Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Mantooth, Alan

Reader

Moquin, Joe

Abstract

For grid-connected homes equipped with solar panels, power electronics are necessary to manage and convert power between the solar panels, battery storage, grid, and residential load. A power router can be used to manage these power electronics and govern power generation, storage, and distribution within the household. This level of control makes power routers that do not employ cybersecurity a target for external attacks. The use of command validation is an effective way to prevent unauthorized commands from maliciously altering the state of a home’s power router. The purpose of this thesis is to describe the development of the command validation module for the Cybersecure Power Router (CSPR) being developed under the Cybersecurity Center for Secure Evolvable Energy Delivery Systems (SEEDS).

Packets sent over serial communication to CSPR are decoded to obtain a command that then must pass command validation to ensure the command is safe and the source is trustworthy. The command validation for CSPR consists of two phases: syntax validation and modelling validation. Syntax validation is performed by analyzing the structure of the command, whereas modelling validation checks to ensure that CSPR will not enter an unsafe state if the command is executed. The command validation for CSPR was initially prototyped in Python to verify the module met all project requirements. The module was then implemented in VHDL to be uploaded to a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) for simulation and testing according to project requirements. The research in this paper evaluates the effectiveness of using command validation for preventing malicious attacks on CSPR. Simulation results for both the Python and VHDL implementation are compared to assesses the usefulness of prototyping hardware descriptive code using Python.

Keywords

Cybersecurity, Energy Management Device, Energy Management System

Available for download on Friday, April 30, 2021

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