canadian puregas equipment limited

Introduction to Nicotra Sistemi SpA NiDA2 System





P.O. Box 280, 783 Hwy. 3,W., Dunnville, Ontario, N1A 2X5, Canada

Phone: 905-774-8600 Fax: 905-774-6974 E-mail

Table of Contents

1 Introduction *

2 General Description *

2.1 System Architecture *

2.2 System’s Main Functionalities *

2.2.1 Pressurized Copper Cable Monitoring *

2.2.2 Common Characteristics *

2.3 SCU Characteristics *

2.3.1 Information Base * Network Objects * Monitoring System Objects *

2.3.2 Object Status Mapping and Alarm Generation Rules *

2.3.3 Logging * Event Log * Alarm Log * Task Log * Historical Log *

2.3.4 Data Distribution and Access *

2.3.5 Fault Tolerance *

2.3.6 Data Base Administration *

2.3.7 User Interface * General Functionalities * Taskbar * Console Manager * Schema Manager * Alarm Log * Task Log * Event Log * Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Data Representation * Event Location * GIS * Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Synoptic *

2.3.8 Tools and Configuration Utilities * Backup/Restore * Communication Configuration * Symbol Library Editing/Upgrading * Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Units * Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Alarm Thresholds *

2.3.9 Customisation * Default Values Definition. * Alarm Report *

2.3.10 Operating System and DB Engine *

2.4 Remote Test Unit Characteristics *

2.4.1 Generalities *

2.4.2 RTU Types * SEC800 * Generalities * Main Characteristics * Specific Characteristics * MiniSEC * Generalities * Main Characteristics * Specific Characteristics * MiniDAS * DAS800 *

2.4.3 AirDryers * Description * Main Characteristics *

3 NiDA2 System: Examples of System Configuration *

3.1 Distributed Database Configuration *

3.2 Client-Server Configuration *

Table of Figures

Fig. 1: NiDA2 Architecture *

Fig. 2: Distributed Database Configuration *

Fig. 3: Client-Server Configuration *

Fig. 4: Client-Server Configuration with Server Backup *

  1. Introduction
  2. Scope of this document is to introduce Nicotra Sistemi SpA NiDA2 system: the new version of the well-known NiDA system for pressurized copper cable network monitoring.

    In particular, Nicotra Sistemi SpA would like to give a clear and complete vision of NiDA2 system architecture highlighting characteristic features and possible system implementations.

  3. General Description
    1. System Architecture

In the following figure (Fig. 1: NiDA2 Architecture) is described the proposed Nicotra solution for Pressurized Copper Cable Monitoring and Security Management:

  1. NiDA2 Architecture

Nicotra proposal foresees the following elements:

    1. System’s Main Functionalities
    2. Hereafter are listed the main functionalities of Nicotra NiDA2 software:

      1. Pressurized Copper Cable Monitoring

      1. Common Characteristics
    1. SCU Characteristics
      1. Information Base

The Information Base contains all the data needed to create a virtual representation of the system; once a user gains access to this information base he is able to run and interact with the system (or the subsystem concerned) with no need of any other source of data.

The objects are divided into two separate branches:

The database structure is compatible with an Object Oriented Description and allows MIB mapping for TMN, SNMP or custom Agent applications.

        1. Network Objects

        1. Monitoring System Objects

For each object all the parameters needed for configuration, as well as the status information are stored in the system database.

For what concerns the sensor, an historical storage for the values read is provided, along with all the procedure to back-up and retrieve historical data.

A similar historical storage is provided for alarm history and log-in/log-out operations (for administrative and safety purposes).

All the data needed to provide the geographical interface (file containing the maps excluded) is stored in the same system database as the system and network information.

      1. Object Status Mapping and Alarm Generation Rules

Each alarm generated by any system and network element is classified in one of the following six severity categories:

Alarms are generated when an object state change occurs; the rules for alarm generation (i.e. which state transitions shall generate an alarm) are configured at system level.

Changes in state of an object may be generated by:

An independent storage for a management state for RTU, Board, Sensor and Cable is provided.

Management State may assume one of the following values:

It is possible for the operator to flag an object management state as operational or under construction, resulting in all events relating to the object to be classified accordingly.

New objects are by default flagged as under construction until marked operational by the operator.

This shall prevent a flood of events during the installation process as well as during the creation of new services.

Maintenance status has to be scheduled, providing a "start time" and a "duration". When Maintenance time for that object expires and the object is still in Maintenance state, a specific alarm is generated.

      1. Logging

The following logs are available:

        1. Event Log

This log traces events under all of the following circumstances:

        1. Alarm Log

All the alarms generated by any pressurization-monitoring acquisition units are recorded in the Alarm Log, together with the alarm clearance.

The Alarm Log reports for each alarm:

        1. Task Log

A Task Log entry is generated any time the system requires to communicate with the RTUs or vice versa.

The Task Log reports:

        1. Historical Log

      1. Data Distribution and Access
      2. The system database containing data relevant to pressurization monitoring is stored at Regional level, every change in this database, reflecting a modification of the real system (e.g.: pressure exceeding a predefined lower threshold, etc.), is automatically replicated on the Central SCU database. The automatic database replication is performed by a set of DB procedures running on Regional SCUs and at Central SCU.

        For operational purposes the user can access the system DB using a Client workstation that can be located anywhere a suitable communication channel is available: both PSTN and LAN/WAN link are suitable for the above specified DB connection.

      3. Fault Tolerance
      4. In case of Regional SCU malfunctions, the operator working at Central station is automatically informed, a semiautomatic Fault Tolerance procedure starts and the Central SCU will start managing the sub-network elements formerly controlled by the faulty Regional SCU.

      5. Data Base Administration

It is possible to perform all of the following administrative functions:

For what concerns user access to the information base and to the system the application manages the following user rights, and allows the creation and configuration of user profiles with any combination of the available rights:

Each User Profile and User list of rights applies only to the part of the network and application (pressurization monitoring or security management) defined by the system administrator.

      1. User Interface
        1. General Functionalities

Two types of user interface are implemented: Schematic and Geographic.

Schematic Interface is a typical GUI that includes graphic controls typical of a window environment (i.e. tables, dialog boxes, lists controls, graphs, grids).

Geographic Interface means GIS and Synoptic.

Access to all the applications is restricted according to user profile.

Common user interface includes a Taskbar and a main application grouping basic functions.

Main applications will be referred to as Console Manager.

Modules performing basic functions are listed below:

All the listed modules are accessible from taskbar or Console Manager.

        1. Taskbar

Taskbar is always shown on the screen or AutoHide.

Taskbar performs the following functions:

        1. Console Manager

The Console manager is a GUI application including:

Console Manager allows the user to invoke the other modules of the user interface, eventually passing relevant parameters to identify the object data to be displayed.

        1. Schema Manager

The Schema Manager represents the hierarchic tree of system and network objects.

Hierarchic tree is a Tree View control.

Each object is represented with a colour depending on its up-to-date state.

The Schema Manager allows the user to configure, insert or delete any object of the system and network.

Right Mouse clicking on any object inside the Tree View Control invokes the available actions for that object.

Basic actions for all objects are:

The application allows the user to choose the mechanism to initiate the configuration parameters transfer from the SCU to the RTU.

The following mechanisms are available: configuration transfer at programming session closure: when the user closes the programming session the application warns the user, using a proper dialog box, that the information base has been modified and the user is allowed to confirm or abort the configuration transfer.

The authorized user is allowed to set the management state of a RTU, a board a generic sensor or a cable.

Maximum time for the object to stay in maintenance time is user definable and does not exceed a predefined time different for each object.

When the maintenance state time is exceeded a "Maintenance overtime" alarm is generated.

The user is allowed to:

        1. Alarm Log

The Alarm Log window is a control always up-to-date reporting all the state transitions of system and network objects. All the information useful to identify the transition type and the object concerned with the transition are reported.

Following functions are available.

        1. Task Log

The Task Log window is a control always up-to-date reporting all the state of operations between SCU and RTU.

Operations managed are:

The following functions are implemented:

        1. Event Log

The Event Log tabbed window is a control reporting all the application messages in the system logs.

Main categories of messages are:

Each Log implements the following functions:

        1. Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Data Representation

Data Representation is an application that reports on the screen an x-y graph, showing pressure vs. distance, airflow vs. distance or air flow/pressure vs. distance profiles.

Each profile logically groups a set of sensors (i.e. sensors on a pneumatic route or on a segment).

Usually on x-axes is reported the distance of the sensor from the beginning of the first segment and on y-axes the value associated with the sensor (usually pressure or air flow).

The following functions are available:

The window containing the graph supports interaction with the user: clicking on the point referring to a sensor the user has access to the related data in the information base.

        1. Event Location

Leak Location is a library containing the algorithms for locating a leak using pressure and flux data on the cable.

The library is designed to be easy upgradeable with new algorithms.

The following algorithms are implemented:

The Leak Location calculation can be performed automatically on alarm reception: the user can configure the automatic calculation.

        1. GIS

GIS (Geographical Interface System) is the part of the user interface that provides means of referring geographically with GPS coordinates all the physical objects and event in the network and monitoring system.

The following functions are implemented:

        1. Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Synoptic

Synoptic is a module that automatically generates a graphical representation of a specified Pneumatic Route.

Synoptic shows each object properly connected, labelled and with a colour-state association.

The following self-generating representations are available:

      1. Tools and Configuration Utilities
        1. Backup/Restore

The following functions are provided:

        1. Communication Configuration
        2. All communication parameters (ports, initialisation strings etc.) for both PSTN and TCP/IP Intranet are entered using dialogs.

        3. Symbol Library Editing/Upgrading
        4. A tool for creation or editing of system and graphical symbols is available (see GIS specifications).

        5. Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Units
        6. The application accepts all the units in the International US/British standard.

          The user performs unit selection with a dialog without editing directly configuration files.

        7. Pressurized Cable Monitoring-Alarm Thresholds

Pressure measurements can be selected according to absolute measures (as carried out by pressure transducers) or to relative pressure (referred to reference measure/value).

Alarm thresholds are programmable, for all sensors, air dryers and alarm contacts.

Two types of Thresholds can be set:

Both the Inferior and the Superior thresholds can be set in the following ways:

      1. Customisation
        1. Default Values Definition.
        2. Default values for any object property are user definable.

        3. Alarm Report

Alarm report customisation at user level can be provided on customer request.

Properties to be customized for alarm and or diagnostics reports:

      1. Operating System and DB Engine

Nicotra Sistemi SpA NiDA2 system runs in Windows2000 environment: this is the OS at Central SCU, Regional SCU and Client Stations.

For what concern the DB Engine, Nicotra Sistemi SpA has selected Oracle8 a standard solution that guarantees the required reliability and worldwide support.

    1. Remote Test Unit Characteristics
      1. Generalities
      2. The RTUs perform the monitoring of transducers belonging to Pressurized Copper Cable Network.

      3. RTU Types

Two RTU families are available from Nicotra:

The next paragraphs illustrate the main characteristics of MiniSEC and SEC800. For more detailed information on these units and for MiniDAS and DAS800 characteristics please refer to the specific data sheet or manuals.

        1. SEC800
          1. Generalities
          2. SEC800 is the latest Acquisition Unit designed by Nicotra to meet the customer needs in copper cable pressure monitoring.

            The SEC800 can acquire the transducer measurements faster than ever. Each acquisition card acquires two transducer lines simultaneously.

            It automatically acquires the measures from the RADs (Remote Addressable Transducers), and it transmits the alarms to the Supervisory Station using several carriers (Intranet, PSTN).

            SEC800, besides the well know sequential acquisition cycle, when security sensors are used can perform fast acquisitions acquiring a complete transducer line in 6 seconds.

            The SEC800 is a modular unit, standard configuration houses in a 6U 19" modular sub-rack: a Power Supply Module PSM1, a communication card COM1, the main controller card PCM1 and up to four TPM1 transducer acquisition or ALM1 alarm cards.

          3. Main Characteristics

          1. Specific Characteristics

        1. MiniSEC
          1. Generalities
          2. The MiniSEC unit is provided with the same characteristic of larger SEC800 unit and is designed to be installed in exchanges where the expansion capability is not requested.

            The MiniSEC Unit is designed as monolithic board unit and allows having an important cost reduction for small exchanges monitoring where the integration between monitoring and security is not a critical point.

            The working mode is exactly the same as for the SEC800, automatically acquires the measures from the RADs/TP, and it transmits the alarms to the Supervisory Station using several carriers (Intranet, PSTN).

            The MINISEC unit include in a 3U 19" modular sub-rack: power supply, communication section for PSTN and Ethernet (using TCP/IP protocol), controller unit and built-in a single acquisition section with 16 transducer lines.

          3. Main Characteristics

          1. Specific Characteristics

        1. MiniDAS
        2. Please refer to Nicotra data sheet and manuals.

        3. DAS800

Please refer to Nicotra data sheet and manuals.

      1. AirDryers
        1. Description

The latest generation of AirDryer produced by Canadian Puregas Equipment Limited has been designed to satisfy all the telephone companies requests in terms of safety, reliability, integration and maintenance.

The AirDryer operational status and alarms can be easily set and monitored by Nicotra SCU equipped with the NiDA2 software.

Thanks to its state of the art technology, the Canadian Puregas Air Dryer families provides an extraordinary long-term maintenance schedule such as:

        1. Main Characteristics

For further details, please refer to Canadian Puregas data sheet and manuals.

  1. NiDA2 System: Examples of System Configuration
  2. The proposed system, is characterised by complete scalability and flexibility: hereafter Nicotra Sistemi SpA is pleased to submit two possible configuration of NiDA2 system, i.e.: Distributed Database Configuration and Client-Server Configuration.

    1. Distributed Database Configuration

The following figure (Fig. 2: Distributed Database Configuration) schematically describes this system configuration:

  1. Distributed Database Configuration

Characteristics elements of this configuration are:

The Distributed Database Configuration guarantees:

    1. Client-Server Configuration

The following figure (Fig. 3: Client-Server Configuration) schematically describes this system configuration:

  1. Client-Server Configuration

Characteristics elements of this configuration are:

The Client-Server Configuration can be enhanced in order to have full server redundancy and complete fault tolerance: these goals are achieved by means of the following (Fig. 4: Client-Server Configuration with Server Backup) architecture:

  1. Client-Server Configuration with Server Backup

NiDA2 Main Server, in normal system operation, acts as described above for the standard Client-Server Configuration.

A set of automatic database procedures runs on both Main and Backup servers in order to maintain the two databases (Main and Backup) aligned: in this way the Backup Server is always ready to substitute the Main Server in case of fault.

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