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DE-SC0019925: Ensuring Data Integrity at the Source

Award Status: Active
  • Institution: Cybitron, LLC, HUNTSVILLE, AL
  • DUNS: 116944846
  • PM: Irwin, Christopher
  • Most Recent Award Date: 07/12/2019
  • Number of Support Periods: 1
  • PI: Bunfield, Dennis
  • Current Budget Period: 07/01/2019 - 06/30/2020
  • Current Project Period: 07/01/2019 - 06/30/2020
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A
 

Public Abstract

Ensuring Data Integrity at the Source - Cybitron LLC, 1694 Longleaf Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35806-3419

Dennis Bunfield, Principal Investigator, dbunfield@cybitron.com

Dennis Bunfield, Business Official, dbunfield@cybitron.com

Amount:  $199,660

 

Electric grids are quickly evolving with advanced monitoring and information management as well as communication through connected devices. Although the number of devices and sensors coming online is increasing exponentially, the same vulnerabilities remain in data integrity at the source and during transport. The overall objectives of this proposal is to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology. The proposed approach includes securing these devices by cryptographically signing produced data at or near the data origin through the use of a blockchain entry signing device. A permissioned blockchain design that uses an efficient multi-leader consensus mechanism without requiring computationally expensive proof-of-work algorithms to secure the blockchain will be used. Each device will have its own chain with a unique on-chain identity. A prototype system will also be developed that integrates the blockchain solution with the Open Field Message Bus. Interfaces between the blockchain and the message bus will also be designed.

 

If carried over into Phase II, the resulting technology developed as a result of this project would help improve security of everyday devices used by consumers in addition to Industrial equipment. Working with manufactures, the cryptographic device can be embedded within the vendors hardware providing a cost effective means by which any device can be secured out-of-the-box via blockchain technology. Securing data at the source means data is protected and devices are secured and impervious to malicious actors. Integration of this technology with the electric grid will mean a more resilient system able to handle the demands of today’s power requirements with the ability to scale for the needs of the future. Through the use of blockchain technology an immutable layer can be built for industrial systems that can improve environmental and workplace safety and lower costs by creating immutable digital audit trails.



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