Aranya Chakrabortty

Assistant Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering
FREEDM Systems Center
100-26 Keystone Bldg.
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695.      
Tel: 919-513-3529





Brief Biography

1.      BE in Electrical Engineering, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, 2004  

2.      Research Student, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, Summer 2003

3.      MS in Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2005.

4.      PhD in Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2008 (thesis advisors: Dr. Murat Arcak & Dr. Joe H. Chow)

5.      Postdoctoral Research Associate, Aeronautics & Astronautics Department, University of Washington, Seattle, 2008-2009

6.      Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, 2009-2010

7.      Joined NCSU from Fall 2010

8.      NSF CAREER Award, 2011

My CV can be found here.


  What’s Relatively New:

1.       May. 2015 – UK-USA-India collaborative project on power system cyber-security with University of Bradford and IIT Madras

2.       Apr. 2015 – Testbed Demo at CPS Week, Seattle, WA - link

3.       Apr 2015 -  NSF-JST-DFG Workshop in Arlington, VA (link)

4.       Mar 2015 -  ExoGENI-PMU testbed demo at US Ignite 2015 in Washington DC

5.       Mar 2015Invited talk on Distributed ADMM at SIAM CSE conference

6.       Nov 2014Paper at Conf. on Game Theory & Security (Gamesec) at USC

7.       July 2014New:  Mini-Course on ‘Graph Theory in Power Systems’ in MTNS 2014 (pdf)

8.       Sept. 2013 - New NSF grant on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS WAMS) - link

9.       May 2013 - New DOE grant, new ABB grant on wide-area communication & control

10.    Sep. 2012 - New NSF grant on Sustainable Energy Pathways

11.    Sep. 2011 - PMU research featured in American Institute of Physics – video link

12.    Sep. 2011 - PMU data analytics article in IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter

13.    Jun. 2011 -  Invited talk at IEEE Haskell Energy Workshop, Univ. of Maine

14.    May 2011 - Visiting Lund University, Sweden for LCCC Workshop

15.    May 2010 - New NSF grant for PMU based model reduction

New Papers and Results

1.      Wide-Area Damping Control Designs Using Ideas of Arbitrated Network Control – CDC 2014, CDC 2015

2.      Wide-Area Oscillation Damping Control using MPC (ACC 2015),   and Clustering/Aggregation based approach (ACC 2015)

3.      Tutorial on Wide-Area Control  (slides from ACC 2013)

4.      Two papers on distributed algorithms for estimation of power oscillation modes over a wide-area communication network – TSG CPS and IEEE PESGM

5.      Game -Theoretic Techniques for Optimizing the Economics behind Wide-Area Communication and Control – CDC 2014  

6.      Wide-Area Modeling and Identification  (a probabilistic framework for damping estimation slides)

7.      Graph-theoretic algorithms for disturbance localization in consensus networks with applications to power systems – TAC 2015, ACC 2013ACC 2014, ACC 2015

8.      Dynamic equivalencing, validation and contingency analysis of the WECC power system using PMU data (joint work with Southern California Edison)
          -   Check out
additional simulations of the above WECC model with wind integration in RTDS

9.      Experiments on wide-area mode estimation using our Exo-GENI WAMS network testbed

10.  Two new papers on coherency properties of wind-integrated power systems – paper1, paper2



News Release and Other Events

Testbed Demo at US Ignite 2014 in Sunnyvale, CA – video
WAMS Cyber-Security research for the Smart-America Initiative (collaboration with USC and Iowa State) -
Wind power dynamic modeling research with Chandra and Gayme featured in National Geographic -
NSF CPS Project Overview for PI Meeting – poster, and Youtube video
Jennifer’s research on power grid visualization is featured in NCSU Alumni mag
Best Internet App Prize for power monitoring at US-Ignite -
My recent talk at CMU –
video link
My recent talk at TCIPG seminar in UIUC –
video link
Research featured in ‘Five to Watch’ article in NC State Engineering Magazine
Presentation to middle-school students and teachers on power systems via FREEDM Young Scholar Program

Springer book on smart grid controls
Interview in Discoveries & Breakthroughs Inside Science, American Institute of Physics,
video link
NCSU-SRI Workshop on Cyber-Physical Applications in Smart Power Systems, 2011
Sciencedaily article- “
New Approach to Modeling Power System for Better Monitoring”  Jan. 2011
PMU Modeling work featured in
News Release


Research Interests

My research activities span all branches of control theory with applications to electric power systems. In NCSU I am a part of the FREEDM Systems Center, currently investigating several system and control-theoretic research problems for the US power grid using Wide-area Measurement Systems (WAMS), or Synchrophasor technology, its cyber-physical implementation via service-oriented wide-area communication networks, and its integration with renewable energy sources such as wind energy. 

I currently supervise 8 PhD, 2 MS, 1 postdoc, and 2 undergraduate research students. Some specific topics of research that my group is currently looking into are:

1.  Wide-area Monitoring and Control –Model identification, grid stress assessment, modal analysis, and wide-area control of power system networks using Synchrophasor measurements.

2. Distributed Algorithms & Communications for WAMS – Distributed asynchronous algorithms for real-time dynamic monitoring, oscillation detection, transient stability assessment, and distributed wide-area control of power systems using Synchrophasors.

3. Arbitration & Delay Robustness for Wide-Area Control – How multi-tasking communication networks lead to priority-based closed-loop delays, and how co-design can be used to counteract them for wide-area H-inf control

4. Verification & Validation of WAMS Applications  - Experimental verification of real-time oscillation monitoring algorithms via Exo-GENI WAMS network testbed developed recently at NC State

5. Graph-Theoretic Algorithms for Localizing Cyber-attacks in Power Grids – Using topological properties and algebraic graph-theory for developing algorithms that can localize and control manipulative cyber-attacks in power system networks

6. Impacts of Wind Integration on Power System Dynamics – Constructing dynamic equivalents of large wind farms using Synchrophasor data available from high-voltage terminal buses of such farms, Coherency and Aggregation Models for Wind Power Systems,

7. Visualization and Analytics for Wide-Area Monitoring – Baselining, modal analysis, visualization and fault-detection using PMU data (funded by Renaissance Computing Institute, Duke Energy Progress)


As the number of PMUs scales up into the thousands in the next few years under the US Department of Energy’s smart grid demonstration initiative, it is rather intuitive that the current state-of-the art centralized communication and information processing architecture of WAMS will no longer be sustainable, and a distributed cyber-physical architecture will need to be developed. Motivated by this challenge, over the past year my group in collaboration with the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) of UNC Chapel Hill have developed a wide-area communication testbed, referred to as the ExoGENI-WAMS testbed at the FREEDM Systems Center. The testbed has been recently federated with the DETER testbed of Information Sciences Institute at University of Southern California as a part of the Smart America Initiative of NIST. The testbed consists of two layers:

1. A hardware-in-loop set-up consisting of Real-time Digital Simulators (RTDS) integrated with multi-vendor PMUs

2. A cloud-based multi-port, multi-user ExoGENI+DETER network that can transport PMU data from the RTDS to a network of virtual PDCs (phasor data concentrators), and execute distributed monitoring and control algorithms in real-time.

ExoGENI allows users to create custom topologies using resources from multiple federated providers via a control and management software called the Open Resource Control Architecture (ORCA) to orchestrate the networked cloud resource provisioning. It showcases the fact that the current design practice based on the centralized servers and IP-based Internet architecture is not an economical and efficient solution to satisfy the real-time requirement of processing large volumes of Synchrophasor data. Instead, an IaaS based solution is much more practical. ExoGENI service allows dynamic provisioning of virtual machines of different CPU and memory capacities with customized software images. With this capability, the WAMS communication network can automatically request for the right virtual machine to run the best real-time algorithm – eg. distributed oscillation monitoring, state estimation and wide-area controls. Connection to DETER, on the other hand, allows us to carry out diverse cyber-security related experiments on wide-area monitoring and control loops.


Check out a concept paper for this testbed, presented at CPS Week in Seattle, WA, Apr. 2015.


The project is funded partly by the US Department of Energy, NSF CPS grant, and ABB Corporate Research.

Check out some links on ExoGENI-WAMS:

1.      Distributed Wide-area Oscillation Monitoring using ExoGENI and Software Defined Networks  

2.      Constructing attack-resilient communication topologies via a federation of RTDS-WAMS testbed and DETER-lab (collaboration with Univ of Southern California)

3.      Demonstration at the US Ignite Event in summer 2013

4.      Check out the report for creating dynamic network topologies in ExoGENI integrated with RTDS and PMUs

An introductory research brochure for my PhasorLab, featuring several recently procured PMUs, can be found here.



Please click here for a full list of my publications.

Some Poster and Powerpoint presentations about my work on phasor measurements can be found at the following links:

Decoy Algorithms for Eavesdropping Attack Detection in Power Systems, NC State Undergraduate Symposium, 2014
Electrical Distances and their Impacts on Power System Response, NC State Undergraduate Symposium, 2013
New posters on localization by Tom, and PMU testbench by Matt
Distance Characterization and Disturbance Localization in Dynamic Networks, NC State Graduate Symposium, 2012
Synchrophasor Research at FREEDM Systems Center, FREEDM Annual Site Visit, 2012
Visualization Interface Design for Wide-Area Monitoring, NC State Undergraduate Symposium, 2011
Research Overview in Fall ECE Retreat, NC State University, 2010

 Seminar for Power Systems Group, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 2009
Texas Tech Graduate Seminar on Smart Grid Research, 2009
RCM Seminar, University of Washington, Seattle, 2009      
 NASPI Group Meeting, Charlotte, NC, 2008
CATS Technology Showcase, RPI, Troy, NY, 2008
IEEE PES General Meeting Student Poster Session, Tampa, FL, 2007
CATS Automation Open House, RPI, Troy, NY, 2006



NC State University:

1. ECE 451: Power Systems Analysis – Fall 2012, 2013
2. ECE 736: Power Systems Stability and Control – Fall 2010, 2011, Spring 2013, 2014, 2015
3. ECE 726: Optimal ControlSpring 2012, Fall 2014

Texas Tech University:

1. Power Systems Dynamics and Stability – Fall 2009
2. Wind Power System Modeling and Simulation – Spring 2010


Professional Activities:

·         Committee member for IEEE CSS and CS Smart Grid Vision documentation.

·         Associate Editor for IEEE Control System Society Conference Editorial Board (2013-present)


·         Conference TPC or Operating Committee member for:

1.      Vice-President for Industry Applications – American Control Conference 2016, Boston

2.      TPC Chair for Smart Grid Control Workshop at WiSATS 2015, Bradford, UK, 2015.

3.      IEEE Conference on Smart Grid Communications (Smartgridcomm) 2012-2013

4.      American Control Conference -  2013, 2015

5.      International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS, CPS Week) 2013

6.      2nd IEEE INFOCOM Workshop on Communications and Control for Smart Energy Systems, 2013

7.      Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems, Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), 2013


·         Journal Reviewer for Automatica (Elsevier), IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grids, IEEE Transactions on Control and Network Systems, IEEE Power Electronics Letters, Journal of Process Control (Elsevier), Control Engineering Practice, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (Elsevier),  Mathematical Problems in Engineering, SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, etc.


·         Conference Reviewer for: IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,  American Control Conference, IEEE MSC, IEEE PES General Meeting, IEEE ISGT, IEEE T&D Conference, IEEE Smartgridcomm, European Control Conference, IEEE Powertech, AIAA Conference on Guidance, Navigation and Control  


·         Senior Member of IEEE, IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS), IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES).



IEEE Explore, Sciencedirect, NASPI, FNET, IEEE PES, SAMSI, NSF, Phase-plane diagrams for nonlinear systems