A monitoring-based control system was installed as a comprehensive proof of concept, utilizing OSIsoft PI, a renowned operations data management infrastructure platform. The initial task was to integrate building control systems, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and various SCADA systems in the operational technology (OT) network with the OSIsoft PI system. This had to be done while maintaining DOD cybersecurity best practices for control systems and the existing ATO.
The initial project scope was to create an operations data management infrastructure for monitoring a broad range of data — from temperature changes of components and systems to valve status, pressure readings and many more indicators. Data from numerous sensors that had already been installed on HVAC equipment was fed to a centralized display system, giving operators status reports in real time.
The PI system interfaces with the Marines’ open platform communications (OPC) server to collect this information and feed it to a centralized data historian and display system capable of capturing and managing data from hundreds of endpoints. These endpoints, also called tags, read data from sensors that serve as the foundation for the Corps’ rules-based analytics system to identify equipment faults and provide diagnostics.
The next phase was to install systems at the enterprise level to connect the monitoring system at Albany with the Marine Corps Enterprise Data Center (EDC) in Kansas City, Missouri. Functioning as the Marine Corps’ information technology hub, the data center also hosts an Enterprise ArcGIS environment and SkySpark, another sophisticated monitoring technology system that now serves as the core platform for IBM’s on-premise Watson offering. Both the PI and SkySpark systems work similarly to feed system analytics data to centralized dashboards, giving operators visibility into any patterns that deviate from optimal performance for any component of piece of equipment.
This usable and accessible data serves as a foundation for a system of artificial intelligence (AI) — the end goal for defining how information will be used throughout the Marine Corps global operations to improve and enhance resiliency.
The first step of this AI enablement was to break down data silos wherever they existed. The PI System flows data out of these isolated control systems into a centralized repository for cleansing, standardization and archiving for easy retrieval. The scope evolved to integrate all these systems at the enterprise level, utilizing a secure wide area network (WAN) between Albany and the EDC in Kansas City.