Logo of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

Improved communication protocols for Smart Meters


In Germany, the concept of a Smart Meter Gateway – a highly secure communication interface for intelligent meters (Smart Meters) – is currently being developed and tested. Within this framework, PTB is developing requirements for securing the metrological aspects of these measuring instruments and is actively involved in the development of technical guidelines together with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

The German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies VDE e.V. awarded Mr. Martin Nischwitz the "Georg Hummel Prize for Technology", which is endowed with 1,500 euros, for his master's thesis on "Real-Time Simulation of the Transmission Behavior of Wireless M-BUS Meters in Smart Metering Systems" at the "FNN Convention ZMP Congress Metering/Gauging/Testing" in Leipzig on 19 May 2019.

This thesis examines the communication performance between the Smart Meter Gateway and several intelligent meters. For this purpose, a smart meter simulation environment has been developed which shapes the communication performance in real time and can be used for a test bed for Smart Meter Gateways. Based on the results, improvements were proposed to facilitate the implementation of a more efficient communication protocol.

The work was developed in close cooperation between Working Group 8.51 “Metrological Software” and Working Group 8.52 “Metrological ICT Systems”. It was supervised by Prof. Jean-Pierre Seifert in cooperation with the “Security in Telecommunications Department” of the Technische Universität Berlin.

Mr. Nischwitz is a research associate at PTB's Working Group 8.52 and is currently working on his doctoral project on the "Evaluation of consensus protocols for distributed ledger technologies in a consortium network setting" in cooperation with the Department for Distributed Security Infrastructures (DSI) at the Technische Universität Berlin under the direction of Prof. Florian Tschorsch. Thus, he supports the PTB digitalization initiative "Metrology Cloud".


Martin Nischwitz/PTB Marko Esche/PTB Florian Thiel/PTB


Department 8.5 Metrological Information Technology


Metrology Cloud: