn unit, and can project onto almost any surface. The unit is too bulky for commercial sale, but plans are in place to shrink the unit.
The views expressed in this post are the opinions of the Infosec Island member that posted this content. Infosec Island is not responsible for the content or messaging of this post.

Unauthorized reproduction of this article (in part or in whole) is prohibited without the express written permission of Infosec Island and the Infosec Island member that posted this content--this includes using our RSS feed for any purpose other than personal use.