SCADA system supports Cern in its Higgs Boson search

31 July 2012

The Cern Europe Nuclear Research Center in Meyrin in the Swiss Canton of Geneva is home to the world’s biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Alongside the control, monitoring and documentation of experiments conducted in the LHC, since 2001 all technical processes at Cern have been monitored and controlled by a SCADA system from the Simatic HMI family: Simatic WinCC Open Architecture (WinCC OA).

The scientific community is making ever greater use of high-end industrial standard systems.

The decision to use the Simatic WinCC OA at Cern was due to its stability and connectivity, its open system architecture and its resistance to external disturbances, as well as its capacity for coping reliably with data overload situations.

The demands made on the SCADA system are enormous- Over 10 million I/O monitoring channels are processed by hundreds of computer systems using a widely distributed control system. Its ability to handle a large number of channels and high volumes of data makes the Simatic WinCC OA highly suited for networked and redundant high-end control systems. The SCADA system ensures continuous communication from the field level to the control center.

The open communication concept behind WinCC OA allows the integration of the components using OPC (Object Linking and Embedding OLE for process control), different fieldbuses and telecontrol protocols. WinCC OA can also be used alongside Windows on Linux and Solaris operating systems, and offers scope for long-term data archiving using database management system software Oracle RdB, which features hierarchical compression stages and balancing functions.

At the European Nuclear Research Center Cern, for instance, 200,000 value changes are processed per second in an Oracle Cluster.


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