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Hi-Q Engineering, Inc.
About Hi-Q

Control Systems Upgrade

The Problem
One of the major tasks of the U.S. Navy's VALUE program was the replacement of the existing VLF transmitter antiquated control systems with a modern system utilizing Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Because each of the legacy control systems were unique, a common solution would require maximum versatility and expandability while improving reliability and maintainability in the harsh electrical environments common in high power systems.

Hi-Q's Solution
The FVLF transmitters provide communications around the world and exist in some very remote locations. Hi-Q Engineers involved in the design team selected the Allen-Bradley PLC-5/40E PLCs and the GE Fanuc iFIX SCADA software communicating over an Ethernet network as the basis of the control system. This resulted in a straightforward replacement control system design which simplified maintenance and minimized the number of unique spare parts required to support all of the transmitter sites. The final design included:

  • The simplest design consistent with the functional performance requirements and expected service conditions.
  • Maintenance can be performed by technicians with minimal additional training.
  • Maximum commonality between sites: sharing the same processors, I/O modules, and wiring systems.
  • Redundant, distributed control utilizing up to nine PLC processors and dual redundant SCADA systems communicating over redundant Ethernet networks.
  • Improved transmitter reliability and maintainability by providing the system operators with detailed views into the operational status of the transmitters beyond what was available previously.

Since the initial deployment, Hi-Q has developed three custom signal processing I/O modules for the Allen-Bradley PLC platform that integrate RF and other high-speed signal processing functions into the PLC chassis, greatly reducing the amount of I/O wiring while providing end-to-end Built-In-Test (BIT) capabilities for these signal processing functions.

Hi-Q Engineering, Inc. continues to provide logistics support, emergent on call problem analysis, depot level repair and engineering guidance/consultation for these mission-critical control systems.

 
 


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