Secure estimation, control and optimization of uncertain cyber-physical systems with applications to power networks

Ahmad Fayez Taha, Purdue University


Transportation networks, wearable devices, energy systems, and the book you are reading now are all ubiquitous cyber-physical systems (CPS). These inherently uncertain systems combine physical phenomena with communication, data processing, control and optimization. Many CPSs are controlled and monitored by real-time control systems that use communication networks to transmit and receive data from systems modeled by physical processes. Existing studies have addressed a breadth of challenges related to the design of CPSs. However, there is a lack of studies on uncertain CPSs subject to dynamic unknown inputs and cyber-attacks—an artifact of the insertion of communication networks and the growing complexity of CPSs. The objective of this dissertation is to create secure, computational foundations for uncertain CPSs by establishing a framework to control, estimate and optimize the operation of these systems. With major emphasis on power networks, the dissertation deals with the design of secure computational methods for uncertain CPSs, focusing on three crucial issues—(1) cyber-security and risk-mitigation, (2) network-induced time-delays and perturbations and (3) the encompassed extreme time-scales. The dissertation consists of four parts. In the first part, we investigate dynamic state estimation (DSE) methods and rigorously examine the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed routines under dynamic attack-vectors and unknown inputs. In the second part, and utilizing high-frequency measurements in smart grids and the developed DSE methods in the first part, we present a risk mitigation strategy that minimizes the encountered threat levels, while ensuring the continual observability of the system through available, safe measurements. The developed methods in the first two parts rely on the assumption that the uncertain CPS is not experiencing time-delays, an assumption that might fail under certain conditions. To overcome this challenge, networked unknown input observers—observers/estimators for uncertain CPSs—are designed such that the effect of time-delays and cyber-induced perturbations are minimized, enabling secure DSE and risk mitigation in the first two parts. The final part deals with the extreme time-scales encompassed in CPSs, generally, and smart grids, specifically. Operational decisions for long time-scales can adversely affect the security of CPSs for faster time-scales. We present a model that jointly describes steady-state operation and transient stability by combining convex optimal power flow with semidefinite programming formulations of an optimal control problem. This approach can be jointly utilized with the aforementioned parts of the dissertation work, considering time-delays and DSE. The research contributions of this dissertation furnish CPS stakeholders with insights on the design and operation of uncertain CPSs, whilst guaranteeing the system's real-time safety. Finally, although many of the results of this dissertation are tailored to power systems, the results are general enough to be applied for a variety of uncertain CPSs.




Wasynczuk, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Applied Mathematics|Electrical engineering|Energy

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