SCADA systems are highly distributed systems used to control geographically dispersed assets, often scattered over thousands of square kilometers, where centralized data acquisition and control are critical to system operation. SCADA systems are specifically designed to handle long-distance communication challenges such as delays and data loss posed by the various communication media used.
They are used in distribution systems such as water distribution and wastewater collection systems, oil and gas pipelines, electrical utility transmission, Waste Heat Recovery Boilers, Cement Plant, Building Automation, AHU systems, Material Handling Systems and distribution systems, and rail and other public transportation systems.
A SCADA control center performs centralized monitoring and control for field sites over long-distance communications networks, including monitoring alarms and processing status data. Based on information received from remote stations, automated or operator-driven supervisory commands can be pushed to remote station control devices, which are often referred to as field devices. Field devices control local operations such as opening and closing valves and breakers, collecting data from sensor systems, and monitoring the local environment for alarm conditions.