Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
Towfiqur Rahman (ET091010)
 Abstract-- SCADA is a type of Industrial control system. In reality, the primary purpose of SCADA is to monitor, control and alarm plant or regional operating systems from a central location. SCADA system consists with these following elements, HMI (human–machine interface), a supervisory system, remote terminal units, PLC, Communication infrastructure and methods. Index Terms—
1. Definition 2. Main Functions of SCADA 3. Controlling Process 4. Components of SCADA 5. Systems concepts 6. SCADA architectures 7. Security issues 8. Advantages of SCADA system 9. Future of SCADA system

III. CONTROLLING PROCESSES Processes done by SCADA can be classified by the following points;  Industrial processes include those of manufacturing, production, power generation, fabrication, and refining, and may run in continuous, batch, repetitive, or discrete modes.  Infrastructure processes may be public or private, and include water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, oil and gas pipelines, electrical power transmission and distribution, wind farms and large communication systems.  Facility processes occur both in public facilities and private ones, including buildings, airports, ships, and space stations. They monitor and control HVAC, access, and energy consumption

I. INTRODUCTION SCADA stands Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. As the name indicates, it is not a full control system, but rather focuses on the supervisory level. It is a computer system for gathering and analyzing real time data. SCADA systems are used to monitor and control a plant or equipment in industries such as telecommunications, water and waste control, energy, oil and gas refining and transportation. A SCADA system gathers information, such as where a leak on a pipeline has occurred, transfers the information back to a central site, alerting the home station that the leak has occurred, carrying out necessary analysis and control, such as determining if the leak is critical, and displaying the information in a logical and organized fashion. SCADA systems can be relatively simple, such as one that monitors environmental conditions of a small office building, or incredibly complex, such as a system that monitors all the activity in a nuclear power plant or the activity of a municipal water system.

IV. COMMON COMPONENTS OF SCADA 1. HMI (Human Machine Interface): It is an apparatus that is operated by human to monitor and control various processes. 2. PLC (Programmable Logic Controller): This controller is used because they are very flexible, and economical than Remote Terminal Units 3. Supervisory System: It collects process data and sends control commands to the process. 4. RTU (Remote Terminal Units): This process is connected with sensors to convert sensor signals into digital and sends digital data to Supervisory System 5. Communication Infrastructure: It is connecting Supervisory System to RLU’s.

V. SYSTEMS CONCEPTS II. MAIN FUNCTIONS OF SCADA          Data acquisition, Alarms and event monitoring, Database and data logging, Operator interface, Non real time control, Logging, MMI (men- machine interface) use, Automation, and Report generation The term SCADA usually refers to centralized systems which monitor and control entire sites, or complexes of systems spread out over large areas (anything from an industrial plant to a nation). Most control actions are performed automatically by RTUs or by PLCs. Host control functions are usually restricted to basic overriding or supervisory level intervention. For example, a PLC may control the flow of cooling water through part of an industrial process, but the SCADA system may allow operators to change the set points for the flow, and enable alarm conditions, such as loss of flow and high temperature, to be displayed and recorded. The feedback control loop passes through the RTU or PLC, while the


SCADA system monitors the overall performance of the loop.

Fig. 1. Basic SCADA Structure

Fig. 2. First Generation of SCADA system

Data acquisition begins at the RTU or PLC level and includes meter readings and equipment status reports that are communicated to SCADA as required. Data is then compiled and formatted in such a way that a control room operator using the HMI can make supervisory decisions to adjust or override normal RTU (PLC) controls. Data may also be fed to an Historian, often built on a commodity Database Management System, to allow trending and other analytical auditing. SCADA systems are significantly important systems used in national infrastructures such as electric grids, water Supplies and pipelines. However, SCADA systems have many security vulnerabilities.

II. Second generation: Distributed; the next generation of SCADA systems took advantage of developments and improvement in system miniaturization and Local Area Networking (LAN) technology to distribute the processing across multiple systems. Multiple stations, each with a specific function, were connected to a LAN and shared information with each other in realtime. These stations were typically of the minicomputer class, smaller and less expensive than their first generation processors.


SCADA systems have evolved in parallel with the growth and sophistication of modern computing technology. The following sections will provide a description of the following three generations of SCADA systems: I. First generation: Monolithic; when SCADA systems were first developed, the concept of computing in general centered on “mainframe” systems. Networks were generally non-existent, and each centralized system stood alone. As a result, SCADA systems were standalone systems with virtually no connectivity to other systems. Wide Area Networks were later designed by RTU vendors to communicate with the RTU. The communication protocols used were often proprietary at that time. The first-generation SCADA system was redundant since a back-up mainframe system was connected at the bus level and was used in the event of failure of the primary mainframe.

Fig. 3. Second Generation of SCADA system

III. Third generation: Networked; The current generation of SCADA master station architecture is closely related to that of the second generation, with the primary difference being that of an open system architecture rather than a vendor controlled, proprietary environment. There are still multiple networked systems, sharing master station functions. There are still RTUs utilizing protocols that are vendor-proprietary. The major improvement in the third generation is that of opening the system architecture, utilizing open standards and protocols and making it possible to


distribute SCADA functionality across a WAN and not just a LAN.

environment, ensuring that all systems are patched and up to date.  Conducting regular security audits: Ensuring that security practices and procedures, such as incident response, are defined and implemented. Penetration testing of the network environment should also be prudently conducted with inspection for potential back doors into the SCADA network.

 Implementing real-time threat protection: With the
increasing number and complexity of attacks, it's insufficient to simply patch the systems or maintain access/service control. One alternative is to implement real-time threat protection in the form of network intrusion-prevention systems. Unlike standard packet-filter firewalls, these systems perform application-layer inspection to identify attacks that are carried in the payload and block the offending traffic in real time.

Fig. 4. Third Generation of SCADA system

VII. SECURITY ISSUES Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks contain computers and applications that perform key functions in providing essential services and commodities (e.g., electricity, natural gas, gasoline, water, waste treatment, transportation). As such, they are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and require protection from a variety of threats that exist in cyber space today. Against a backdrop of newly emerging threats, security managers at organizations that use SCADA are beginning to address the challenges involved in securing these systems. Much of what needs to be done is simply implementing sound information-security practices. The following are TSI’s (The Security Institute, a United Kingdom based professional body for security professionals) recommendations to address some lingering security issues:  Security of network communications: Implementation of strong encryption over the SCADA network communications, to ensure that both monitored data and control commands are encrypted.  Turning on security: Implementation of security features with devices on the network, especially authentication. Using secure protocols whenever possible.  Knowing your SCADA network: Identifying all connections to external networks including wireless networks, corporate LANs and WANs, and the Internet. Also, securing the network by eliminating all unnecessary connections to external networks.  Hardening of the SCADA environment: Removing all unnecessary services from the hosts on the network. Also, just as in the corporate network

VIII. ADVANTAGES OF SCADA SYSTEM A SCADA system when applied properly can help industries to save time and money. One reason is that with SCADA, it can eliminate the need for site visits by personnel for inspection, adjustments and data collection. SCADA software enables to monitor the operations in real time. It can also make modifications to the system, autogenerate reports and trouble-shoot. Thus once the system is installed, it reduces operational costs and improves the efficiency of the set-up. SCADA systems are equipped to make immediate corrections in the operational system, so they can increase the life-period of your equipment and save on the need for costly repairs. It also translates into man-hours saved and personnel enabled to focus on tasks that require human involvement. Further, the auto-generated reporting system ensures compliance with regulatory principles.

IX. The Future of SCADA system The large territories and huge volumes of data SCADA can handle form a formidable combination. Today’s SCADA systems can manage anything from a few thousands to one million of input/output channels. The technology is still evolving in terms of sophistication as well. SCADA systems as they are now can perform a large variety of tasks and some systems have artificial intelligence built into them. They are also more networkenabled, thus paving the way for voice-data-control data convergence. With proper planning and a custom-made installation, a SCADA system becomes a valuable asset.


X. ACKNOWLEDGMENT We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Md. Amin for his class lecture on this topic. XI. REFERENCES Technical Reports:
1. wikipedia.org 2. power systems loss: SCADA ARCHITECTURES http://www.powersystemsloss.com/2012/01/scada-architecturesmonolithic-system.html 3. SCADA | Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition | Security for SCADA http://www.tsips.com/SCADA.htm 4. Latest Advancements in Distribution SCADA - Electric Light & Power http://www.elp.com/articles/powergrid_international/print/volum e-17/issue-9/feaures/latest-advancements-in-distributionscada.html 5. Why SCADA? http://www.roseindia.net/technology/scada/why-SCADA.shtml 6. Class Lecture

Preparation of a Formatted Technical Work for the IEEE Power & Energy Society

Towfiqur Rahman was born in 1989 at Chittagong. He completed his HSC from Govt. City College at 2007. He is now studying at International Islamic University Chittagong in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, final year.

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