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Primeur weekly 2019-02-18

Focus

2018 - Another year on the Road to Exascale - Part III - Software and applications ...

EOSCpilot science demonstrators boost follow-up initiatives in federating European Open Science Cloud concept ...

Quantum computing

Questions in quantum computing: How to move electrons with light ...

Focus on Europe

Arm SVE Hackathon to focus on Arm Scalable Performance for HPC and ML ...

EuroHPC Summit Week 2019: PRACEdays19 Call for Contributions and Posters is open ...

PRACE Ada Lovelace Award nominations open ...

Middleware

Bright Computing selects XENON as an Asia Pacific Services Partner ...

Hardware

RIKEN issues call for proposals for the name of the post-K ...

Fujitsu receives order for massively parallel supercomputer system called Oakbridge-CX from the University of Tokyo ...

Cray reports 2018 full year and fourth quarter financial results ...

South African Weather Center doubles computing and triples storage system capacities with Cray ...

WekaIO Matrix cements its storage leadership with groundbreaking performance and latency results on SPEC SFS 2014 ...

NERSC tape archives make the move to Berkeley Lab's Shyh Wang Hall ...

NVIDIA announces financial results for fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 ...

Applications

CERIC-ERIC call for proposals is now open ...

CalTech researcher uses Blue Waters to model galactic atmospheres ...

Six research groups awarded new GLCPC allocations on Blue Waters supercomputer ...

Visualizing biomedical breakthroughs in data ...

Theories describe dynamically disordered solid materials ...

Dark fiber lays groundwork for long-distance earthquake detection and groundwater mapping ...

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, supercomputing effort reveal antibody secrets ...

ORNL teams with Los Alamos and EPB to demonstrate next-generation grid security tech ...

The Cloud

IBM Watson now available anywhere ...

ORNL teams with Los Alamos and EPB to demonstrate next-generation grid security tech


Oak Ridge and Los Alamos national laboratory researchers collaborated with Chattanooga utility EPB to demonstrate next-generation grid security technology. Back row, from left: EPB's Ken Jones, Manager, Fiber Design; Nick Peters, ORNL senior scientist and leader of the laboratory's Quantum Communications team; and ORNL researcher Phil Evans. Front row, from left: Los Alamos's Glen Peterson; EPB's Senior Engineer for IT Engineering Tyler Morgan; and EPB's Director of Strategic Planning Lilian Bruce. Credit: EPB.
12 Feb 2019 Oak Ridge - A team of researchers from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge (ORNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratories has partnered with EPB, a Chattanooga utility and telecommunications company, to demonstrate the effectiveness of metro-scale quantum key distribution (QKD) as a means of secure communication for the USA's electricity suppliers. This initial milestone is part of the team's three-year project focused on next-generation grid security.

QKD harnesses the inherent randomness of quantum mechanics to authenticate and encrypt data. The technology allows two parties to share a secret "key" and alerts both parties to any third-party intrusion, a critical security capability as more of the nation's grid is modernized and data are moved online.

The goal of this initial demonstration, conducted by ORNL's Nick Peters and Phil Evans, Los Alamos's Ray Newell and Glen Peterson, and EPB's Tyler Morgan, Ken Jones, and Steve Morrison, was to prove the interoperability of disparate QKD systems. ORNL senior scientist Peters said that because utilities are largely regional, providers use a mix of components and have fluctuating upgrade schedules. Ensuring that different utility providers can operate in sync across the USA's electric grid is critical to realizing the potential of QKD on a national scale.

To prepare for the demonstration, the ORNL researchers modified a commercial QKD system while Los Alamos developed its own custom system in-house; both systems generated separate keys that, when interfaced at a "trusted node", or secure information exchange, generated a third key, which was then distributed between the Los Alamos and ORNL systems.

"This demonstration accomplished two things: it showed that different systems can operate together and it established the functionality needed to relay keys over larger distances often encountered on the electric grid", stated Nick Peters, leader of ORNL's quantum communications team.

Added Ray Newell, Los Alamos research scientist and leader of their quantum communications team: "Recent demonstrations at Los Alamos have shown that QKD systems can operate on existing electric infrastructure in real-world settings, including during a historic snowfall. Our partnership with ORNL and EPB shows that utilities can realize the benefits of quantum security using a mix of distinct but interoperable communication systems."

Both ORNL and Los Alamos have dedicated many years to developing quantum communications systems, and several technologies developed by the laboratories are currently licensed to industry.

The demonstration took place at EPB, which, according to ORNL's Phil Evans, is an ideal partner because the utility has deployed a fiber optic network in concert with its electrical distribution infrastructure. Besides that, "they are engaged with us on multiple projects for facilitating next-generation technologies to secure our nation's infrastructure", he added.

"For EPB, partnering with Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories is an opportunity to field test new technologies and best practices to help maintain the security and reliability of the power grid for everyone in America", stated Steve Morrison, EPB's Director of Information Security. "We're honoured to do our part to assist the progress of this important effort."

Despite the demo's success, however, there is still work to do. Next, the researchers will work toward overcoming QKD's notorious distance limitations.

Much like electrical resistance reduces the amount of electricity being transmitted as distance increases across traditional power lines, increasing the distance of fiber optic transmissions reduces the throughput of quantum communications. For the nation's electric grid, increasing the distances over which these QKD systems can effectively be used is critical, and for that the researchers will once again rely on trusted nodes, in this case EPB's electrical substations.

The eventual goal is to implement QKD systems in numerous substations, which are placed at intervals and are capable of relaying the quantum keys. ORNL's Phil Evans compared it to a relay race, in which one runner passes the baton to another, with each runner carrying the baton for a certain interval. By passing the baton at each substation before the signal is lost, the signal is refreshed for the next journey and so on, potentially expanding the range of QKD technology significantly.

This research was supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response.
Source: DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2019-02-18

Focus

2018 - Another year on the Road to Exascale - Part III - Software and applications ...

EOSCpilot science demonstrators boost follow-up initiatives in federating European Open Science Cloud concept ...

Quantum computing

Questions in quantum computing: How to move electrons with light ...

Focus on Europe

Arm SVE Hackathon to focus on Arm Scalable Performance for HPC and ML ...

EuroHPC Summit Week 2019: PRACEdays19 Call for Contributions and Posters is open ...

PRACE Ada Lovelace Award nominations open ...

Middleware

Bright Computing selects XENON as an Asia Pacific Services Partner ...

Hardware

RIKEN issues call for proposals for the name of the post-K ...

Fujitsu receives order for massively parallel supercomputer system called Oakbridge-CX from the University of Tokyo ...

Cray reports 2018 full year and fourth quarter financial results ...

South African Weather Center doubles computing and triples storage system capacities with Cray ...

WekaIO Matrix cements its storage leadership with groundbreaking performance and latency results on SPEC SFS 2014 ...

NERSC tape archives make the move to Berkeley Lab's Shyh Wang Hall ...

NVIDIA announces financial results for fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 ...

Applications

CERIC-ERIC call for proposals is now open ...

CalTech researcher uses Blue Waters to model galactic atmospheres ...

Six research groups awarded new GLCPC allocations on Blue Waters supercomputer ...

Visualizing biomedical breakthroughs in data ...

Theories describe dynamically disordered solid materials ...

Dark fiber lays groundwork for long-distance earthquake detection and groundwater mapping ...

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, supercomputing effort reveal antibody secrets ...

ORNL teams with Los Alamos and EPB to demonstrate next-generation grid security tech ...

The Cloud

IBM Watson now available anywhere ...