Satlynx has announced the completion of a 300-site SCADA network for EDF Energy Networks in the UK. The network is part of a larger improvement program to monitor and control electricity distribution in the South East of England.

In a project already lasting more than two years, EDF Energy Networks and Satlynx have been working together to validate the use of satellite technology for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) application that is used to collect data and control the electricity distribution network. Initially, the network was operated from Satlynx’s state-of-the-art teleport and network operating center located in Backnang, Germany. The early rollout was a success and Satlynx was called on to design and build a 7.6m antenna and hub facility at an EDF Energy Networks site in England. Construction was completed on time, and the new hub and infrastructure came online at the end of 2007. Satlynx continue to maintain a fully redundant back-up system at their teleport in Germany while remotely managing the primary hub in the UK.

Implementing this network via satellite was essential as it enabled immediate coverage across the South East while giving EDF Energy Networks the option to extend the SCADA network to other new regions. The technology deployed uses a TDMA (Time-Division Multiple Access) access scheme, which shares the available bandwidth across hundreds and potentially thousands of sites, thereby giving a cost-effective solution. This choice of technology is also highly scalable, allowing for growth in both number of sites and bandwidth, should the size of the network or the nature of the application change.

Mark Fiske, operational telecoms manager for EDF Energy Networks said: “We are committed to the improvement of our infrastructure and the control of our networks is as important as the switching and distribution itself. We chose satellite as a natural medium of transport for reliable control and monitoring of our network and we have not been disappointed from our experience of both the technical solution and in working with Satlynx.”