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A critical element in any SCADA network is communication. A reliable, cost-effective means for transporting data must be employed if the full benefits of SCADA are to be realized.
Wireless communication presents an attractive option to many users because it offers high availability, eliminates the payment of ongoing access fees, and allows users to have direct control over their systems. It is often the chosen medium when one or more sites are outside the coverage area of a public telephone system, or where continuous monitoring of data is required.
This article discusses the various elements of wireless system design. The elements are: system information collection and review, paper planning, field testing, final system layout and installation, and system start-up. It also touches on performance and preventive maintenance requirements for radio-based SCADA systems.
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