Simultaneous Powerline and Wireless Smart Grid Communications Testbed

Junmo Sung and Brian L. Evans, The University of Texas at Austin

Version 2.0 (March 29, 2017) - Version 1.0 (September 14, 2016)

Two-way smart grid communication is enabled by either powerline communication (PLC) or wireless communication technologies. Utilizing both technologies for simultaneous transmission can potentially enhance communication reliability, and many diversity combining schemes have been proposed. However, their assumptions may break under realistic conditions. We have developed a flexible real-time testbed to evaluate various diversity combining schemes over physical channels.

Software Requirements

Hardware Requirements

Hardware does not have to be exactly identical to the above list. The list includes hardware used for code development.

How to run

  1. Run both controllers in the RT mode, and discover them from a desktop/laptop on NI MAX. All of them should be on the same local subnet.
  2. Open two top-level VIs for the PLC and wireless systems. Their names are '' and '', and each of them is located under each PXI RT target in the project explorer.
  3. Set 'Tx', 'Rx' and 'RIO Devices' to your hardware, and run both top-level VIs. You may run either of them first.
  4. When the 'system status' indicator on the PLC system front panel reads 'Ready' and the 'FPGA Running' indicator on the wireless system front panel is ON, click on the 'Send' button on the wireless system front panel. You will see constellation diagrams on both front panels.
  5. Play with controls and modify subVIs as needed.


J. Sung and B. L. Evans, "Real-Time Testbed for Diversity in Powerline and Wireless Smart Grid Communications", Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Communications Work. Integrating Comm., Control, Comp. Tech. for Smart Grid, May 20-24, 2018, Kansas City, MO, USA, 6 pages.