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How Does Remote Site Monitoring Prevent Downtime for Railways, Telcos, and Power Utilities?

By Andrew Erickson

April 30, 2023


In today's world, connectivity is critical. People, businesses, and industries all rely on networks to function properly.

Unfortunately, networks can and do fail, leading to lost productivity, revenue, and even endangering lives.

This is where remote site monitoring becomes critical, especially in the wake of recent news events highlighting the need for high-quality remote site monitoring.

Let's examine how recent power failures, telephone outages, and railroad failures underscore the importance of remote monitoring. We'll also look at how remote site monitoring devices DPS like NetGuardian RTUs and the T/Mon master station can help.

Power outages are massively disruptive and take a human toll

Power outages can have severe consequences, ranging from minor inconveniences to major disruptions to businesses, hospitals, and public safety services.

In a power outage, it is important to be able to quickly identify which sites are affected and take steps to restore power.

In February 2021, an extreme winter storm caused widespread power outages across Texas, leaving millions of residents without electricity for days.

In such situations, having reliable remote monitoring tools like NetGuardian RTUs deployed by the telecom group at a power utility can be a lifesaver.

Remote site monitoring tools like NetGuardian RTUs can provide real-time alerts of power outages, allowing technicians to quickly respond and restore power. In addition, the T/Mon master station can provide a centralized view of all network alarms, allowing technicians to easily identify the root cause of the power outage and take steps to prevent it from happening again.

These monitoring devices can detect power outages and send alerts to the network operations center, allowing teams to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem before it worsens.

Without remote monitoring tools, identifying the source of the outage (or responding to it by sending commands to your high-voltage SCADA system) can be a time-consuming process. This inevitably leads to extended downtime and even more severe consequences.

Telephone failures can lead to the loss of 911 service when people need it most

Telephone outages, especially 911 outages, can be a matter of life or death. During a telephone outage, it is critical that emergency services are still able to communicate with those in need.

Another recent news event that highlighted the need for high-quality remote monitoring is the telephone outage that occurred in the northeastern United States in March 2021. The outage resulted in the loss of 911 services, leaving thousands of people unable to contact emergency services.

In these situations, a reliable remote monitoring tool like T/Mon master station is invaluable. T/Mon can monitor multiple sites, alert operators to alarm conditions, and provide a centralized view of network operations. With T/Mon, network operators can quickly detect and diagnose issues, allowing them to restore 911 services and ensure public safety.

At the network's edge, remote site monitoring field devices like NetGuardian RTUs can detect telephone outages and alert technicians to the issue.

Railroads have telecom systems that demand remote site monitoring to keep trains running

Railroad systems are also highly dependent on reliable networks, as disruptions can lead to safety issues, delays, and even derailments.

Railroad failures can have significant economic and safety impacts. A single train delay can cause ripple effects throughout the entire transportation network, resulting in lost productivity and revenue.

In April 2021, a railroad failure in Iowa resulted in the derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials. Early detection of an underlying cause could possibly have prevented the derailment.

Remote monitoring tools like NetGuardian RTUs can detect issues related to railroad signaling systems, track circuits, and other critical components. This allows network operators to take corrective action before disasters occur.

Remote site monitoring tools like NetGuardian RTUs can provide real-time alerts of railroad failures, allowing technicians to quickly respond and restore service. The T/Mon master station can also provide a centralized view of all network alarms, allowing technicians to easily identify the root cause of the failure and take steps to prevent it from happening again.

DPS engineers have also developed custom solutions for track geometry cars (TGC) on railroads. These are particularly relevant for preventing derailments.

Recent news events have demonstrated the critical need for high-quality remote site monitoring. While we do not know the specifics of each incident, it is clear that quality remote monitoring is a helpful tool for the professionals working to keep service online 100% of the time.

RTUs and central master stations are your eyes and ears before and during a crisis

In all of these scenarios, remote site monitoring tools like NetGuardian RTUs and the T/Mon master station are essential for ensuring system uptime and preventing costly downtime.

NetGuardian RTUs are deployed at remote sites and can monitor a wide range of equipment, including power systems, environmental sensors, and other critical infrastructure.

The T/Mon master station provides a centralized view of all network alarms and allows technicians to easily manage and troubleshoot network issues.

Your next step? Speak to an engineer today.

If you are considering a remote site monitoring project, don't waste time trying to navigate the complex world of monitoring on your own. Instead, call DPS today and speak with one of our remote monitoring engineers to get started.

Your network is unique. Every network is unique. We can and will help you design a custom monitoring solution that meets your specific needs.

Our NetGuardian RTUs and T/Mon master station are proven remote monitoring tools that can help prevent costly downtime and ensure system uptime. With real-time alerts of network alarms and a centralized view of all network alarms, you can quickly identify and resolve issues before they have a significant impact on your operations.

Even if we're not a good fit for your project, our experience developing these hardware and software tools give us the expertise to point you in the right direction.

Don't wait for your next preventable outage

Don't wait until after your next preventable incident to implement a remote site monitoring solution.

Call DPS today to speak with an engineer and get started on your project. We'll help you every step of the way and ensure that your network is protected against downtime and other costly issues.

To speak with an engineer now, call 1-800-693-0351 or email sales@dpstele.com

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 17 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and opt...