Sensing and Measurements

Improved sensing and measurements throughout the electric infrastructure, from generation through end use, and at multiple time scales—from microseconds to hours and days—is needed to support advances in system operation and control.

Research within this technical area falls under six main activities with related goals.

Activity 1: Improve Sensing for Buildings and End Users 

Goal:  Enable buildings to communicate with grid control systems to offer grid services while continuing to serve occupants and keep sensitive information secure.

Activity 2: Enhance Sensing for Distribution Systems

Goal: Develop sensors, visualization techniques, and tools to better determine the distribution grid status.

Activity 3: Enhanced Sensing for Transmission Systems

Goal: Develop detailed, system-wide monitoring of the transmission system and external effects, including weather events for predictive failure analysis

Activity 4: Develop Data Analytics and Visualization Techniques

Goal: Data volumes are expected to grow exponentially in the next few years; this activity will identify the most important parameters for turning this data into actionable intelligence.

Activity 5: Demonstrate a Unified Grid Communications Network

Goal: Develop a communication infrastructure capable of managing the anticipated increase of grid data traffic. This will support the automation of the power grid, improving reliability and safety in the face of high renewable penetrations and cybersecurity threats.

Activity 6: Regional and Crosscutting Initiatives

Goal: Create a federal network for sharing grid data and develop regional and national infrastructures for environmental sensing and forecasting.


Team Lead/Lab Team

Lead: Tom King, (ORNL)


  • Mike McElfresh (ANL)
  • Mike Villaran (BNL)
  • Tom Baldwin (INL)
  • Steven Lanzisera (LBNL)
  • Phil Top (LLNL)
  • Paul Ohodnicki (NETL)
  • Bri-Mathias Hodge (NREL)
  • Jeff Taft (PNNL)
  • Abe Ellis (SNL)
  • Chip Fisher (SRNL)