SCADA is the technology that enables a user to collect data from one or more distant facilities
and/or send control instructions to those facilities. SCADA makes it unnecessary for an operator to
permanently stay at or visit remote locations in the normal operation of that remote facility.
SCADA is an acronym formed from the first letters of supervisory control and data acquisition.
Except for the fact that it doesn’t refer to the factor of distance, which is common to most SCADA
systems, the acronym is a good one. It rhymes with RAID-ah.

By Stuart Boyer

SCADA is the technology that enables a user to collect data from one or more distant facilities
and/or send control instructions to those facilities. SCADA makes it unnecessary for an operator to
permanently stay at or visit remote locations in the normal operation of that remote facility.
SCADA is an acronym formed from the first letters of supervisory control and data acquisition.
Except for the fact that it doesn’t refer to the factor of distance, which is common to most SCADA
systems, the acronym is a good one. It rhymes with RAID-ah.
A SCADA system allows an operator in a location central to a widely distributed process, such as an
oil or gas field, a pipeline system, or a hydroelectric generating complex, to make set-point changes
on distant process controllers, open or close valves or switches, monitor alarms, and gather
measurement information.
When the dimensions of the process become very large— hundreds or even thousands of kilometers
from one end to the other—the benefits in terms of reduced cost of routine visits are appreciable.
The value of these benefits will grow if the facilities are very remote and require extreme effort,
such as a helicopter, to visit.

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