Autopista del Sol, “Sunny Highway” is a 108 Km-long toll highway, which links the cities of Málaga, Marbella and Estepona, on the Southern coast of Spain. It runs along the Costa del Sol, one of the most important tourist areas in Southern Europe.
The different sections include a total of 10 double-tube tunnels totaling a tunnel length of 11.6 Km. All tunnels are equipped with different safety and control devices, including but not limited to, cameras, gas detectors and traffic sensors, variable message signs and emergency telephones. As this is a 24/7 system, reliability and robustness are a must.
The data of the different sensors and control devices installed at each tunnel is collected and locally gathered in a concentrator equipment called “ERU” (Spanish acronym meaning “Remote Control Station”). The local concentrators are connected to the central SCADA server, which in the end collects and shows all that information to the staff of the Control Centre.
The Control Centre is located at the main toll plaza and manages the daily operations and traffic safety of the highway. In this site the central SCADA system monitors and controls the network, allowing the highway operations staff not only to watch the road but to perform some work on the systems in order to maintain control of the remote systems to prevent dangerous situations, as well as handle any incidents on the road as quickly and effectively as possible.
To this purpose, a commercial SCADA-type software application was installed during the construction of the highway and had been in operation for a number of years. In 2016 the managers of Autopista del Sol decided to carry out the development a new SCADA solution to keep the levels of service required in these critical systems. After studying the different possible scenarios, the selected approach was the development of a complete purpose-built SCADA software, based on an open-source core component.
Initially, more than 500 data points were created for each tunnel and by the end of the deployment, once the SCADA was connected to all tunnel devices, the system was managing more than 5,000 data points. To store the data, the NoSQL database is used to take advantage of its good performance, compression and scalability. The report and graph features are very useful too.
Data presentation to the Control Centre and the real-time interaction with the devices can be carried out thanks to a HTML5 based GUI, which was developed to retrieve information from the REST API served by Mango. As an additional advantage, the REST API is a very simple and powerful tool that makes the data collection to external applications or layers easier.