SCADA for Dummies Glossary


AGA - American Gas Association; maintains standards in flows rates & volumes

AGC - Automatic Generation Control

BACNet - a Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks

BSAP - protocol

CABA -  industry association relating to home and building automation Promotes standards.


DALI - the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface

DCS Distributed Control System. Also Digital Control System.

DDE Dynamic Data Exchange Microsoft standard for exchanging data between applications

Devicenet A standard for industrial automation networks promulgated by the Open DeviceNet Vendor Association  It uses a common object model and the Control and Information Protocol (CIP).

DMS -  Distribution Management System

DNP Distributed Network Protocol Describes standards for SCADA protocol facilities such as data requests, polling, controls, and report by exception (RBE). Master-slave and Peer-to-Peer communication architectures are supported by DNP 3.0.

DPU Data Processing Unit

EIA - Electronic Industries Association. Common standards for DCS include 232, 485

EMS - Energy Management Systems

EPRI - Electric Power Research Institute

Fieldbus - a standard using an all digital, serial, two-way communications system that serves as a Local Area Network (LAN) for factory/plant instrumentation and control devices. See

FDD - Field Data Device - RTUs, PLCs & RTU-like devices

GOMSFE - Generic Object Model for Substation and Feeder Equipment

GMP Good Manufacturing Processes

HART - Highway Addressable Remote Transducer a protocol that mixes analog and digital communication on the same line. See 

HERF High Energy Radio Frequency

HMI Human Machine Interface

IC Instrumentation Control

ICCP - Inter Control Center Protocol; also known as  IEC 870-6 TASE.2; part of the UCA; a protocol that has been accepted for use by many utilities for recording & transmitting data.

IDA - Interface for Distributed Automation

IEC- International Electro technical Commission - leading global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. 60870-5, -6 

IED Intelligent Electronic Devices

IEE - Institution of Electrical Engineers, based in UK

IEEE - Institute for Electrical & Electronic Engineers, based in USA

IETF - Internet Engineering Task Force

Ladder Logic

LAN Local Area Network

MES - Manufacturing Execution Systems

MMI Man to Machine Interface

MMS - Manufacturing Message Specification - a standardized (ISO 9506) messaging system for exchanging real-time data and supervisory control information between networked devices and/or computer applications.

MODBUS A registered Protocol messaging structure developed by Modicon in 1979, used to establish master-slave/client-server communication between intelligent devices. See .

MTU Master Terminal Unit

OPC OLE (Online Linking and Embedding) for Process Control

PCS - Process Control Systems

PDU - programmable delay unit; power distribution unit

PID proportional integral derivative control; a device which reads in parameters and then attempts to correct/stabilize a process which is out of alignment/control. 

PLC Programmable Logic Controller


RCV Remote Control Valve

RF Radio Frequency

RTAP -Real Time Application Platform - originally an HP protocol based on UNIX - see

RTU - Remote Telemetry (or Terminal) Unit

SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

SCL - System Configuration Language; SCL(O) & SCL(R) - Oracle & HP extensions

SEL Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories a major producer of digital control systems communications processors

SFC - Sequential Function Chart - used to help program PLCs

SSPC 135 - security standard for BACNet

TASE - Telecontrol Application Service Element

TC - Technical Committee

Telemetry - wireless transmission & reception of measured quantities for the purpose of remotely monitoring conditions or parameters

UCA - Utility Communication Architecture

VPN Virtual Private Network

WAN Wide Area Network

WAP Wireless Application Protocol

WEP Wired Equivalent Privacy