Radiation monitoring in nuclear facilities is a priority task, first of all to ensure the radiological protection of personnel and environment, but also to verify the correct operation of facilities. This goal is achieved by a wide variety of specialized equipment. Most of the time, such equipment have different manufacturers, with specific user interfaces. This makes the centralization of data and the correlation of various events for corrective actions very difficult.
Having a long experience in the nuclear field, MATE-FIN has understood this problem and accepted the challenge of solving it. As a result, MATE-FIN has developed a centralized computer system capable of retrieving, storing and analyzing data provided by multiple devices, independent of their manufacturer, user-interface, communication protocols, etc.
RMS Worker: Acquisition of information from each radiation monitoring system
RMS Database: Save and aggregate information in RMS database
RMS Website: Publication of information to the client
RMS Web Interface: Presentation of information to the user through the Web interface
RMS Touch interface: Presentation of information to the user through the Touch interface
Mtf-Gateway: Ensures the unification of the different protocols and communication interfaces of the monitoring systems with the RMS system
In order to ensure a solution that is sufficiently open, with expansion possibilities and with high availability, the virtualization solution from VMware was chosen for the RMS Worker, RMS Database and RMS Web servers.
Virtualization is a technology that shares and allocates the hardware resources of a server in several “virtual machines”, an operation that leads to their optimization.
High Availability is a virtualization software feature that allows users to access applications and data, even when a virtual machine, operating system, or server no longer responds to commands. When an error is detected, the virtualization software automatically restarts a virtual machine, either on the same server or on an alternate server, depending on the degree of risk associated with the technical failure.
Data Recovery is a data backup and recovery software, fully integrated into vSphere to provide quick protection for the virtual machines you own. The software allows both the restoration of virtual machines and data at the file level and ensures an efficient and centralized management of backup tasks.
From a software point of view, RMS servers run on a Microsoft Windows operating system. The software architecture is a Client-Server type.
A web server has been implemented for the management, display and processing of information to users.
The Web interface has the advantage of being accessible both from the intranet and from outside, without the need for a specific client application. Any PC with an MS Edge / Google Chrome web browser will be able to interact with the RMS system.
The RMS communication network is a complex one with CAN, RS-485, Ethernet etc. segments.
Where traffic allows, network segments in BUS topology and CAN protocol have been preferred to optimize the length of cable routes.
Most radiation monitoring systems (MGP, Canberra) use the ModBus RTU / 485 communication protocol. This communication protocol is a Master – Slave type, which brings a number of disadvantages, such as: lack of a plug & play mechanism for adding new equipment in a Modbus network, long detection times of a decommissioned equipment, impossibility of dynamic data transmission through a Push type algorithm, etc.
The solution chosen to solve these problems is to use a communication protocol that uses a CAN (controller area network). Thus, MTF-Gateway will implement this type of communication, for areas where an Ethernet network cannot be used. The advantages of this type of network are:
• Each station can transmit and receive data, thus allowing the dynamic sending of data by the stations in the field, to the server, depending on different parameters. It also allows the addition of plug & play stations in the network, without the need for a network reconfiguration
• The CAN hardware controller handles data collision and retransmission mechanisms in a manner similar to Ethernet networks (carrier sense multiple access/biwise arbitration) -CSMA / BA)
• Uses the same cables as the RS-485
• Allows a maximum network distance of 1 km
The RMS system has the role of integrating different radiation monitoring systems, each using different protocols, interfaces and communication networks, such as:
• Modbus / RTU or ASCII protocols
• Rs-485, Rs-232, Digital Output or Analog Output interfaces
• Rs-485, Profibus or Ethernet networks
In order to bring all these systems to a common denominator, it was decided to develop a proprietary equipment (Mtf-Gateway), for the conversion of all communication protocols to a protocol compatible with the RMS Worker data acquisition server. Thus, MTF-Gateway will be able to communicate with all monitoring systems to be integrated in RMS.
Mtf-Gateway will send data to RMS-Worker, only after analyzing the information received from the field monitors. Thus, loading the networks and the database with irrelevant or redundant data will be greatly diminished. There will be the possibility to configure and add new filters in order to cover the particular needs of each system.
The operating algorithm of Mtf-Gateway is represented in the following logic diagram:
Mtf-Gateway is based on the Microsoft .NET platform, which allows the development of a powerful and modern, multi-threading kernel. Also, the modularity of MTF-Gateway allows the addition of new communication protocols, as well as the future integration of new radiation monitoring systems, which were not foreseen in the initial project.
The software development environment used for the MTF-Gateway kernel is Microsoft Visual Studio, and the programming language is C.
Displays in real time the value of an RMS channel as an analog clock instrument. Allows choosing a single normal or calculated channel.
From here, you can acknowledge the alarm, you can turn off the alarm, you can set whether the alarm is latch or not, as well as an info button that will display detailed information about the channel (date and time when it was received the last measurement, as well as the warning and alarm threshold settings).
Displays in real time, in tabular form, several RMS channels, normal or calculated.
Displays in real time the status of an RMS channel in the form of selected texts and graphics. It can be used to visually notice the values of a channel by dynamically changing the displayed figure. Different measurement thresholds are set, for which a certain graphic figure is displayed. For example, a channel that measures the battery charge of a UPS can be set to display different figurines and texts depending on its value:
Measuring range: 0-20
Text displayed: Depleted
Measuring range: 21-80
Text displayed: Low
Measuring range: 81-99
Text displayed: On battery
Measuring range: 100-100
Text displayed: Full
Displays in real time, in the form of panels, the value of several real or calculated RMS channels. By double-clicking or double-touching the instrument header, it will only display channels that have fault alarms or exceed the alarm threshold of the measurements. In case of resizing the instrument, the channels will automatically be reset for an optimal display.
Displays in real time, in tabular form, several RMS loops. By selecting a loop, the value of the corresponding channels is displayed in detail in the second window on the right.
Displays in real time the status of an RMS node (site, system, loop or channel) in the form of a graphical figure chosen from the existing RMS library. The selection is made at any level, so the status of an entire hierarchical node in the RMS network can be monitored.
From here, you can click on the Realtime chart button, which will display a Chart tool for the selected channel.
Generates a graph with the measurement history of real or calculated channels. By double-clicking on the instrument or double touching (on devices that have a touch function), the instrument will display the channel values in tabular form. Allows export of data displayed as .XLS.
Generates a synthetic bar, pie or table chart, analyzing a group of channels gathered under a calculated RMS channel. These tools can only be used for pre-created calculated RMS channels. The tool allows the export of data in .XLS format for later use in Microsoft Excel.
Allows the insertion of an external XAML vector image. The free Microsoft Expression Design 4 program can be used for exporting and handling in XAML format. The supported format is XAML Silverlight. The advantage of this format is the possibility to resize the image no matter how much without losing the details.