Petrobras selects wireless communication platform

FreeWave communication systems will be deployed with SCADA systems in Peru and surrounding countries.

06/14/2011


PetFreeWave FGR09CSUrobras has selected FreeWave Technologies, manufacturer of high-performance spread spectrum and licensed radios for critical data transmission, for automation of several SCADA applications in Peru and several other countries. Currently, Petrobas Peru has many FreeWave radios operating in the field and the network continues to grow.

Petrobas currently uses FreeWave FGR09CSU serial radios and several HTplus Ethernet radios at oil collection sites, treatment plants, water ejection sites, and compression stations.

Prior to selecting FreeWave radios, Petrobas Peru started a pilot test. The goal was to have several test sites reporting to a gateway and then into a SCADA system. The challenge of the installation was to communicate to sites that were located in depressions, canyons, or small streams that do not have clear line-of-site (LOS). Radios were installed at 18 different locations.

Engineers at Petrobas Peru attempted to get the pilot network working for several weeks, but the radios they were using caused large amounts of ambient noise and failed to establish reliable or consistent links.

“Without working links we would have to consider the pilot a failure,”explained Carlos Cieza, project engineer, at Petrobas Peru. “We had some FreeWave FGR09CSU Series radios that were used for other SCADA applications, so we decided to install them in an attempt to save the pilot. After a quick set-up, we were able to establish a link almost immediately. We were impressed with the flexibility and reliability of FreeWave’s radios, especially considering how difficult it had been to set up the other vendor’s radios.”

The FreeWave board level FGR09CSU 900 MHz serial radios performed well in the applications with virtually no LOS. After deploying FreeWave radios, the pilot was determined to be a success. The board-level radios offer a variety of interface options including, a 6-30 Vdc operating voltage, a temperature range of -40 to +75 °C, surface mount design, no additional RF shielding, and a unit with Class 1 Div 2 classification.

For projects that require a lot of transmission of data, such as at the oil collection sites, Petrobas Peru also uses the FreeWave HTplus Ethernet radio for backhaul. The company says this approach is ideal for customers who need an industrial grade high-speed Ethernet radio that operates in harsh environments and noisy RF conditions. Delivering data at a rate of up to 867 Kbps, the HTplus is an excellent radio for SCADA backhaul networks. The HT product family supports UDP, TCP and serial communications, all in one package.

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- Edited by Peter Welander, pwelander(at)cfemedia.com, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com