The Michigan Tech Cyber-Physical System Research Group

The Michigan Tech Cyber-Physical System Research Group is focused on all aspects of cyber-physical System (CPS) research, which addresses the close interactions and feedback loop among sensing data information and dynamic physical system together with human activities, platforms and stringent computational constraints. Our group consists of 11 faculty members across four departments including Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Department of Mechenical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and School of Technology. We are conducting the research ranging from smart home system, cyberphysical biochip integration, smart power distribution system, smart underwater system, to smart energy storage system. Among our interests are cybersecurity, reliability, energy efficiency, and computation associated with those CPS systems. Our research has been supported by multiple funding agencies such as National Science Foundation and Department of Defense.

Our group members are mainly located in the EERC building at Michigan Tech, which enjoys state-of-the-art computing and conference facilities. You are welcome to contact us to seek potential collaboration in terms of both academic and industrial CPS research.

EERC Building

Smart Home System and Security

The massive deployment of advanced metering infrastructure has mandated a transformative shift of the classical home energy system into a more convenient, reliable and secure smart home system. In such a system, the smart controller enables the automatic scheduling of household activities targeting energy efficiency improvement, electricity bill reduction and load balancing. Despite its importance, the system is vulnerable to various cyberattacks such as energy theft, pricing hack and crosslayer cyberthreat. This line of research has been focused on the assessment of the vulnerability of smart home systems and the development of the advanced control theoretic and algorithmic defense technologies.

Further Reading

Smart Home

Cyberphysical Biochip Integration

Microfluidic biochips are replacing traditional bench top protocols by integrating most functionality of biochemical analysis on a single chip. As the next generation of biochips, digital microfluidic biochips offers unparalleled reconfigurability and flexibility compared to the first generation flow based biochips. Reagents are manipulated as droplets on virtual devices, formed by adjacent electrodes that are dynamically grouped. Therefore, multiple biochemical operations can be configured to perform simultaneously on chip to maximize parallelism and minimize the total completion time. Due to the ubiquitous randomness and high complexity, biochemical reactions are error-prune. It leads to the wastage of samples which are difficult to obtain and expensive reagents. Optical sensors are introduced on chip to detect the intermediate solutions at checkpoints of the biochemical experiment flow. This process allows the error recovery technology which avoids the repetition of the entire biochemical experiment is avoided. This line of research aims to jointly optimize the sensor deployment and the operations scheduling for microfluidic biochip design.


Smart Underwater System

Due to the broadcast transmission in nature, the underwater acoustic (UWA) communication are vulnerable to security attacks. Although considerable advances in UWA communications and networking have been made in the last decade, research on the UWA communications and networking security is limited. Compared to the radio environment, secure communications in UWA environment is more challenging, because of multi-path echoes, limited bandwidth, and high and variable propagation delays in UWA channels. Current security schemes available in terrestrial radio network are difficult to realize in UWA networks directly. By exploiting channel randomness, we follow the line of physical-layer security to provide confidential UWA communications.

Smart Power Distribution System

In the smart grid infrastructure, the power distribution systems is evolving into a new system integrating advanced metering, two way communications and otherautomation technologies. Dynamic pricing schemes enforce direct load control to be integrated with demand side management, demand response and demand control programs. In this context, the conventional distribution system operations are no longer valid. We consider the three phase models of distribution system for more precise operational decisions taking advantage of the advanced metering infrastructure, improved communication capacities and improved infrastructure of control systems, which makes the conventional distribution system a smart distribution system.