OPC UA Integration within the CERN Control and Monitoring Framework

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Autonomous Systems
Degree programme
Master's Programme in ICT Innovation
The open-source CERN Control and Monitoring framework (C2MON) was designed to consolidate information from the technologically and contextually diverse monitoring entities operating within the context of CERN's particle acceleration experiments. Its support for OPC UA, a widely successful and open industrial communication protocol, has become outdated, and it cannot interface with modern generations of OPC UA servers. This thesis analyzes current and foreseeable user needs within the context of CERN. Based on design science research methodology, a modern OPC UA data acquisition module is designed, implemented, and evaluated according to the elicited user needs. The most impactful modernizations are a framework for extending the configuration model within the given project structure, and support for the OPC UA redundancy model. The subsequent evaluation is centered on the quality requirements of functionality and reliability. It combines an extensive unit and integration test framework with an evaluation of tolerance to faulty network conditions. The potential for innovation forged by the new module was analyzed through expert interviews. Some supervised systems currently expose alarms to C2MON via JMS, but are capable of exposing data points directly through OPC UA instead. Such a shift is enabled by the new module. It reduces architectural complexity and allows the definition of alarms directly through the standard C2MON procedures. This unlocks previously unavailable functionality in terms of configuration verification. The efficacy of the OPC UA module as an interface to a simulated plant was verified in a proof of concept deployment with power supply simulation engines. This allows the investigation of the high-level behavior and reliability of C2MON under conditions exceeding those possible in production and laboratory testing. Given OPC UA's relevance in industrial innovation and as an integration platform, this module ensures that C2MON remains cutting edge and enables the creative adaption of OPC UA based features.
Zhou, Quan
Thesis advisor
Copy, Brice
OPC UA, SCADA, monitoring and control systems, CERN
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