Smart City in the Sunshine State

From OpenCommons
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Smart City in the Sunshine State
GCTC logo 344x80.png
St Johns County Florida
Team Organizations Star Controls
Check Point
Team Leaders Rick Nelson
Participating Municipalities St. Johns County FL
Status Launched
Document None


The project includes the evaluation, selection and implementation of three main aspects of the County’s SCADA system:

  • Migration of SCADA’s wireless network to IP base High-Speed Network and Upgrade the county network infrastructure
  • Upgrade the SCADA system to address the Cyber Security requirements
  • Leveraging IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) for dynamic and fast response to on-going requirements


The Water Utility Department at St. Johns County is constantly required to address the fast growth in population and tourism, while certain parts of its SCADA were aging, or not able to cope with the new requirements. In addition, the County must comply with the Federal and State Environmental Protection and regulations, which also required improvements to the SCADA system.


To address these requirements the County initiated several improvements projects. The County took this opportunity to the prepare its SCADA system for the challenges of the 21st Century, such as Cyber Security, to be the first building block for the County’s Smart City. For the implementation, the County utilized best of breed technologies and products for wireless networks, Cyber Security and IIoT.

Major Requirements

The approach was to divide the project into three initiatives, where each initiative is not a “show stopper” to the others:

  • New Wireless Network for SCADA - Explore, select and deploy new IP based Wireless Network. The County evaluated different options, including Public Network (i.e. Service Providers). Due to solid in-house knowledge, the County selected and deployed new Private IP Based technology that is capable to support legacy SCADA RTUs, current and next generation.
  • Cyber Security – based on recommendations by a consultant, the County embraced the “complete” approach. Which add Cyber Security to every part of the SCADA. The first phase is to replace all aging SCADA RTUs (Motorola MOSCAD) with the new Cyber Secured RTUs (Motorola ACE3600). The next phases are to secure the IP Wireless Network and the SCADA Control Center.
  • Leveraging IIoT for dynamic and fast response to ongoing needs – the County decided to use several IIoT technologies and integrate them to SCADA. The technologies, such as from Ayyeka, allow the County to monitor new sites or add new measurements a very short time.

Performance Targets

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Measurement Methods

(Identify 2-3 (quantitative) performance targets/definitive KPIs that your project concept seeks to achieve. The KPI must be tangible to the residents/citizens (e.g. Traffic jam reduction by 20%, Air pollution reduction by 25%, Energy reduction by 30%, reduction of the ambulance travel time by 30%..)

  • Increase the wireless data 9’s of availability, from the estimated 98% with the analog radios. To qty 5 9’s or 99.999% availability with a properly designed digital radio network.
  • Increase 500% in the use Remote Diagnostics of wireless network and RTUs, reduction of 50% in staff members travel to the field.
  • Increase by 500% the amount of data that the network can handle without affecting system latency. Allowing high resolution or near real time views of analog inputs from the field (e.g. Forced main or fresh water pressures or flows. Allowing very quick diagnostics of a problems or a line break.).

The County records all logs from the system, as well as staff’s activities. The method used is to compare performance before and after the implementation. 9’s of availability can be verified by trending over a 1 week period from the historian communications failure log. Then extrapolate 9’s of availability of the analog system to a week of trends of the Digital radio system.

Currently from all of our critical stations or plants that report to SCADA via wireless analog communications. The operators only receive snapshots of what their plant or station is doing. Forcing them to spend a lot of time and resources traveling to the remote locations verifying the correct operation of the facility, in order to protect the safety of the citizens.

With the implementation of the high speed wireless 4RF network. The operators will have an almost real time flow of dry contact and analog data coming from their plants and stations. This will significantly decrease the dedication of resources for travel to the sites to verify the correct operations of the plants and stations. Also resulting in an increased ability to more quickly troubleshoot and protect the public from potential line breaks, or other problems that may otherwise go unnoticed until a citizen calls it in. This can be verified by trending the communications failure rate before and after the implementation of digital radios.

For data rates, we can compare the existing 1.2Kbps of the analog radios, to the adaptive modulation scheme of the new digital radios. This will vary at each site from 216Kbps under the best conditions to 16.5Kbps under the absolute worst conditions and can be trended.

Standards, Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability

By leveraging the new SCADA technologies, i.e. IP Based Networks, and IIoT, while addressing the challenges of Cyber Security, the County is establishing its infrastructure for the 21st Century and Smart City. These technologies provide almost unlimited and open architecture to new applications and IP based future IP based technologies, while building the firewalls to protect it against any external or internal harmful activities, that these technologies can

Cybersecurity and Privacy

The solution for the Cyber Security is based on an End-to-End approach, where every component of the SCADA system, as well as operational aspects are addressed. The solution covers the RTUs, the wireless communications and the SCADA. It utilizes the IT Security capabilities of all products, the RTUs from Motorola, the Wireless Network from 4RF, the VTScada from Trihedral and dedicated ICS/SCADA Firewalls and Software from Check Point.


The project gained the following operational, economic and environmental benefits:

  • Allow the SCADA system to trace at the same pace of new constructions and the needs that come with the growth of the tourism industry.
  • Improve the County’s compliance with environmental regulatory.
  • Set the building blocks and concept for the County’s Smart City master plan.


The County will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Complete migration of the SCADA Wireless Network to IP based.
  • Remove all non-managed consumer grade switches from all sites and replace with Cisco IE3000 managed switches.
  • First phase of the Cyber Security initiative; at the RTU.
  • Full deployment of IIoT technology and the integration into the SCADA system.