Developers of Telemetry, SCADA & IMS Software


OPUS Remote Telemetry Units


OPUS-RTU Remote Telemetry Unit

OPUS SOFTWARE presents OPUS-RTU, the new generation of Remote Telemetry Unit. OPUS-RTU has a future proof design employing off the shelf hardware components and open connectivity. These intelligent RTU systems are typically based on the very latest miniature embedded PC technology and are capable of operating as a combined RTU, data filter, data logger and HMI.

The RTU design is based on open access and open connectivity making the units ideally suited to third-party system integrators.

OPUS-RTU includes high-performance communications software and is provided with a simple interface which enables the units to be integrated into the user’s telemetry systems with minimal effort and fuss. No special knowledge of the underlying protocols or special software development skill is required.

Hardware Platforms

OPUS-RTU software can be installed on any Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Ultimate based computer system and is typically installed on an embedded PC (Mini-ITX or Pico-ITX) hardware platform (e.g. the Intel Atom Mini-ITX motherboards).

Intel Atom 1.66GHz Mini-ITX Motherboard

The RTU’s computer hardware and I/O interfaces are based on standard ‘off the shelf’ items that can be purchased from numerous sources.


Embedded PC. Left: Mini-ITX case 192 x 210 x 62mm (WxDxH). Right: Travla Mini-Pico case 178  x 165 x 51mm (WxDxH).

The embedded PC hardware platforms are ideally suited for small entry level systems. Our miniature low-cost RTU computer system employs a 2.5-inch solid-state disk drive as a bootable drive, holding all essential operating system files and which is also used for data logging, recording all active system data (e.g. archives, system logs, management reports etc.). This solid-state drive along with the use of Mini-ITX motherboards provides the highest possible hardware reliability, designed for ‘24/7’ (once on always on) operation.

Various Solid State Drive Options

Unless an integrated HMI is required, RTUs are usually supplied without any display, keyboard or mouse interface. Our Graphic Workstation interface is used to provide on-site connectivity between an engineer’s laptop and the RTU via an Ethernet or WIFI connection. Alternatively, portable interfaces such as the IBM traveller keyboard with mouse pad can be used to connect to the RTU via one of the USB ports.

IBM Travel Keyboard and Mouse Pad

RTUs typically interface to the plant via local or remote devices such as PLCs or Ethernet I/O devices. Various types of I/O interfaces are available to support all manner of input and output configurations (e.g. ADAM, Acromag,  IOLogic etc). I/O modules may be used as either separate DIN rail mounted units connected via an Ethernet LAN or a Wireless link, or installed in one or more multi-slot units.

ADAM-5000/TCP 8-Slot I/O Unit

All RTUs can also be used as data concentrators, collecting telemetry and archive data from various other local devices and remote systems (e.g. RTUs, PLCs, outstations, data loggers etc.).

Open Connectivity

There are numerous ways in which data can be acquired from the RTU. The most common methods of acquiring data from the RTU are, 

  • Using the supplied RTUQUERY utility program. 

  • Using the supplied RTUQUERY API (Application Program Interface). 

  • Accessing the data directly from the exported SQL databases.

  • Via the open Opus TCMP2 protocol. 

  • Via an alternative protocol such as DNP3 and Modbus/TCP. 

All communications between Opus RTU systems, sub-master stations and top-end master stations, including the supplied RTUQUERY utility software, uses the standard Opus TCMP2 Telemetry Communications Protocol. Opus TCMP2 is an efficient and secure binary data protocol used for both polling and alarm reporting between telemetry units.

Opus TCMP2 is an open protocol, fully documented with advice to developers who wish to communicate directly with the RTUs and integrate support for TCMP2 based systems into their own products. Other protocols such as DNP3 and Modbus/TCP can also be provided.

The RTUQUERY utility program and user interface provides the means to query and extract data from any Opus system without any knowledge of the underlying protocols and handling of networked connections. If required, this process can be automated through the use of simple script files to form part of a more extensive data acquisition system. All data resulting from a query is returned in a standard CSV form ready for importing into the user’s database or spreadsheets.

The RTUQUERY API (Application Programming Interface) allows those with a certain level of software expertise to integrate the query facilities into their own programs. Again no knowledge is required of the underlying protocols and handling of the network connections.

All Opus systems are capable of exporting the telemetry and archived data into SQL database files. The standard software provides support for Microsoft Sql Server databases and the universal MDB (Microsoft Office Access Database) file formats. RTU systems usually export all relevant telemetry and archive data into MDB database files. The content of these files is fully documented on the system and can be accessed directly by the user.

RTU Data Acquisition

As standard, all RTU systems support the Opus TCMP, TCMP2, Modbus/ASCII, Modbus/RTU, Modbus/TCP and Rockwell (Allan Bradley) DF1 protocols. The licensed Rockwell (Allan Bradley) RsLinx OPC interface is also supported.

These protocols allow the RTUs to communicate with other Opus sub-systems (master stations or RTUs), virtually all makes of PLC and virtually all types of remote I/O device (e.g. the ADAM Ethernet I/O and Wireless I/O modules). Other PLC, Outstation, Data Logger and device protocols can also be supplied on request.

Alarm Reporting

All RTU systems are supplied with the sophisticated Pager software. This software is capable of forwarding ‘out of hours’ or ‘time-expired’ unacknowledged alarms to one or more duty officers and/or reporting centres. Alarm messages can be reported using multiple methods including via pagers, text SMS, voice SMS, email or fax.

Data Concentration

All RTU systems are based on the fully-featured Opus PC6-SQL Telemetry/SCADA/IMS software package; these units are quite capable of acquiring data from numerous local and remote sources and thereby acting as miniaturised top-end or sub-systems. The RTU systems are therefore ideally suited to acting as data concentrators or intelligent hubs within the client’s overall telemetry scheme

Data Filtering

All RTUs include extensive data filtering facilities, generally configured within the unit’s database. A General Point Processor (GPP) program is provided to process, combine and manipulate the telemetry point data, producing the required ‘pseudo’ data for the top-end system. Individual telemetry point data (digital status, analogue values and totalised counts) can be duplicated from the source stations (raw plant data) into separate filtered stations ready for data acquisition and reporting to the centralised systems. Point archives (or trend data) relating to the filtered data can also be selected individually for data acquisition. Other archive data, logging either the raw plant data or filtered data, can be maintained locally on the RTU and analysed via a local/remote workstation link as and when the need arises.

Data Logging

OPUS-RTU provides extensive data logging facilities, including individual periodic point archives (trends), individual time-stamped point archives (trends) and event archives (SOE, Sequence Of Event data). Archive data can be sampled locally by the RTU or acquired from other devices, outstations or PLCs. All logged data can be individually selected for data acquisition, other archive data can be left on the local RTU for analysis via a workstation link as and when the need arises.

 The RTU maintains a local history relating to all the telemetry point data (digital status, analogue values and totalised counts). This data can be accessed and analysed in an identical fashion to the time-stamped point archive data via the standard workstation links.

OPUS-RTU also maintains detailed statistical data relating to the inbound and outbound data acquisition and alarm reporting channels, general access logs, communication logs, reconfiguration logs and optional management reports. Once again this data can be accessed via the standard workstation links.

Data Export

The SQL database tables form the heart of an extensive Information Management System (OpusIMS) that is maintained in real-time by the standard PC6-SQL software.

Separate database tables are maintained to store data related to Stations, Telemetry points, Digital Control Points, Analogue Set-Point Controls, System Events, Alarm Events, Control Events, Archive Data Files, and the actual sampled Point Archive data. The size and extent of the SQL database is configurable, determined by the configuration within the master station (or RTU) database. Individual point archives and time-stamped point archives can be selected for data export, the SQL data being stored in either a single Archive database file or separated into individual Archive Data files.

Separate import tables are also provided as a conduit for privileged SQL and Web users to submit requests (controls, set-points etc.) or import new or modified telemetry data back into the system.

Microsoft Excel SQL Data Access

All PC6-SQL systems provide support for both Microsoft Access and Microsoft Sql Server database formats. Most systems, including RTUs, use the universal MDB (Microsoft Office Access) file format to maintain the SQL databases. This format provides the most cost- effective solution; the Microsoft Office or Microsoft Access software does not have to be installed for the SQL data to be exported.

Data Export to Microsoft Access Files

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