SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. SCADA System is just an application, intelligent enough to receive field data received from any utility device. As the name suggests, its prime objective is to collect Data and provide Control over installed devices.
A SCADA application has two objectives:
1. Prime objective is to provide control of installed devices. It can be a power plant, a water system, a network, a system of traffic lights, or anything else.
2. Second Objective is to provide Monitoring of any System in Real Time basis. By real time i mean that data has to be received in a certain amount of time. For example if you are monitoring Status of any Breaker in Power System. You need its current status, how about if its status is shown based on some S.M.S message received late? This could result in total fiasco.
You can build a SCADA system using several different kinds of technologies and protocols. This blog will help you evaluate your options and decide what kind of SCADA system is best for you.
SCADA – First Generation
( Standalone SCADA Systems )
Standalone systems were introduced in 1960s. Solution were brand specific. Initially, these systems were limited to use of specific brand devices. In these systems mainframes were running ABB SCADA Software, and if you have to add a new RTU, you have to buy it from ABB only.
SCADA – Second Generation
(Distributed SCADA System)
“Distributed SCADA” is the second generation of SCADA, introduced in 1980s. This System was using Local Area Networking technology (LAN). In these systems a primary minicomputer was receiving data from the RTU. This information can be processed by the historian minicomputer.
This type of SCADA was brand specific. And only specific brand devices were allowed to be added in the Network.
SCADA – Third Generation
(Networked SCADA System)
‘Networked SCADA’ showed there presence in 1990s. This system was based on ‘OPEN Protocol’. No matter if SCADA Software installed at control center belong to any other vendor. Devices added without any issue.
Networked SCADA has following THREE segments.
- Corporate Network Segment
- SCADA Network Segment
- Field Devices Segment
SCADA – Fourth Generation
Cloud based SCADA
Cloud based SCADA System is the latest trend. As it uses benefits of Internet. Internet brings Cybersecurity issues. Use of Transport Layer Security T.L.S and other similar Protocols provide security, there is always a threat of a ‘Cyber Attack‘.