T&D World Magazine
Communication System Provides Platform to Capture Data, Communicate and Control Public Services

Communication System Provides Platform to Capture Data, Communicate and Control Public Services

Cities are getting smarter – from U.S. communities tapping into technology for operational efficiency to developing nations looking to increase the standard of living and drive economic growth. Sensus provides a network suited to capture data, communicate and control public services.

As technology and opportunities evolve, the groundwork is being laid for the creation of smart cities. What was once a system for collecting usage data that translated into a monthly utility bill is now a true network of smart sensors that provide an unprecedented view into a city’s infrastructure and the technology to better control them.

The Sensus FlexNet™ system is a long-range radio network that serves as a dedicated and secure two-way communications highway for utilities and municipalities. The network architecture requires less infrastructure than competing solutions, resulting in lower cost of ownership. In addition, the network provides the redundancy necessary for system reliability—a key ingredient for any public service or enterprise.

Sensus’ robust data analytics solution features the software, user interface and supporting services needed to aggregate and analyze data to make decisions that save time and money. A water utility can capture data on reservoir and tank levels to help ensure a reliable supply of water. At the same time, it can show customers their daily and historical usage and empower them to embrace conservation.

For electric service, the integration of the FlexNet system with an outage management system can provide real time situational analysis and grid stabilization. First, utilities are alerted to system-wide issues and outages rather than relying on their customers to notify them. With data in hand, they can then target their restoration efforts and safely get the infrastructure and their customers back on line faster.

In the gas industry, data from the pipeline infrastructure can help to better target capital improvements, resulting in lower cost to users and an increase in public safety.

Delivering data faster is more than just the speed of transfer. Another benefit of the FlexNet system is the ability to dedicate distinct communication channels to specific needs, which reduces latency that can occur when multiple applications share the same channel. With the FlexNet system, utilities can prioritize time-sensitive applications, something that is not possible with a mesh network. Further, the FlexNet network is secured with the use of Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) and AES-256 bit encryption.

Building a smart city is where the public services industry is heading and utilities, by deploying advanced sensors and communication technology, are in an excellent position to set an example for others to follow

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