How SCADA Systems Work

Previous Page: How DPS Can Help You.
PDFDownload White Paper

Section 2: How SCADA Systems Work

A SCADA system performs four functions:

1. Data acquisition; the collection of data frequently involves some kind of analog to digital conversion. Temperature is converted to degrees Celcius. Transmit signal strength is converted to dBm. Channel quality is measured in errored seconds.

2. Networked data communication; the collected data is transmitted either spontaneously or in response to a request for data to some kind of upstream consolidator or master. The communication channel can be analog (T202, POTS) or digital (RS485, TCP/IP). Contemporary channels typically include some kind of transport validation independent of any content validation.

3. Data presentation; the collected data is processed, organized and presented for system operators to make appropriate response and control decisions. The presentation can vary from tabular presentation of logged events to graphical presentation against mapping or image backgrounds.

4. Control; if control decisions are warranted and the system supports output, appropriate commands can be dispatched to affect specific operational or configuration changes.

SCADA Diagram

These functions are performed by four kinds of SCADA components:

1.Inputs (either digital or analog) and output relays or electrical signals that directly interface with managed elements.

2. Remote telemetry units (RTUs). These are small computerized units deployed in the field at specific sites and locations. RTUs (Remote Telemetry Units) serve as local collection points for gathering reports from sensors and delivering commands to control relays.

3. SCADA master units. These are larger computer consoles that serve as the central processor for the SCADA system. Master units provide a human interface to the system and automatically regulate the managed system in response to sensor inputs.

4. The communications network that connects the SCADA master unit to the RTUs in the field.

Next Page: RTUs: Capacity, Function, and Installation.
PDFDownload White Paper

Download the complete SCADA White Paper now (PDF)

SCADA White Paper

The Fast Introduction to SCADA Fundamentals and Implementation by Bob Berry is a quick, 12-page introduction to SCADA. This guide shows how you can use SCADA effectively and profitably. Concrete applications and examples are included as illustration and to reinforce best practices.

Get Instant Access to SCADA White Paper

Get Answers to All of Your SCADA Questions

At DPS, we're totally focused on remote monitoring (SCADA). We've worked on thousands of projects that involve SCADA in one form or another.

That experience means that we have SCADA experts on staff. Send us a quick online message (or just give us a call) and we'll answer any SCADA question you have.

Talk with a SCADA Expert Now

Get a Custom Application Diagram of Your Perfect-Fit Monitoring System

There is no other network on the planet that is exactly like yours. For that reason, you need to build a monitoring system that's the right fit for you.

"Buying more than you need" and "buying less than you need" are real risks. You also have to think about training, tech support, and upgrade availability.

Send me a quick online message about what you're trying to accomplish. I'll work with you to build a custom PDF application diagram that's a perfect fit for your network.

Make an Informed Decision

Your network isn't off-the-shelf.

Your monitoring system shouldn't be, either.

Customized monitoring application drawing

We'll walk you through this with a customized monitoring diagram.

Just tell us what you're trying to accomplish with remote monitoring.

Get a Custom Diagram