Communication and Power Networks: Architecture (Part II)

In part I of this post, we have seen how a layered architecture has transformed the communication network.   What is so difficult about a layered architecture for the power network?   Let’s again look first at its role in the communication network.

DARPA started a packet network in 1969 with four nodes at UCLA, UCSB, SRI (Stanford Research Institute), the University of Utah, that grew into today’s Internet.   Early to mid 1990s was when the world at large discovered the Internet.   The release of the Mosaic browser in 1993 by the National Center of Supercomputing Applications of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has probably played the most visible role in triggering this transition.  But 1990s was also the time when multiple technologies and infrastructures have come together to ready the Internet for prime time.   What exactly was the role of layering?

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Communication and Power Networks: Architecture (Part I)

Adam took the courageous dive into the world of blogging about us at Caltech living in “the gap.”   I dare not commit to regular contributions as he admirably has, but have agreed to write a series of posts contrasting R&D for power and communication networks.  This is the first in this series, and my first-ever blog post!

Smart grid is in vogue these days, for good reasons.   As always, excitement garners people, ideas, and resources; but if not well-managed, can create disillusion that pushes the pendulum back.   It’d be impossible to predict how the current resurgence of interest in power systems R&D will play out, but the confluence of powerful forces will likely (and hopefully) drive dramatic advances in the coming decades.   We plan to chat about these in this space over the coming months.

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