Smart City Testbed NYUAD
The concept of a “Smart City” is an emerging topic of research that is driven by the need to enhance the quality of life of the ever-growing number of inhabitants in urban areas. As world urbanization continually grows and the world’s population is expected to increase significantly by 2050, smart cities offer an attractive solution that can contribute in economic growth, increased efficiency of energy and transportation systems and promote sustainable development.
One of the main research challenges that the development of smart cities faces, is the assurance that the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) that control and monitor the city’s operations are working in a safe, secure and reliable manner. With increased integration between computer systems, physical devices and multiple data sources, the cyber security of smart cities quickly becomes a multidisciplinary problem that requires novel solutions.
Embracing the motto “we do not have the option of turning away from the future”, the Center for Cyber Security in New York University Abu Dhabi (CCS-AD) is developing a smart city testbed. The purpose of the testbed is to provide a realistic and real-time smart city environment for researchers to perform security evaluations on the equipment. It consists of security sensitive and potentially vulnerable devices like control systems (e.g. programmable logic controllers – PLCs), smart grid devices, smart sensors/actuators used in intelligent buildings and houses, environmental sensors, networking devices/gateways and a local server that acts as an Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform. The devices are deployed in Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) simulations, using software elements and mathematical models suitable for each application. All of the devices are interconnected and exchange data through the testbed’s networking infrastructure and are monitored and controlled by an IoT platform.
The Smart City testbed incorporates components from different domains that are expected to be found in a smart city environment. In particular, we include devices used in:
Chemical plant process
Intelligent transportation system
Desalination plant (Under construction)
The lab space is an open environment, where researchers are welcome to perform multiple studies and evaluate their results on a realistic environment.