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Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

SCADA System

Supervisory control and data acquisition – SCADA refers to ICS (industrial control systems) used to control infrastructure processes (water treatment, wastewater treatment, gas pipelines, wind farms, etc), facility-based processes (airports, space stations, ships, etc,) or industrial processes (production, manufacturing, refining, power generation, etc).

The following subsystems are usually present in SCADA systems:

• The apparatus used by a human operator; all the processed data are presented to the operator

• A supervisory system that gathers all the required data about the process

• Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) connected to the sensors of the process, which helps to convert the sensor signals to the digital data and send the data to supervisory stream.

• Programmable Logic Controller (PLCs) used as field devices

• Communication infrastructure connects the Remote Terminal Units to supervisory system.

Generally, a SCADA system does not control the processes in real time – it usually refers to the system that coordinates the processes in real time.