US Pat. No. 9,961,550

PHYSICALLY SECURED AUTHORIZATION FOR UTILITY APPLICATIONS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

22. A utility network, comprising:a back office system configured to generate a command for an operation to be carried out by a device in the utility network, and to determine whether the generated command requires a permit for the generated command to be performed
a permission server, which is a secured component of the back office system, the permission server being configured to receive the generated command from the back office system when the back office system determines that the generated command requires a permit, and to generate a permit that specifies (i) a period for which the permit is valid, (ii) the operation to be performed, and (iii) the device that is to perform the operation;
a communication interface configured to transmit a data packet containing the permit via the utility network; and
a plurality of devices connected to the utility network for receiving data packets, each of said devices being configured to:
determine whether an operation specified in a received data packet requires a permit,
if so, determine whether the permit is currently valid; and perform the specified operation if the permit is currently valid,
wherein the permission server is implemented in a hardware security module, and
wherein the hardware security module is configured to execute the following functions:
count the number of permits generated by the hardware security module in a specified time period, and
if the counted number of permits generated within the specified time period exceeds a threshold limit, terminate the generation of further permits for received commands.

US Pat. No. 9,983,242

POWER GRID TOPOLOGY DISCOVERY VIA TIME CORRELATION OF PASSIVE MEASUREMENT EVENTS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method for determining a topology of a power grid, the method comprising:receiving a first timestamped event classification from a first node residing within a network of nodes;
receiving a second timestamped event classification from a second node residing within the network of nodes;
determining, via a processor, that the first timestamped event classification is correlated with the second timestamped event classification;
determining that the first node and the second node are both coupled to a particular device within the power grid based on the first timestamped event classification being correlated with the second timestamped event classification; and
generating the topology of the power grid based at least in part on both the first node and the second node being coupled to the particular device within the power grid.

US Pat. No. 10,154,457

SECURE MANAGEMENT OF RADIO TRANSMISSIONS IN AN ENDPOINT DEVICE OF A NETWORK

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method of managing radio transmission in an endpoint device in a network, the method comprising:receiving, at a first endpoint device, a message requesting wake up of the first endpoint device, wherein the message requesting wake up includes connection data;
establishing a connection between the first endpoint device and a second endpoint device currently connected to the network using the connection data included in the received message requesting wake up;
determining, at the first endpoint device, whether a valid secure command is received from the second endpoint device via the established connection within a predetermined period of time; and
based on the determination, establishing a connection between the first endpoint device and the network via radio transmission, wherein
the first endpoint device is configured to turn off radio transmission if a valid secure command is not received from the second endpoint device within the predetermined period of time.

US Pat. No. 10,151,782

DISTRIBUTED SMART GRID PROCESSING

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method for identifying events associated with a network environment, the method comprising:obtaining, at one or more first computing devices implemented as part of a first computing cloud, a first time series of data values from a first node in the network;
obtaining, at the one or more first computing devices, a second time series of data values from a second node in the network;
transmitting, via the one or more first computing devices, the first time series of data values and the second time series of data values to one or more second computing devices implemented as part of a second computing cloud, wherein the second computing cloud is different than the first computing cloud;
in response to receiving the first time series of data values and the second time series of data values, processing, by the one or more second computing devices, the first time series of data values and the second time series of data values to identify a first data trend; and
based on the first data trend, identifying, by the one or more second computing devices, a first network event associated with a first region of the network environment, wherein the first node and the second node reside within the first region.

US Pat. No. 10,134,266

DUAL MODE SMART GRID METER

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for transmitting metrology data that is implemented in a dual-mode meter, the method comprising:determining whether an automatic meter reading (AMR) data packet should be transmitted or an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) data packet should be transmitted via a digital radio subsystem; and
if an AMR data packet should be transmitted, then:
configuring a first processing unit included in the digital radio subsystem for modulating data packets in accordance with one or more AMR communications protocols, and
transmitting one or more AMR data packets via the digital radio subsystem, and
if an AMI data packet should be transmitted, then:
reading a first AMR data packet transmitted from a radio subsystem of a remote AMR meter,
converting the first AMR data packet into modified data for transmission via one or more AMI communications protocols,
generating a first AMI data packet based on the modified data,
configuring the first processing unit for modulating data packets in accordance with the one or more AMI communications protocols, and
transmitting the first AMI data packet via the digital radio subsystem.

US Pat. No. 10,128,900

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MULTI-CHANNEL FREQUENCY HOPPING SPREAD SPECTRUM COMMUNICATION

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for forwarding a packet of data within a wireless network from a source node to a destination node via an intermediate node, the method comprising:detecting energy for a first signal within a first channel within a current channel group;
analyzing the first signal to determine a first signal type associated with the first signal;
demodulating the first signal into a first stream of digital data based on the first signal type;
generating from the first stream of digital data a first data packet;
determining, based on contents of the first data packet, that the first data packet comprises a first poll message from a first source node that requests availability information for the intermediate node;
transmitting, via a second channel within the current channel group, a first acknowledgement message to the first source node that includes the availability information for the intermediate node;
receiving, via a third channel within the current channel group, a first data message from the first source node that includes a first set of payload data to be forwarded to a first destination node;
transmitting, via a fourth channel within the current channel group, a first data-acknowledge message to the first source node that indicates successful receipt of the first data message;
vacating all channels included in the current channel group and channel hopping to a new channel group that includes at least one channel that is different than the channels included in the current channel group; and
forwarding the first set of payload data to the first destination node via at least one channel included in the new channel group,
wherein the first channel, the second channel, the third channel, and the fourth channel are included in a plurality of allocated channels.

US Pat. No. 10,390,366

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR OPTIMAL LISTEN BEFORE TRANSMIT IN WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method, comprising:determining, by a first device, that a first channel included in a plurality of channels is unoccupied based on channel occupancy information associated with the plurality of channels;
configuring, by the first device, a transmitter circuit included in the first device to transmit data via the first channel;
confirming, by the first device, that the first channel remains unoccupied after a first listening period has expired; and
transmitting, by the first device, the data to a first target node via the first channel.

US Pat. No. 10,120,996

RETURN MATERIAL AUTHORIZATION FULFILLMENT SYSTEM FOR NETWORK DEVICES WITH SPECIFIC CRYPTOGRAPHIC CREDENTIALS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for removing credentials from a device, comprising:receiving, by a receiving device of a computing system of a first entity, a removal request, wherein
the removal request includes a device identifier associated with a device,
the removal request is signed by a second entity having generated a set of security credentials stored in a memory of the device,
the removal request is signed using a private key possessed by the second entity having generated the set of security credentials,
the set of security credentials restricts access to one or more components or operations of the device, and
the first entity and second entity are separate entities;
extracting, by a processing device of the computing system, the device identifier included in the received removal request;
generating, by the processing device of the computing system, a permit configured to remove the set of credentials from the device; and
transmitting, by a transmitting device of the computing system, the generated permit to the device for removal of the set of credentials from the memory of the device.

US Pat. No. 10,348,513

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR BROADCASTING MESSAGES TO NODES WITHIN A WIRELESS MESH NETWORK

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:selecting a first channel from a set of channels on which nodes residing adjacent to a first node receive transmissions;
identifying a first time interval subsequent to a current time interval during which a greatest number of nodes residing adjacent to the first node will receive transmissions on the first channel; and
transmitting a message on the first channel during the first time interval.

US Pat. No. 10,193,778

SYSTEM, METHOD AND PROGRAM FOR DETECTING ANOMALOUS EVENTS IN A NETWORK

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A network communication device configured to monitor operating events occurring in a network, the communication device comprising:a memory unit having historical operating information and situational information recorded therein, the historical operating information including data indicative of historical operation of nodes in the network based on respective feature information that is uniquely defined for each of the nodes in the network, such that there is historical operating information for each node in the network based on the unique feature information for that node, and the situational information including data indicative of operation data expected to be received from nodes in the network during a predetermined time period based on at least one of a condition and an event that is occurring during the predetermined time period;
a communication unit configured to receive respective operation data from nodes in the network;
a control unit configured to compare the operation data received from a node in the network with (i) the historical operating information for the node from which the operation data was received and (ii) the situational information for the predetermined period in which the operation data is received, and to associate the received operation data with the historical operating information and the situational information in the memory unit based on the comparison of the received operation data with (i) the historical operating information for the node and (ii) the situational information.

US Pat. No. 10,169,764

SECURE END-TO-END PERMITTING SYSTEM FOR DEVICE OPERATIONS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for authenticating and accepting messages received from devices in a system having a plurality of devices and a back office, the back office including a response checking agent, a plurality of applications configured to issue commands to the devices in the system, and a plurality of business logic modules each respectively associated with at least one of the applications in the back office, comprising:determining, by the response checking agent, whether a message received from a device is in response to a command sent to the device;
if the message is a response to a command sent to the device, accessing, among the plurality of business logic modules, a first business logic module associated with commanded operations, to determine, by the response checking agent, whether information contained in the message complies with policies in the first business logic module; and
if the message is not a response to a command sent to the device, accessing, among the plurality of business logic modules, a second business logic module associated with device-originated messages, to determine, by the response checking agent, if the message complies with policies in the second business logic module,
wherein the at least one of the applications in the back office associated with the first business logic module is different from the at least one of the applications in the back office associated with the second business logic module such that the response checking agent accesses different business logic modules among the plurality of business logic modules based on whether the response checking agent determines that the message is a response to a command sent to the device.

US Pat. No. 10,096,246

USING LIGHTING AND OTHER STREETSIDE DEVICES TO INDICATE PARKING SPACE AVAILABILITY AND NAVIGATION INFORMATION

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for directing a vehicle to a destination within an environment, comprising:receiving, from a plurality of streetside devices within the environment, a plurality of wireless beacon signals, wherein each of the streetside devices:
illuminates a region of the environment, and
broadcasts a wireless beacon signal that indicates the physical location of the streetside device;
determining, by a second positioning device onboard the vehicle, a location of the vehicle based on the plurality of wireless beacon signals received from the plurality of streetside devices; and
generating a direction to the destination based on the location of the vehicle,
wherein one or more streetside devices generate a lighting pattern that directs a driver of the vehicle towards a parking space that is selected based on the destination.

US Pat. No. 10,205,665

MESH NETWORK NODES CONFIGURED TO ALLEVIATE CONGESTION IN CELLULAR NETWORK

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A system comprising:a plurality of nodes connected in a first wireless network;
at least two access points, each of said two access points being connected to the first wireless network and to at least one second wireless network distinct from the first wireless network, each of the two access points each thereby constituting an interface between the first wireless network and the at least one second wireless network, wherein:
each of the two access points is configured to advertise, to the nodes in the first wireless network, its parameters for accessing the at least one second wireless network, the access parameters including an indication of access restrictions the corresponding access point currently has to the at least one second wireless network, and current network conditions in the at least one second wireless network;
each of the nodes is configured to maintain a list of the access parameters including an indication of access restrictions of each access point in the first wireless network to the at least one second wireless network based on the advertised access parameters respectively transmitted from the access points;
each of the nodes is configured to determine whether data is to be transmitted to the second wireless network according to one of a first transmission mode and a second transmission mode based on the data to be transmitted, the list of access parameters maintained by that node, and the current network conditions in the at least one second network;
in the first transmission mode, the node is configured to determine to transmit the data to a first one of the access points having a lowest cost between the node and the first one of the access points; and
in the second transmission mode, the node is configured to determine to transmit the data to a second one of the access points having fewer access restrictions to the second wireless network than the first one of the access points, based on the maintained list of access parameters of each access point to the at least one second wireless network.

US Pat. No. 10,255,644

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR IDENTIFYING POWER USAGE ISSUES

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method, comprising:receiving data related to resource use at a metered location;
identifying, by a processor, a first resource use area included in a graph of the resource use over time, wherein the first resource use area indicates the resource use by one or more devices at the metered location over a specific period of time;
identifying, by the processor, exceptional resource use at the metered location based on information related to a first device at the metered location that caused, at least in part, the resource use reflected by the first resource use area; and
transmitting or storing information related to correcting the exceptional use.

US Pat. No. 10,229,291

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CRYPTOGRAPHICALLY ENABLING AND DISABLING LOCKOUTS FOR CRITICAL OPERATIONS IN A SMART GRID NETWORK

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for locking out a remote terminal unit, comprising:receiving, by a receiving device, at least a lockout request and a lockout permit, wherein the lockout permit includes at least a public key associated with a user;
placing, by a processing device, a lockout on the remote terminal unit, wherein placing the lockout on the remote terminal unit includes changing an operation mode of the remote terminal unit;
generating, by the processing device, a lockout identifier associated with the remote terminal unit, and a lockout removal nonce;
encrypting, by the processing device, the generated lockout removal nonce using the public key associated with the user;
generating, by the processing device, a receipt including at least the generated lockout identifier and encrypted lockout removal nonce; and
transmitting, by a transmitting device, the generated receipt in response to the received lockout request, wherein
the remote terminal unit continues to operate in the changed operation mode until the lockout is removed from the remote terminal unit, and
the remote terminal unit is operable in the changed operation mode.

US Pat. No. 10,433,197

COMPENSATING FOR OSCILLATOR DRIFT IN WIRELESS MESH NETWORKS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method for compensating for oscillator drift, the method comprising:obtaining a first drift measurement from an active frequency control (AFC) module, wherein the first drift measurement indicates a first amount of drift associated with a first oscillator;
determining that the first drift measurement is greater than a saturation boundary associated with the AFC module, wherein the AFC module does not compensate for drift exceeding the first saturation boundary; and
adjusting a high frequency output associated with the first oscillator to compensate for at least a portion of the first amount of drift.

US Pat. No. 10,420,007

ENERGY AWARE ROUTING FOR MESH NETWORKS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method for routing packets across a mesh network, the method comprising:computing a first cost metric by multiplying a first amount of energy associated with a first node by a second amount of energy associated with a second node, wherein the first amount of energy associated with the first node comprises an amount of energy consumed when transmitting a packet from the first node to the second node via a first communication link, and the second amount of energy associated with the second node comprises an amount of energy remaining in a battery coupled to the second node;
computing a second cost metric based on a third amount of energy associated with the first node and a fourth amount of energy associated with a third node; and
based on the first cost metric and the second cost metric, selecting the second node for routing a first packet to a first destination along a first route.

US Pat. No. 10,412,600

LEVERAGING DIVERSE COMMUNICATION LINKS TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN NETWORK SUBREGIONS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method for transmitting data between different subregions of a network, the method comprising:receiving a first version of original data that is transmitted via a first communication link that couples a first network subregion to a second network subregion;
receiving a second version of the original data that is transmitted via a second communication link that also couples the first network subregion to the second network subregion; and
reconstructing the original data at a designated node within the second network subregion based on error information associated with the first version of the original data and error information associated with the second version of the original data.

US Pat. No. 10,368,282

MODE CONTROL DESIGN

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for optimizing communication modes between network nodes, comprising:storing, in a first node in a communication network, a data success rate for each of a plurality of communication modes;
receiving, by the first node, mode data from a second node in the communication network including at least a mode identifier for at least two of the plurality of communication modes;
determining, by the first node, a metric for each of the at least two communication modes based on at least a data success rate of transmissions using the respective communication mode;
selecting, by the first node, a preferred communication mode of the at least two communication modes based on the determined metric for each of the at least two communication modes; and
transmitting, by the first node, an initiation data message to the second node via the communication network indicating the selected preferred communication mode.

US Pat. No. 10,341,358

AUTHENTICATION OF MANUAL METER READINGS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A method for authenticating a meter reading, comprising:obtaining a measurement from a sensor of a metering device, wherein the measurement represents an attribute of a user as measured by the sensor;
applying, by a computer processor of the metering device, a predetermined encoding algorithm to the measurement to generate an authentication code comprising a first subset values and a second subset of values by applying a first encoding scheme to generate the first subset of values and a second encoding scheme to generate the second subset of values, wherein the second encoding scheme is different from the first encoding scheme;
generating, by the computer processor of the metering device, the meter reading by combining the measurement with the authentication code;
presenting, by the metering device, the meter reading to the user;
receiving, at a meter reading analysis device, a reported meter reading from a user, wherein the reported meter reading comprises a different value than the meter reading presented to the user;
applying, by the meter reading analysis device, a pre-determined decoding algorithm associated with the pre-determined encoding algorithm to the reported meter reading to detect that the reported meter reading does not equal the meter reading; and
generating, by the meter reading analysis device and in response to the detecting, a dispatch request to dispatch a human inspector for validating the measurement.

US Pat. No. 10,444,035

MAGNETIC SENSING METERING DEVICE AND METHOD

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A rotation sensing device comprising:a magnet;
a magnetic field sensor located in a fixed position relative to the magnet, the magnetic field sensor configured to sense a magnetic field of the magnet; and
a flux conductor configured to alter the magnetic field of the magnet, wherein the flux conductor is mounted to a rotatable element,
wherein the magnet is mounted in a fixed position relative to the flux conductor,
wherein the magnetic field sensor is configured to generate a signal based on a sensed strength of the magnetic field in accordance with rotation of the flux conductor.

US Pat. No. 10,397,821

REDUCED LATENCY OPERATING MODES FOR WIRELESS MESH NETWORKS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method for propagating data packets across a wireless mesh network, the method comprising:configuring a first node to receive data during a first sub-interval within a first communication window, wherein the first node resides within a first hop layer of the wireless mesh network, wherein the first node is constrained to receive data during the first sub-interval;
configuring a second node to receive data during a second sub-interval within the first communication window, wherein the second node resides within a second hop layer of the wireless mesh network, wherein the second node is constrained to receive data during the second sub-interval, wherein the first sub-interval and second sub-interval comprises different sub-intervals of the first communication window; and
causing the first node to receive a data packet during the first sub-interval and then transmit the data packet to the second node during the second sub-interval to propagate the data packet from the first hop layer to the second hop layer during the first communication window.

US Pat. No. 10,326,616

TECHNIQUES FOR ROUTING FROM AN ENDPOINT WITH SIMULTANEOUS ASSOCIATIONS TO MULTIPLE NETWORKS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:acquiring different types of constraints associated with a network node;
prioritizing the different types of constraints based on a current operating mode associated with the network node to generate prioritized constraints;
computing, via one or more processors, a first rating for a first network to which the network node is coupled based on the prioritized constraints;
computing, via the one or more processors, a second rating for a second network to which the network node is coupled based on the prioritized constraints;
determining that the first rating exceeds the second rating; and
based on the first rating exceeding the second rating, causing the network node to transmit or receive data on the first network instead of the second network.

US Pat. No. 10,477,500

TIME DISTRIBUTION SCHEME FOR WIRELESS MESH NETWORKS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A computer-implemented method for communicating time estimates between nodes in a wireless mesh network, the method comprising:receiving, from a first uplink node, a first time estimate and a first uncertainty estimate corresponding to the first time estimate;
receiving, from a second uplink node that is different than the first uplink node, a second time estimate and a second uncertainty estimate corresponding to the second time estimate;
combining the first time estimate and the second time estimate based on the first uncertainty estimate and the second uncertainty estimate to generate a third time estimate;
generating a first time beacon based on the third time estimate; and
transmitting the first time beacon from a first node in the wireless mesh network to a second node in the wireless mesh network.

US Pat. No. 10,455,420

PHYSICALLY SECURED AUTHORIZATION FOR UTILITY APPLICATIONS

ITRON NETWORKED SOLUTIONS...

1. A back office system for utility applications, the system comprising:a data center configured to communicate with a plurality of nodes in a first wireless network via at least one access point which serves as an interface between the nodes in the first wireless network and a second wireless network through which the data center and the least one access point communicate, the data center being configured to transmit commands to the nodes and receive requests from the nodes via the at least one access point;
a physically secure environment in the data center, the physically secure environment having access restricted thereto;
at least one server external to said physically secure environment in the data center, the at least one server configured to execute one or more application programs associated with operations of a utility, at least some of said application programs having an interface for receiving remote requests from the nodes outside of the data center to perform functions pertaining to the operations of the utility;
a hardware security module located within said physically secure environment and storing a secret key;
an authorization engine, located within said physically secure environment, configured to receive remote requests directed to said application programs and to provide authorized requests, that are signed in accordance with said secret key; a policy module, located within said physically secure environment, configured to process the remote requests in accordance with business logic associated with said application programs, and to selectively enable the requests to be authorized by said authorization engine based on the business logic and a type of the remote requests, the business logic including a type requirement in which remote requests are categorized according to one of a first type in which the requests are required to be signed with the
 secret key in order to be authorized by the authorization engine, and a second type in which the requests are not required to be signed with the secret key in order to be authorized by the authorization engine; and at least one secure server, external to the data center, that, in response to an indication that security of the physically secure environment at the data center has been compromised, issues a command to the at least one access point to configure a certificate revocation list indicating that a certificate associated with the physically secure environment, whose security is compromised, is invalid, and issues a command to the nodes to load the certificate revocation list from any one of the at least one access point.