• Communications Division

    Automation CyberSecurity:  Time for a Change?


    January 1, 2018: A technical article regarding Industrial Automation CyberSecurity was published in the November-December 2017 issue of InTech.  This article was coauthored by the Directors of ISA’s Test & Measurement Division (Fuhr) and Communications Division (Rooke).  The online "edition" of the magazine is available at: https://www.isa.org/intech/20171201/


    ISA Communication Division 
    Director's Message 
    December 2017 
    Dr. Penny Chen  


          2017 is coming to the end and we wish you and your family a Happy New Year-- from the Communication Division Director, Dr. Penny Chen (2015~2017), the Director-Elect, Dr. Sterling Rooke (2018~2019), and the formal Directors Dr. Peter Fuhr (2013~2014).

          During 2017, the ISA Communication Division worked with the Test & Measurement Division and hosted the 2017 International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS), co-located with the 2017 Process Control and Safety Symposium (PCS).  In the past three years, the Communication Division joined with other ISA Divisions to host the Communication Track in ISA, PCS, and IIS.  We covered a variety of papers, panel discussions, and workshops which include:

    • Industrial IoT (IIoT) and different IoT activities  
    • Wireless Sensor Network for Industrial Applications  
    • Remote Operations and Maintenances  
    • Enhancing Safety using Wireless Technology  
    • User's View of IIoT, Introduced Time Sensitive Network (TSN)  
    • End User Field Study on Wireless Technology  
    • Spectrum Sharing for Instrumentation and Telecommunication  
    • Many of the front end technology that related and suitable for industrial applications.        

         In additional to joining the ISA Division Symposiums, the Communication Division has also partnered with NASA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to organize multiple Passive Wireless Sensor Tag Workshops that introduced Passive Wireless Sensor Technology and Applications. You can find the workshop material on the Communication Division's website.

          Why has the Communication Division joined multiple ISA Division Symposiums throughout the years?  This is because networking technologies are the fundamental technologies that support industrial applications and ensure the application fulfills its purpose.  Networking technology is a common subject across different ISA Divisions Symposiums.  Therefore, the Communication Division joined a variety of the ISA Division Symposiums throughout the years to educate and promote how to use the right networking technologies for industrial automation.

          Since the IoT movement pushes many new technologies into the Industrial automation industry such as Cloud, Edge Computing, Robotics, AI, etc., its movement also bring many of the new networking technologies such as LPWAN, NB-IoT, LTE-M, 5G, etc. into the industrial automation world.  It is time to join the ISA ComDiv and influence how to use the right networking technologies for industrial applications, as well as providing industrial requirements to other technology standard organizations so the right technology can be designed for all industrial applications.

          Starting in 2018, Dr. Sterling Rooke will be the new ISA Communication Division Director.

          Dr. Sterling Rooke is the founder of Brixon, Inc. and the CEO of X8, a government contracting company focused on cybersecurity, and systems engineering. Dr. Rooke regularly interacts with a variety of industrial control and automation experts to better understand standards and practices. Sterling is active in the IEEE, and serves as a Chair of the Washington, DC area IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society Chapter. On a part-time basis, Sterling is an Air Force Reservist and Cyberspace Operations Officer.

    Sensores Impresos para la Industria de la Automatización


    July 17, 2017: A Spanish language technical article regarding Advanced Sensors in Industrial Automation was published in the July issue of InTech Plus.  This article was coauthored by Test and Measurement Division Director Marissa Morales-Rodriguez and colleague José Arnaldo Rivera.  The online "edition" of the magazine is available at: https://www.isa.org/intech-plus/2017/july/sensores-impresos-para-la-industria-de-la-automatizacion

    Drones in Automation Technical Paper


    June 26, 2017: A technical article regarding the use of Drones in Automation was published in the May-June issue of InTech.  This article was coauthored by the Directors of ISA’s Test & Measurement Division and Communications Division.  The online "edition" of the magazine is available at: http://intechdigitalxp.isa.org/i/833037-may-jun-2017/23

    The article can also be viewed by clicking here

    Industrial IoT Technical Paper


    June 1, 2017: A technical article regarding Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Communications, and Cyber Security Convergence was published in the March-April issue of InTech.  This article was coauthored by the Directors of ISA’s Test & Measurement Division and Communications Division.  The online "edition" of the magazine is available at: http://intechdigitalxp.isa.org/i/806223-mar-apr-2017/39

     A PDF version of the article is available for download.  Simply click here

    Technical Content from Passive Wireless Sensor Technology Workshop 2015

    Click on the links for PDF or PPT versions of the presentations 

    Passive Wireless Sensor Technology Track Introduction by George Studor - NASA Engineering and Safety Center
    Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications (WAIC) by Michael R. Franceschini - Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute
    Passive Wireless Sensor Technology(PWST) Workshop Vision and Summary of Past Workshops by George Studor - NASA Engineering and Safety Center, Avionics TDT, and Wireless Avionics Community of Practice
    GHz RF Systems and SAW by Donald C. Malocha - Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, University of Central Florida
    RFID Sensing Technology – Present and Future Commercial Applications by Rich Pollack and Scott Dalgleish - Phase IV Engineering
    Aerospace & Transportation Passive & Active Wireless Sensing Present & Future by Rich Pollack and Scott Dalgleish - Phase IV Engineering & Aerospace
    The Value of Wireless for Rotorcraft by Brian McCabe - Sikorsky
    Passive Wireless Needs at Yokogawa by Penny Chen, Ph.D. - Yokogawa Corporation of America
    Sensors for the Highway Transportation System Today and in the Future by David Kuehn - US Department of Transportation
    3D Video Imaging by Scott Ackerson - Quidient
    Passive High-Function RFID: Sensors and Bi-Stable Displays by Charles Green, Ph.D. - POWERCAST
    High Temperature Passive Wireless Sensor Technology for Harsh Environment Applications by Environetix Technologies Corporation
    Ultra-low Cost, Zero-power Sensors - Surveillance of Wide areas with Acoustic wave Remote Sensors (SWARmS) by Tim McIntyre - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Low Temperature Integration of Thin Films and Devices for Flexible and Stretchable Electronics by Pooran Joshi - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Operation of Passive SAW Sensors in Complex Media - A study conducted for BP North America by Jackie Hines, Dana Tucker, and Andy Hines - SenSanna Incorporated
    Wireless Torque Sensor for Condition based Maintenance by Viorel Olariu, Ph.D., CTO - Albido Corporaton
    Building Blocks and Challenges of the Internet of Things by SunMan Engineering
    iCAMR - International Consortium for Advance Manufacturing Research
    Innovations from Lab, to Fab, to Market..and Back by Bery Gyselinckx - imec Netherlands
    Dielectric Resonators: A New Frontier in Wireless Passive Sensing by Taimur Aftab - Laboratory of Electrical Instrumentation, IMTEK, University of Freiburg, Germany
    Through Wall Data and Power Delivery Using Ultrasound by Kyle Wilt - The Ultrasonic Through-Wall Communications Group at Rensselaer
    Wireless Power for Low Power Devices by Jiankang Huang - Ferro Solutions, Inc.
    Qorvo by Bryan Bothwell - Qorvo
    Flight Test Capabilities and Opportunities for the Application of Wireless Data Acquisition Systems by Richard Hang - Armstrong Flight Research Center
    Passive Wireless Sensors for Agriculture and Food Systems by Ray Knighton - USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture
    Passive Wireless Sensor Applications for the Oil and Gas Industry by Stephen Szpunar - GE Oil and Gas
    Integrated Vehicle Health Management System for Solid Rocket Motors by Scott Hyde - Orbital ATK Flight Systems Group
    Spaceflight Experience in Applying Smart Wireless Sensors: Implications for PWS Applications by Invocon, Inc.
    Wireless Interrogation of SAW Sensors for Advanced Applications by Sylvain Ballandras - frec|n|sys
    3GHz-6 GHz SAW devices:  low loss SAW filters, resonators, sensors and tags by Victor Plessky - GVR Trade SA, Switzerland
    Integrating A new Class of Passive Wireless Token with Commercial Smartphones for High Assurance Government Applications by Mark Krawczewicz - Tocreo Labs
    The Joint Sensor Database for Propulsion and Energetic Systems by Ben Hill-Lam - The Johns Hopkins University Chemical Propulsion Information Analysis Center
    Magnetic Field Based Wireless Power, Data and Passive Sensing by Corey Jaskolski - Hydro Technologies

    For presentations from 2015, 2013, 2012 and 2011, click here.

    ISA Communication Division
    Director's Message
    November 2014
    Dr. Peter L. Fuhr

    First and foremost, greetings to one and all!   2014 has come to a close, it's time for a snapshot review of what the ISA Communication Division (ComDiv) has been involved in during the 2014 year and what’s planned for the 2015 year. 


    ComDiv @ PCS Symposium (October 2014):

    The Communication Division (ComDiv) held a standing-room-only suite of linked presentations at the recent Process Control and Safety Symposium (Houston, October 2014).  The general theme involved present and visible-future communications, sensors and instrumentation.  Held in parallel with the other technical tracks of the Symposium many individuals including ComDiv Director-Elect Dr. Penny Chen, Security Track chairperson Brian Singer and myself were bouncing back and forth between the ComDiv and Security presentations - for as we all know they are (and should be) intimately linked.  The combination of end users, vendors, academia and government individuals led to wide ranging discussions frequently leading to essentially open forum discussions of best practices, what works and doesn't in all sorts of industrial settings.   The topics and conversations continued outside of the presentation room and was - no joke - just wonderful. A goal of ComDiv is to get these presentations (slide, not audio, maybe next year) onto the division website.

    The discussions involving communications and security are in lock step in terms of cybersecurity for all levels of automation and systems used in power, factories, chemical plants, waterworks - well, essentially everything.  The "visible future" discussions circled around the Internet of Things (IoT) which in terms of IoT for Automation leads to IoTA.  IoTA leads to a probable need for modifications and enhancements of the classical network design footing SP95.  ComDiv is approaching this topic from the perspective that automation end users have been requesting inexpensive sensors "for example, the often spoke of Peel and Stick sensors".  IoTA brings the possibility (and probability) of IP addressable edge devices...which instantly raises cybersecurity concerns.   Multiple presentations related to IoT for Industrial Settings were augmented by (or culminated in) a panel discussion specifically aimed at implications for industries with the upcoming integration of IoT devices, sensors, systems.  The panel discussion was aimed for a 90 minute duration, but blossomed into over 2 hours of lively, detailed, technical and logistical implications statements and speculations.  For those Symposium attendees who were participating I send a hearty "thank you" for the concerns raised and excitement over IoTA possibilities have continued long past the meeting itself.

    ComDiv is striving to provide ComDiv Members access to the presentations and papers from the Communcations track of the PCS Symposium.  Simply bounce over to the ComDiv website:http://www.isa.org/MSTemplate.cfm?MicrositeID=530&CommitteeID=5222

    You will see the Papers and Presentations links on the left hand side.  Partake of them all for the documents are chock full of relevant and informative material.


    That is so last month, so let's see what's upcoming:

    ComDiv is pleased to be supporting the Future of Instrumentation Workshop (IEEE affiliated) and the Passive Wireless Sensor Tags (PWST) 2015 workshop.  FIIW and PWST will be colocated in Arlington VA USA May 4-6, 2015.  ComDiv association with these combined workshop is most logical due to the combined needs of sensors, systems and communications resulting in Instrumentation for today and tomorrow.  Information related to that joint workshop is available at http://futureinstruments.ornl.gov.

    ComDiv receives an award

    Peter, Rodney, Penny
    with the award presented to ComDiv at the
    ISA Fall Leadership Meeting,
    Kansas City, MO USA November 2014





    ComDiv is supporting ISA's 61st International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS), Huntsville AL USA May 11-14, 2015.  IIS is recognized internationally as the outstanding forum for discussion of new and innovative instrumentation techniques, development, and applications.   You can immediately see why ComDiv is involved for all of these devices and systems need to communicate somehow!  Please visit the following link for more IIS information:

    Given the overall success of numerous ISA Technical Divisions joining forces for the aforementioned Process Control and Safety Symposium, the PCS Symposium 2015 is being architected right now.  Stay tuned for more details (date, location).

    ComDiv Receives an Award

    Hey ComDiv, our division was recognized by ISA Leadership as the Most Improved Division of 2014.  This is due to your ideas, thoughts, insights and participation in the various forums that ComDiv was involved in.

    So from Penny (Director-Elect), Rodney (ISA HQ), and myself...we accepted this award plaque on behalf of all of us.  Great job Communication Division members! 

    Pass the Baton:

    And now it's time for me to bid each of you adieu, for my tenure as ComDiv Director is coming to a close at the end of 2014.  Lucky for you - and me - the reigns are turned over to Director-Elect Dr. Penny Chen.  Penny has been the real leader of this ComDiv pack for 2 years, with her now being formally recognized as the Director.  ComDiv is rockin' and will continue to do so!

    I hope to see each of you - my ComDiv cohorts - someplace.sometime.

    Peter Fuhr's Signature

    To join the Commmunications Division, simply visit Membership Options and follow the instructions provided there.