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AUTOMATION SYSTEMS FOR GAS TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION PIPELINES

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January 12, 2003

The automation systems that control and measure natural gas flow in transmission and distribution pipelines often involve two systems. The system that controls the gas flow in a pipeline is called a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system and an AMR (Automated Meter Reading) system measures the amount of gas flowing into, and out of, the pipeline. These automation systems which can be completely separate or combined are widely distributed throughout the service area of a pipeline and must rely heavily on long-distance communication technologies to telemeter the data necessary to coordinate and monitor pipeline activities. This is the most challenging aspect of the automation problem as the communication system is the most exposed component to service interruptions and degradation. Strategies should be implemented in the system design that will maintain continued safe operations of the pipeline during periods of communication failure

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