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Knowing SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) SCADA is a centralized monitoring and control system which is used to a specific plant site or equipment that is stationed at a long distance. The unique and complex software application of the SCADA system has been favored by many companies, such as water and waste control, energy, oil and gas refining, transportation, telecommunications industries, to automate their multifaceted processes and, at the same time, detect and correct problems, and measure projected trends. SCADA system’s software application of monitoring and controlling a process can be realized by first collecting data and analyzing it. There are four important functions which the SCADA system is programmed to do and these are: data acquisition, network data communication, data presentation, and control. For the SCADA system to operate its functions, it is outfitted with the following components: sensors and control relays, Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs), master units, and a communication network, which consists of input/output signal hardware, networks, Human-machine Interface (HMI), controllers, communication, database, and software. There are two types of devices which are utilized by the SCADA system to perform its controlling function and these devices are RTUs or Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Comparing the two devices, the RTUs has a more advanced functionality feature allowing for a more efficient and secure monitoring system.
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The HMI is programmed, as a master station, to process all collected data and information and communicates these to the human operator. It is therefore easy for operators to view the system alarms and information communicated by the HMI and from that, decisions are also easily made. Since the company’s operation processes, which the SCADA system is managing, are confidential, for security reasons, SCADA information are kept on closed LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) networks to prevent sensitive data from being exposed to outsiders over the Internet.
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Since LAN is an expensive communication network, there is a support system provided by NetGuardian 832A which helps support the existing communication set up, such that this can be used at remotes sites instead of LAN. However, when the company expands their LAN network into their other sites, the cost is still worth the investment as the company will be saving on RTU replacements to support the new network. These are the overall functions and features of the SCADA system, although its functions/features will be employed on specifications by a company, – performs the work of an OPC Server or Protocol Translator, translate between any number of available protocols, includes a protocol analyzer, built in equation editor supports the creation of new data points based on raw data points and /or other equation points, OPC Certified, Conformance tested per DNP3 Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) Certification Procedure Subset Level2, report by Exception (RBE) is supported (transmitting only data changes, saving communication channel bandwidth), supports DNP3 Secure Authentication, supports selective logging of event data into a time-stamped Sequence of Events (SOE) log file, the Communication Protocol Analyzer Window displays and decodes transmitted and received messages, allows translation between data types and control methods from different protocols, supports mapping of points between Master and Slave, two Master, and/or two Slave protocol components.