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Advancements in Intelligent Instrumentation and Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) /

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) have made the process-control solutions in many of the
industries to be easily managed and operated by utilizing the benefits of a SCADA system.
SCADA is popular in several applications like process industries, oil and gas, electric power
generation, distribution and utilities, water and waste control, agriculture/irrigation,
manufacturing, transportation systems, and so on.

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a control

system architecture that uses computers, networked data communications and graphical user
interfaces for high-level process supervisory management, but uses other peripheral devices such
as programmable logic controllers and discrete PID controllers to interface to the process plant or
machinery. The operator interfaces which enable monitoring and the issuing of process
commands, such as controller set point changes, are handled through the SCADA computer
system. However, the real-time control logic or controller calculations are performed by
networked modules which connect to the field sensors and actuators.[2]

The SCADA concept was developed as a universal means of remote access to a variety of local
control modules, which could be from different manufacturers allowing access through standard
automation protocols. In practice, large SCADA systems have grown to become very similar
to distributed control systems in function, but using multiple means of interfacing with the plant.
They can control large-scale processes that can include multiple sites, and work over large
distances as well as small distance.[1] It is one of the most commonly-used types of industrial
control systems, however there are concerns about SCADA systems being vulnerable to cyber
warfare/cyber terrorism attacks.

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1.2 Objectives:

There are many objectives of SCADA System.

1. Improved overall System efficiency (capital & energy)

2. Increased penetration energy sources including renewable energy sources.

3. Reduced Energy Requirements in both the Transmission and Generation.

4. Increased Relativity of sequence to essential loads.


1.4 Human-machine interface

The human-machine interface (HMI) is the operator window of the supervisory system. It
presents plant information to the operating personnel graphically in the form of mimic diagrams,
which are a schematic representation of the plant being controlled, and alarm and event logging
pages. The HMI is linked to the SCADA supervisory computer to provide live data to drive the
mimic diagrams, alarm displays and trending graphs. In many installations the HMI is the
graphical user interface for the operator, collects all data from external devices, creates reports,
performs alarming, sends notifications, etc.[3]

Mimic diagrams consist of line graphics and schematic symbols to represent process elements, or
may consist of digital photographs of the process equipment overlain with animated symbols.

Supervisory operation of the plant is by means of the HMI, with operators issuing commands
using mouse pointers, keyboards and touch screens. For example, a symbol of a pump can show
the operator that the pump is running, and a flow meter symbol can show how much fluid it is
pumping through the pipe. The operator can switch the pump off from the mimic by a mouse
click or screen touch. The HMI will show the flow rate of the fluid in the pipe decrease in real

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The HMI package for a SCADA system typically includes a drawing program that the operators
or system maintenance personnel use to change the way these points are represented in the
interface. These representations can be as simple as an on-screen traffic light, which represents
the state of an actual traffic light in the field, or as complex as a multi-projector display
representing the position of all of the elevators in a skyscraper or all of the trains on a railway.

1.5 Supervisory computers

This is the core of the SCADA system, gathering data on the process and sending control
commands to the field connected devices. It refers to the computer and software responsible for
communicating with the field connection controllers, which are RTUs and PLCs, and includes
the HMI software running on operator workstations. In smaller SCADA systems, the supervisory
computer may be composed of a single PC, in which case the HMI is a part of this computer. In
larger SCADA systems, the master station may include several HMIs hosted on client
computers, multiple servers for data acquisition, distributed software applications, and disaster
recovery sites. To increase the integrity of the system the multiple servers will often be
configured in a dual-redundant or hot-standby formation providing continuous control and
monitoring in the event of a server malfunction or breakdown.

1.6 Remote terminal units

A remote terminal unit (RTU) is a microprocessor-controlled electronic device that interfaces
objects in the physical world to a distributed control system or SCADA (supervisory control and
data acquisition) system by transmitting telemetry data to a master system, and by using
messages from the master supervisory system to control connected objects. Other terms that may
be used for RTU is remote telemetry unit or remote telecontrol unit.

An RTU monitors the field digital and analog parameters and transmits data to the Central
Monitoring Station. It contains setup software to connect data input streams to data output
streams, define communication protocols, and troubleshoot installation problems.

An RTU may consist of one complex circuit card consisting of various sections needed to do a
custom fitted function or may consist of many circuit cards including CPU or processing with
communications interface(s), and one or more of the following: (AI) analog input, (DI) digital
(status) input, (DO/CO) digital (or control relay) output, or (AO) analog output card(s).

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An RTU might even be a small process control unit with a small Data Base for PID, Alarming,
Filtering, Trending functions and so on complemented with some BASIC (programming
language) tasks.

1.7 Programmable logic controller:

Also known as PLCs, these are connected to sensors and actuators in the process, and are
networked to the supervisory system in the same way as RTUs. PLCs have more sophisticated
embedded control capabilities than RTUs, and are programmed in one or more IEC 61131-
3 programming languages. PLCs are often used in place of RTUs as field devices because they
are more economical, versatile, flexible and configurable. A programmable logic
controller (PLC), or programmable controller is an industrial digital computer which has
been ruggedized and adapted for the control of manufacturing processes, such as assembly lines,
or robotic devices, or any activity that requires high reliability control and ease of programming
and process fault diagnosis.

They were first developed in the automobile industry to provide flexible, ruggedized and easily
programmable controllers to replace hard-wired relays, timers and sequencers. Since then they
have been widely adopted as high-reliability automation controllers suitable for harsh
environments. A PLC is an example of a "hard" real-time system since output results must be
produced in response to input conditions within a limited time, otherwise unintended operation
will result.

1.8 Communication infrastructure

This connects the supervisory computer system to the RTUs and PLCs, and may use industry
standard or manufacturer proprietary protocols. Both RTUs and PLCs operate autonomously on
the near-real time control of the process, using the last command given from the supervisory
system. Failure of the communications network does not necessarily stop the plant process
controls, and on resumption of communications, the operator can continue with monitoring and
control. Some critical systems will have dual redundant data highways, often cabled via diverse

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An important part of most SCADA implementations is alarm handling. The system monitors
whether certain alarm conditions are satisfied, to determine when an alarm event has occurred.
Once an alarm event has been detected, one or more actions are taken (such as the activation of
one or more alarm indicators, and perhaps the generation of email or text messages so that
management or remote SCADA operators are informed). In many cases, a SCADA operator may
have to acknowledge the alarm event; this may deactivate some alarm indicators, whereas other
indicators remain active until the alarm conditions are cleared.

Alarm conditions can be explicit—for example, an alarm point is a digital status point that has
either the value NORMAL or ALARM that is calculated by a formula based on the values in
other analogue and digital points—or implicit: the SCADA system might automatically monitor
whether the value in an analogue point lies outside high and low- limit values associated with
that point.

Examples of alarm indicators include a siren, a pop-up box on a screen, or a coloured or flashing
area on a screen (that might act in a similar way to the "fuel tank empty" light in a car); in each
case, the role of the alarm indicator is to draw the operator's attention to the part of the system 'in
alarm' so that appropriate action can be taken.


• Function of SCADA is recording and logging all events in a file that is stored in a hard
disk or sending them to a printer.
• If conditions become hazardous, SCADA sounds warning alarm.

1. Data acquisition

2. Networked data communication

3. Data presentation

4. Control

These functions are performed by four kinds of SCADA components: 1. Sensors (either digital
or analog) and control relays that directly interface with the managed system. 2. Remote

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telemetry units (RTUs). These are small computerized units deployed in the field at specific sites
and locations. RTUs 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.

SCADA is widely used in different areas from chemical, gas, water, communications and power
systems. The list of applications of SCADA can be listed as follows.

1. Electric power generation, transmission and distribution: Electric utilities use SCADA
systems to detect current flow and line voltage, to monitor the operation of circuit breakers, and
to take sections of the power grid online or offline.

2. Water, Waste Water Utilities and Sewage: State and municipal water utilities use SCADA to
monitor and regulate water flow, reservoir levels, pipe pressure and other factors.

3. Buildings, facilities and environments: Facility managers use SCADA to control HVAC,
refrigeration units, lighting and entry systems.

4. Oil and Gas Trans & Distributions:

5. Wind Power Generation 6. Communication Networks:

7. Industrial Plans and Process Control:

8. Manufacturing: SCADA systems manage parts inventories for just-in-time manufacturing,

regulate industrial automation and robots, and monitor process and quality control.

9. Mass transit and Railway Traction: Transit authorities use SCADA to regulate electricity to
subways, trams and trolley buses; to automate traffic signals for rail systems; to track and locate
trains and buses; and to control railroad crossing gates.

10. Traffic signals: SCADA regulates traffic lights, controls traffic flow and detects out-of-order

1.11 SCADA in Power Systems:

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SCADA is widely used in power systems. The applications for SCADA keep increasing day
after day. Some of the applications are Comprehensive operational planning and control

Fuel resource scheduling

Optimum power flow Network security

Economic dispatch Generation dispatch control

1.12 Expected Benefits of SCADA for Power Systems

Improved quality of service

Improved reliability

Reduced operating costs

Maintenance /Expansion of customer base

Ability to defer capacity addition projects

High value service providers

Improved information for engineering decision

value added services

Flexible billing option

Improved customer information access

Reduced system implementation costs

Reduced manpower requirements

1.13 SCADA for Power Utility Network:

The aim of power network utilities(PNU) software is to provide the electrical utility with tools
which will enhance the operation of the system in a very cost effective way. in the present
scenario of low budgets for power utilities to produce and distribute quality power at the
minimum cost. This goal can be achieved by proper operation of the electrical network and at the
same time having real time data about state of the network. This real time data can then be used

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for supervisory controlled changes of the network parameters with effective guidance from
distribution automation tools. The PNU software utilizes the real time SCADA data. the real time
network topology network component details & user defined strategies to achieve the above
mentioned goals.PNU uses a combination of mathematical and logical techniques to provide the
user with a host of applications for the purpose of distribution automation.

1.14 Features of Power Network Utilities

Component Modeling

 State Estimation

 Bad data suppression

 Contingency analysis

 Fault isolation/islanding

 Load shedding

 Volt/Var scheduling

 Dispatcher power flow

 Short circuit analysis

 Network topology processor

1.15 Disadvantages of SCADA

PLC based SCADA system is complex in terms of hardware units and dependent modules.
As the system is complex, it requires skilled operators, analysts and programmers to maintain
SCADA system.
Installation costs are higher.
The system supports use of restricted software and hardware equipments.

SCADA systems are used to control and monitor physical processes, examples of which are
transmission of electricity, transportation of gas and oil in pipelines, water distribution, traffic
lights, and other systems used as the basis of modern society. The security of these SCADA

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systems is important because compromise or destruction of these systems would impact multiple
areas of society far removed from the original compromise. For example, a blackout caused by a
compromised electrical SCADA system would cause financial losses to all the customers that
received electricity from that source. How security will affect legacy SCADA and new
deployments remains to be seen.

There are many threat vectors to a modern SCADA system. One is the threat of unauthorized
access to the control software, whether it is human access or changes induced intentionally or
accidentally by virus infections and other software threats residing on the control host machine.
Another is the threat of packet access to the network segments hosting SCADA devices. In many
cases, the control protocol lacks any form of cryptographic security, allowing an attacker to
control a SCADA device by sending commands over a network. In many cases SCADA users
have assumed that having a VPN offered sufficient protection, unaware that security can be
trivially bypassed with physical access to SCADA-related network jacks and switches. Industrial
control vendors suggest approaching SCADA security like Information Security with a defense
in depth strategy that leverages common IT practices.

The reliable function of SCADA systems in our modern infrastructure may be crucial to public
health and safety. As such, attacks on these systems may directly or indirectly threaten public
health and safety. Such an attack has already occurred, carried out on Maroochy Shire Council's
sewage control system in Queensland, Australia.[24] Shortly after a contractor installed a SCADA
system in January 2000, system components began to function erratically. Pumps did not run
when needed and alarms were not reported. More critically, sewage flooded a nearby park and
contaminated an open surface-water drainage ditch and flowed 500 meters to a tidal canal. The
SCADA system was directing sewage valves to open when the design protocol should have kept
them closed. Initially this was believed to be a system bug. Monitoring of the system logs
revealed the malfunctions were the result of cyber attacks. Investigators reported 46 separate
instances of malicious outside interference before the culprit was identified. The attacks were
made by a disgruntled ex-employee of the company that had installed the SCADA system. The
ex-employee was hoping to be hired by the utility full-time to maintain the system.

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SCADA systems have evolved through four generations as follows:

First generation: "monolithic"

Early SCADA system computing was done by large minicomputers. Common network services
did not exist at the time SCADA was developed. Thus SCADA systems were independent
systems with no connectivity to other systems. The communication protocols used were strictly
proprietary at that time. The first-generation SCADA system redundancy was achieved using a
back-up mainframe system connected to all the Remote Terminal Unit sites and was used in the
event of failure of the primary mainframe system. Some first generation SCADA systems were
developed as "turn key" operations that ran on minicomputers such as the PDP-11 series made
by the Digital Equipment Corporation.

Second generation: "distributed"

SCADA information and command processing was distributed across multiple stations which
were connected through a LAN. Information was shared in near real time. Each station was
responsible for a particular task, which reduced the cost as compared to First Generation
SCADA. The network protocols used were still not standardized. Since these protocols were
proprietary, very few people beyond the developers knew enough to determine how secure a
SCADA installation was. Security of the SCADA installation was usually overlooked.

Third generation: "networked"

Similar to a distributed architecture, any complex SCADA can be reduced to simplest
components and connected through communication protocols. In the case of a networked design,
the system may be spread across more than one LAN network called a process control network
(PCN) and separated geographically. Several distributed architecture SCADAs running in
parallel, with a single supervisor and historian, could be considered a network architecture. This
allows for a more cost effective solution in very large scale systems.

Fourth generation: "Internet of things"

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With the commercial availability of cloud computing, SCADA systems have increasingly
adopted Internet of things technology to significantly improve interoperability,[12] reduce
infrastructure costs and increase ease of maintenance and integration.[13] As a result, SCADA
systems can now report state in near real-time and use the horizontal scale available in cloud
environments to implement more complex control algorithms than are practically feasible to
implement on traditional programmable logic controllers. Further, the use of open network
protocols such as TLS inherent in the Internet of things technology, provides a more readily
comprehensible and manageable security boundary than the heterogeneous mix of proprietary
network protocols typical of many decentralized SCADA implementations.

This decentralization of data also requires a different approach to SCADA than traditional PLC
based programs. When a SCADA system is used locally, the preferred methodology involves
binding the graphics on the user interface to the data stored in specific PLC memory addresses.
However, when the data comes from a disparate mix of sensors, controllers and databases (which
may be local or at varied connected locations), the typical 1 to 1 mapping becomes problematic.
A solution to this is data modeling, a concept derived from object oriented programming.[16]

In a data model, a virtual representation of each device is constructed in the SCADA software.
These virtual representations (“models”) can contain not just the address mapping of the device
represented, but also any other pertinent information (web based info, database entries, media
files, etc.) that may be used by other facets of the SCADA/IoT implementation. As the increased
complexity of the Internet of things renders traditional SCADA increasingly “house-bound,” and
as communication protocols evolve to favor platform-independent, service-oriented architecture
(such as OPC UA), it is likely that more SCADA software developers will implement some form
of data modeling.


SCADA systems that tie together decentralized facilities such as power, oil, gas pipelines, water
distribution and wastewater collection systems were designed to be open, robust, and easily
operated and repaired, but not necessarily secure. The move from proprietary technologies to
more standardized and open solutions together with the increased number of connections

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between SCADA systems, office networks and the Internet has made them more vulnerable to
types of network attacks that are relatively common in computer security. For example, United
States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) released a vulnerability advisory
warning that unauthenticated users could download sensitive configuration information
including password hashes from an Inductive Automation Ignition system utilizing a
standard attack type leveraging access to the Tomcat Embedded Web server. Security researcher
Jerry Brown submitted a similar advisory regarding a buffer overflow vulnerability in
a Wonderware InBatchClient ActiveX control. Both vendors made updates available prior to
public vulnerability release. Mitigation recommendations were standard patching practices and
requiring VPN access for secure connectivity. Consequently, the security of some SCADA-based
systems has come into question as they are seen as potentially vulnerable to cyber attacks.

In particular, security researchers are concerned about:

 the lack of concern about security and authentication in the design, deployment and
operation of some existing SCADA networks
 the belief that SCADA systems have the benefit of security through obscurity through the
use of specialized protocols and proprietary interfaces
 the belief that SCADA networks are secure because they are physically secured
 the belief that SCADA networks are secure because they are disconnected from the Internet

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1. "The History of Data Modeling". Exforsys Inc. 11 January 2007.

2. Jump up^ "CIM and OPC UA for interoperability of micro-grid platforms". Proceedings of the IEEE
ISGT 2016 Conference. 6 September 2016.
3. D. Maynor and R. Graham (2006). "SCADA Security and Terrorism: We're Not Crying Wolf" (PDF).
4. Jump up^ Robert Lemos (26 July 2006). "SCADA system makers pushed toward security".
SecurityFocus. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
5. Jump up^ "Industrial Security Best Practices" (PDF). Rockwell Automation. Retrieved 26 Mar 2013.

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