The ongoing digitalization of the overall electrical power generation, transmission and distribution network will result in a sensor-based communication-enabled autonomous system where information and telecommunication technologies will be used to monitor, control and optimize the functioning of the entire electrical power grid; resulting in a cyber-physical power system (CPS). Before this becomes possible, the link between computational (ICT) and physical electrical power elements needs to be carefully investigated, and exploited to increase the adaptability, autonomy, functionality, cyber security and utilization of the electrical network. To this aim, the development of software and hardware in the form of embedded systems/devices and software applications plays a major role.


To tackle these challenges, since 2010, the research team  (Smart Transmission Systems Lab (SmarTS Lab)) led by Dr. Luigi Vanfretti has worked in different national and more importantly, international projects, which deal with the design, modeling and simulation, implementation, testing and operation of cyber-physical components, software and end-to-end CPS systems that will facilitate the transition of today’s electrical power systems into smart grids.

Vision: To create concepts, methods, and tools facilitating the operation of cyber-physical power systems (a.k.a. smart grids) in a sustainable, flexible, resilient and efficient manner.

Mission: To conduct theoretical and applied research focusing in the design, simulation, implementation and utilization of synchrophasor (PMU) technologies and modeling & simulation tools, in order to develop applicable solutions enabling cyber-physical power systems.

Research Areas:

  • Monitoring tools allowing real-time assessment of the electric grid and supporting infrastructure
  • Data Analytic methods and tools to extract information from real-time measurements and simulations of electrical power grids
  • Predictive tools to anticipate uncertainties and perform grid optimization through modern computing technologies.
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  • Control methods and technologies for design, optimization, management and coordination of distributed controllable assets
  • Self-healing protection methods and systems to mitigate grid failures and enhance the coordination between protection and control schemes.
  • Modeling and simulation technologies aiding in the development of all the technologies above.

Research Approach

SmarTS Lab fully adopts the model-based design process to develop concepts, methods and tools applicable for design, modeling and simulation, implementation and utilization of cyber-physical power systems. This is carried out through theoretical and experimental research that exploits numerical simulations, experimental real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulations, and field testing with industry leaders such as Statnett SF (the Norwegian transmission system operator), RTE (the French transmission system operator), to name a few.

SmartTS Lab Architecture

The "Smart Transmission Systems Laboratory" is a hardware and software research "test bed" or platform intended to develop different Wide Area Measurement, Protection and Control (WAMPAC) applications which exploit PMU data that, when functional, can be utilized by Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and utilities for safe, efficient and reliable operation of power systems.