Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (February 1, 2006)


February 1, 2006

SCADA on wheels, anyone? We mentioned implementing SCADA on a Sprint PC Phone last week. For those of you who would prefer to monitor and control your facilities from the convenience of your car (even while cruising down the Interstate, with a friend's assistance) we've got you covered.

Our implementation includes a vehicle-mounted ruggedized PC with a special auto-specific power supply that can withstand the low voltage of engine cranks and automatically shutdown Windows XP and the computer after a programmable time delay or when battery voltage drops below a minimum. This is mounted under the rear seat of my Suburban. In the front console is mounted a pop-out 800x400 VGA touchscreen. A USB hub is mounted in the center arm rest. A Gyration gyroscopic mouse is mounted in the console change tray and an RF keyboard tucks neatly between the seat and console.

Internet connectivity is provided via a Wi-Fi station adapter for when I am parked at my home, office or at many hotels. A Verizon nationwide Broadband wireless PC card gives full broadband access in many markets with 70-110K performance throughout Verizon's digital coverage areas.

SCADA access is full, using either a client or Web browser. Our intention is to demonstrate the capability to clients, as we see this technology is convenient and a productivity enhancer for application in many maintenance vehicles, including water and wastewater systems.

As a side benefit, such a system is quite convenient for access to the office on the go. Need to search a knowledge base or download a file while you are at a customer site? Go to your car and cruise the Internet, or download a file to a USB key. Need to get something you left at your office? No problem, we log onto Windows terminal services and our complete desktop is available from our vehicle. With our busy startup schedule it has been convenient for these weblog entries. The last few have been written and submitted on the go driving down the Interstate.

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