While supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and telemetry systems have been used in the utility and oil and gas industries for many years, the recent focus on smart grids and smart energy management creates an exciting new opportunity for critical network providers.

SCADA and telemetry protocols are already optimised for narrowband data transmission and so are excellent contenders for using data bearers based on control and traffic channels, such as TETRA. This can increase the utilisation of an existing TETRA communications system, making the investment in the technology all the more beneficial.

Smart energy systems mean utility companies have to integrate information and communications technologies with the utility infrastructure. The aim is to provide real-time information and control of network assets, demand and embedded generation in order to balance the network’s behaviour. This will help to ensure secure, reliable and sustainable electricity supplies, as well as making a real impact on reducing energy consumption – and therefore reducing costs and the impact on the climate.

TETRA is an efficient choice for utility companies looking to introduce SCADA and Smart Grid applications and its unrivalled network security gives network operators confidence that the reliability, integrity and security of their operations will be maintained.  The benefits of TETRA and its use in the SCADA, Smart grid and Telemetry (SST) sector can be found here.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about TETRA, SCADA, Telemetry and Telecontrol including capacities, can be found here.

TETRA is widely used in the sector for voice calls, but is also being used today for a number of SCADA schemes, and a list can be found here.

The TETRA and Critical Communications Association (TCCA) established its SCADA, Smart Grid and Telemetry (SST) Working Group at the beginning of 2013.  The group is looking at ways for TETRA to exploit these new opportunities, and to enable utility companies and industry to participate in, and influence, the development of suitable solutions, both for traditional SCADA and telemetry applications and for the new application areas such as smart grids. The group’s main objective is to create a forum for users, manufacturers, system integrators and developers to share experiences and requirements, and catalyse the market for TETRA in the SCADA, telemetry and smart grid space.  The objectives can be summarised as follows:

  • to promote TETRA as the bearer of choice in the SCADA,  telemetry and smart grid areas
  • to create a forum for users, manufacturers, system integrators and developers to share experiences and requirements
  • to drive relevant activities within the technology standards organisations to ensure evolution of critical communications standards encompasses the future needs of this market

The group has regular conference calls and has collected a number of white papers and data which are available within the Members’ area of the TCCA website. It has active membership from users, TETRA suppliers, TETRA data modem vendors and system integrators. LINK

You can also find a summary of group members and their related SCADA products and services here: LINK

Further details can be obtained by contacting the Chair:
Nick Smye ([email protected])