Redline Communications, a provider of broadband wireless solutions for industrial machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, today announced the availability of Redline Transport Gateway (RTG) Connect, a new family of wireless networking products specifically designed to securely connect industrial SCADA systems.
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is a type of M2M communication used for the monitoring and control of industrial processes such as the flow of oil in a pipeline, energy across a grid, or water inside a water treatment system. In a SCADA system, hundreds and often thousands of sensors are used to monitor a wide range of device attributes. These sensors are polled periodically and their collected data is sent back to a control center where it is analyzed and used for corrective actions.
The flexible RTG Connect enables high-speed wireless communications between serial and TCP/IP based SCADA field devices and a remote control center. This high-speed connectivity enables true real-time data collection from and control of devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), remote terminal units (RTUs), natural gas meters and pump controllers. This time sensitive data is then delivered at high speed over a Redline distributed wireless broadband backbone to and from the SCADA host system, which can be hundreds of miles away.
“Wireless networks powered by Redline’s Connect terminals are on average eight times faster than competing systems, delivering 2 Mbps at the port, making real-time transmission of unprecedented volumes of SCADA data over local and wide area networks possible for the first time,” said Rodney Cronin, director of product management at Redline Communications. “For TCP/IP SCADA devices, the increased speed and lower latency offered by Redline’s Connect system mean realizing the full benefits of real-time wireless communications including faster polling, more timely data, greater visibility and improved management of distributed devices.”
Typical serial SCADA networks operate at less than 256 Kbps, but as manufacturers increasingly add TCP/IP support to their SCADA field devices to give them remote management and control capabilities, the networks must be capable of transporting large volumes of data with minimal latency.
The RTG Connect family offers SCADA automation teams unparalleled flexibility for system design. The RTG Connect family options include a system specially designed for secure, wireless SCADA connectivity between distributed TCP/IP-based field devices and the control center. Other Connect options support both serial and TCP/IP devices on a single terminal, giving customers the choice between integrated or separate antennas.
For Redline’s customers operating SCADA networks in the world’s most extreme climates and topographies, ruggedness, security and flexibility are as important as data throughput. The Redline Connect-OW system is FIPS 140-2 compliant, incorporating military-grade cyber security with AES encryption and secure remote management. The unit itself is fully ruggedized, contained in an IP68 certified enclosure that ensures uninterrupted operation at temperature ranges from -40°C to +75°C (-40 °F to +167 °F). Built on Redline’s Universal Wireless Transport™ platform, Connect operates over any wireless frequency between 470 MHz and 5.8 GHz, allowing companies to build the optimal network for any terrain, environment, distance and spectrum availability. Connect’s software defined radio enables over-the-air configuration, allowing customers to remotely configure and upgrade the system from its base 2 Mbps to higher data rates, ensuring that network capacity grows as needed when more devices are added or when scan times to end devices must be increased.
“Redline is the market leader in wide area networks for the energy sector, and with the introduction of the RTG Connect family, we have extended our reach to include edge devices critical for end-to-end field automation,” added Cronin. “SCADA becomes another of many applications which can be seamlessly carried across a Redline Virtual Fiber backbone.”
RTG Connect systems availability will begin in November 2013.
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