The Resilient Information Architecture Platform for Smart Grid (RIAPS) is a software platform for building distributed real-time embedded applications using a component-oriented approach. RIAPS provides core infrastructure and services for building effective, secure, and powerful distributed Smart Grid applications. Applications include, but are not limited to: monitoring and control, data collection and processing, microgrids, energy management, transactive energy, and safety applications.

The RIAPS technology stack features:

  • A component-oriented programming model for distributed real-time software running on embedded nodes dispersed throughout the grid or microgrid
  • Support for low-latency, hard real-time applications via a low-overhead messaging layer
  • Services for application management, fault tolerance, security, high-precision time synchronization, distributed coordination
  • Uniform device access with support for various industrial protocols
  • A development toolkit for developing and deploying apps
  • Implementation languages include Python, C++, Simulink/Stateflow, and others



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The future of the Smart Grid for electrical power depends on computer software that has to be robust, reliable, effective, and secure. Software used for the grid will continuously grow and evolve while operating and controlling a complex physical system.

The goal of RIAPS is to provide a run-time and design-time software environment for building applications that execute on the Smart Grid. The main distinguishing characteristic of RIAPS is its completely distributed computing model: software applications are distributed across a multitude of computing nodes attached to a communication network, and each node has access to local measurements and actuators. An application consists of actors that run concurrently on one node and in parallel on many nodes. The network of interacting actors realizes the functionality of an application.

Each actor encapsulates run-time layers of RIAPS that provide many features:

  • A component framework that defines a concurrent model of computation for building distributed applications
  • A resource management framework for controlling the use of computational resources
  • A fault management framework for detecting and mitigating faults in all layers of the system
  • A security framework to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of a system under cyber attacks
  • A fault-tolerant time synchronization service
  • A coordination framework for coordinated computations and actions across the network
  • A business framework, ensuring that an application’s business logic can be kept separated from low-level details

RIAPS was developed as an ARPA-E project under Award Number DE-AR0000666 at the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) at Vanderbilt University, in coordination with NCSU’s FREEDM Center and Washington State University. It was contributed to LF Energy in 2019.

The information, data or work presented herein was funded in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-AR0000666. The views and opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.