News in Brief

NIST director, Army training and connecting the grid

Image from Commerce.gov: Willie May.

Newly confirmed NIST Director Willie May has been with the agency for 44 years.

Senate confirms NIST director

The Senate has confirmed Willie May as undersecretary of Commerce for standards and technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, on a vote of 93-0.

May, a 44-year veteran of NIST, has been acting director since June 2014. He led research into activities related to chemical and biological measurement science before serving as associate director for laboratory programs and principal deputy to the NIST director.

Army opens its training network to non-CAC access

The Army has made it easier to access its primary website for training information by allowing soldiers to log in with a username and password without requiring a Common Access Card, Defense Systems reports. The move opens up the Army Training Network to access via smartphones and tablets that don't have CAC readers.

Despite the associated security concerns, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno directed the username and password implementation as a way to ensure the widest possible access to authoritative training information. To ameliorate security concerns, the Army's Training Management Directorate made a few changes to the network, such as restricting information labeled For Official Use Only to CAC users.

DOE labs connect grid models via Internet

Two of the Energy Department's research labs have shown they can connect electric power grid simulations in real time via the Internet.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) successfully demonstrated a new capability that enables modeling of power grids in greater detail by allowing software and equipment anywhere in the world to establish a real-time connection to DOE's national laboratory complex.

The two laboratories connected their Real-Time Digital Simulators (RTDS) and achieved grid simulation so hardware or software in one lab can directly interact with the hardware or software at the other.

Connecting two grid-simulation models at a distance requires rapid, reliable communication with little delay time. INL said the connection successfully exchanged data that was sampled 1,200 times a second, with an average delay time of only 28 milliseconds.

The successful test demonstrated that facilities in many locations could connect with the system for advanced demonstrations, and it opened the door for RTDS' network to become a virtual laboratory that allows multiple organizations to cooperate on energy integration, particularly for grid simulations.

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