Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have traditionally played a vital role by providing utilities with valuable knowledge and capabilities that are key to a primary business function – delivering power in a reliable and safe manner. A quality SCADA solution is central to effective operation of a utility’s most critical and costly distribution, transmission, and generation assets.
The challenging issues for SCADA systems and projects today are not the same as they were a few years ago. Today, there is much more importance placed on integration, use of new communication and network technologies, access to information by more users, and other purposes.
Two Way Radio communications and their advanced flexibility offer technological benefits to new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system deployments as well as a means to upgrade performance to existing SCADA systems. There are countless SCADA radio networks throughout the United States and abroad monitoring and controlling municipal water and waste water, oil and gas production, power grids, automatic meter reading, and much more. These SCADA radio technology based communications systems have ranges from yards to hundreds of miles.
While SCADA systems have traditionally used combinations of radio and direct serial or modem connections to meet communication requirements, although IP is also frequently used where additional bandwidth is available. This creates a complex networking environment, particularly when combined with a microwave network and the narrow band 2 way radio medium for transmission.
Selecting the right technology, defining the projects requirements, and creating a robust SCADA communications network is crucial. Having a personal understanding of the pros and cons of each technology can empower your organization to make the best business decisions for a system that will have a 10-20 year lifetime and are often mission critical or high importance systems.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition has its own unique set of properties and requirements. The advent of IP based SCADA networks has only complicated design. Praecom Consulting not only has the IP based network background, but the electronic and instrumentation knowledge to understand the needs of complex SCADA applications. This combined with our ability to design and implement 2 way radio networks makes our skills unique in the industry.