Datalink's WebNET software and SCADA hardware can provide a long distance communications link over satellite at a much lower cost than conventional remote SCADA links which would normally use VSAT dedicated service. WebNET puts an intelligent controller at the remote site which only sends data when a reporting device drops out of a predefined operating window. This can reduce satellite airtime costs per remote asset to typically under $50 USD per month. Data processing hardware and satellite terminal cost is typically under $900 per link.
WebNET is a low cost satellite or terrestrial network communications link between remote telemetry devices such as RTUs, PLCs, and other remote sensors with base HMI control computers. Functionally it acts as a transparent pipe that links remote monitoring terminals with other devices for oil and gas wells, pipelines, pumping stations, remote mining sites, compressor stations, reservoir storage tanks, and remote seismographs to the host HMI software. IP-SCADA can support most protocols that use a TCP/IP connection on the host side and an asynchronous RS-232 serial connection at the device. The link can use both terrestrial and satellite networks to provide regional or worldwide coverage. The technology has a simple design making integration with existing legacy systems a straight-forward solution.
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The third-party host software connects to the DataGate server program using a TCP/IP socket. For instant status polling a Modbus (or other protocol with addressing scheme) packet can be sent to the server, which decodes the address field, and uses a look-up table to direct the packet to the appropriate remote device. The server then communicates with the device and waits for an acknowledgement. Any responses from the device are sent back to the third-party host software using the same TCP/IP socket. At this point the third-party software may close the socket or continue to exchange data. For SCADA operation, third party software should be OPC compatible. For those host software systems that are restricted to legacy PSTN "phone" dial-up sessions, Datalink can provide a PSTN-to-IP internet interface software module allowing full TCP/IP communications over any of the integrated wireless networks.
DataGate acts as a packet data router processing and routing packets between a number of host computers connected to the internet with the remote terminal devices linked via satellite or terrestrial wireless services. The DataGate software can be located at the customers base offices or on Datalink's cloud servers. Dual mode communication is an attractive feature providing the ability to make use of very low cost VHF/UHF radios to link a number of well heads within roughly 30 miles of each other to one central WebNET satellite uplink hub.
Automated data transfer
Security encryption available
Much lower satellite cost than VSAT and other circuit switched satellite services
Transparent data transfer
Multipoint data transmission
Easy integration into existing IT infrastructure
Internet connectivity between PCs and the satellite ground station provides virtually instantaneous data acquisition and remote control
Many SCADA systems are based on polling remote RTUs from the base software program every X seconds or minutes. This is not an issue when the link is dedicated telephone lines, micro-wave, or VSAT. However the cost of linking to remote RTUs using the above options is often cost prohibitive.
Datalink has overcome this problem by introducing intelligent monitoring at the remote device. By issuing the appropriate commands to the controller in the field, the MobiHUB i50 SCADA communicator can detect an anomaly in seconds and will send an alert to the base HMI controller. This eliminates the need for frequent polling and allows the use of low cost satellite links on a global basis.