Keynote Talk at the 2013 International Conference on Communications and Information Technology

Smart Grid Communications

Prof. Brian L. Evans

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Wireless Networking and Communications Group
The University of Texas at Austin

June 20, 2013
Crown Plaza Hotel
Beirut, Lebanon

Slides - Software Releases

Notes from IEEE Smart Grid Short Course - Tutorial paper - Video demos of impulsive noise


Smart Grid systems intelligently monitor and control energy flows in order to improve efficiency and reliability of power delivery. A local utility would receive customer load profiles from smart meters, and adjust power generation and energy distribution accordingly. Smart meters could transmit usage data over powerline or wireless links once per minute.

Smart meter communication over power lines is attractive because it uses existing infrastructure. However, it is limited by the strong impulsive noise, esp. from power electronics and wireless signals, within the 3-500 kHz transmission band.

In improving reliability of smart meter powerline communication (PLC), we derive impulsive noise models using field measurements, develop receiver methods to mitigate the noise, and implement those methods in our real-time testbed. One of our impulsive noise models has been adopted by the IEEE 1901.2 PLC standard. Our receiver methods demonstrate up to 10 dB of SNR gain, or equivalently up to a 4x increase in bit rate for the same bit error rate.

This research is supported by National Instruments, as well as SRC GRC ICSS Task 1836.063 with sponsors Freescale Semiconductor, IBM and Texas Instruments. The PLC project Web site is


Prof. Evans holds the Engineering Foundation Professorship at The University of Texas at Austin. He researches embedded real-time digital signal processing for communication and image processing systems. His research group develops theory, algorithms, design methods and full-system testbeds. He has published 200+ peer-reviewed journal/conference papers, and graduated 20 PhD and 9 MS students. He was elevated to IEEE Fellow "for contributions in multicarrier communications and image display". He received a US National Science Foundation CAREER Award.