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NIST Releases Test Framework for Upgrading Smart Electrical Meters July 12, 2012

On July 10, 2012, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published its draft guidelines to provide a testing framework for securely and remotely upgrading smart electrical meter firmware.  Electrosoft developed Draft NISTIR 7823 under contract to NIST in support of the Smart Grid Conformance Testing project.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and NIST have selected Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) to provide a test bed that will enable the validation of the test procedures against a deployed smart meter and upgrade management system.  Electrosoft will assist with the development of the detailed test plan, monitor testing and interpret test results, provide recommendations on any gaps identified during testing and update the Draft NISTIR 7823 as necessary.

This effort supports NIST's broader goals of supporting security and interoperability in the Smart Grid. It also aligns with objective 3.3 of the Department of Energy's 2011 Road map to achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity, which targets the development of next generation, interoperable and upgradeable solutions by 2017.  Firmware upgradeability is an issue that extends beyond Smart Meters, of course, and it is hoped that effort will serve as an example for other categories of devices.

-Scott Shorter

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