Friday, December 31, 2010

Industrial Sectors and Interdependencies

Both the distribution grid and electrical power transmission industries use geographically distributed SCADA control technology to operate highly dynamic systems and interconnected consisting of thousands of public and private utilities and rural cooperatives for supplying electricity to end users. SCADA systems control and monitor electricity distribution by collecting data from and issuing commands to geographically remote field control stations from a centralized location. SCADA systems also used to control and monitor water, oil and natural gas distribution, ships truck, pipelines and rail systems.

DCS and SCADA systems are often networked together. This is the case for electric power generation facilities and electric power control centers. Although the electric power generation facility operation is controlled by a DCS. The DCS must communicate with the SCADA system to coordinate output of production with transmission and distribution demands.

Electric power is often thought to be one of the most prevalent sources of disruptions critical infrastructures interdependent. For example, a cascading failure can be initiated by a disruption of the microwave communication network used for an electric power transmission SCADA system. The lack of control and monitoring capabilities could cause a large generating unit to be taken offline, an event that would lead to the loss of power at a substation of transmission.

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