STRIDE (System Tool for the Retrieval and Input of Data and Engineering) is novel, it is easy to implement in existing, as well as in new systems and is easily maintainable. Compared to the conventional means it replaces, STRIDE offers great cost reductions at considerably improvements in efficiency and in accuracy of record keeping.
Interconnected power systems throughout the world are characterised by their increasing dependence on sophisticated speech, control and protection systems, interconnected by an array of communications bearers. As a result of the demands placed on the communications systems and further, as a result of great advances made in technology, power system communications networks have expanded enormously. The complexity of these networks has placed great strains on their conventional means of documentation.
Their documentation is characterised by:
- Interconnection of a large number of relatively low cost items of plant
- The interconnections are subject to frequent changes during the life of the items concerned and items of equipment are frequently relocated within the system.
- The cost of documentation is a significant part of the cost of the installed plant and is an ongoing cost during the life of the equipment.
- The documentation is complex, It covers not only the interconnection of items of equipment located at the locations where they are installed, it also requires a large amount of documentation of the many ways interconnections of the various items of communications equipment at each location are made to enable them to operate as a system.
- Complex communications systems cannot be represented on one or two simple drawings. They generally require overall block schematics backed up by a miriad of wiring schedules, showing the detailed interconnections of the various items of plant concerned.
- An increasing proportion of interconnections between items of communications equipment are no longer implemented by physical wiring but rather by interconnections through software which are difficult to show by conventional means.
To STRIDE v.intr. “Walk with long, decisive steps in a specified direction”
STRIDE consists of a combination of a number of overall system block schematics, using a layered approach to depict different views of the same data. The diagrams have been arranged in a system of increasing details of the various parts of the network, enabling one to zoom into the area in which details are sought. The actual interconnection details, which are contained in a database (Microsoft Access), can be readily accessed from the drawings concerned. That is, the drawing objects are linked to the database. Thus, by zooming in on a particular area of the block schematic, the relevant details of the database can be recalled, to provide whatever detail is required to carry out modification work in the area of interest.
The strengths of this system of documentation are as follows:
- The system lends itself readily to a number of stages of development of the network. Planning and design changes can be shown side by side with the documentation of the existing network, allowing easy updating of “as is” drawings after commissioning of equipment. It is a natural extension of Network Management systems as well as being a tool for planning and design.
- Once established, it is easy to maintain and extensions dictated by network modifications and expansion can be readily implemented. The cost of ongoing documentation is a fraction of that of conventional methods using a large number of interdependent paper based wiring schedules.
- It is readily modifiable. Many of the changes now entered by technicians in the field can be entered directly into the database from each site, thus keeping the system up to date for all its users
- Much of the system documentation such as the documentation relating to layout of multiplex equipment, circuit routing, etc. are an automatic byproduct of the design process. Separate systems and data entry for these functions is not required.
- The system is easy to supervise, thus the chance that changes go unrecorded is minimised
- The major part of the documentation is essentially paperless, it avoids the need for endless references between a large number of bulky drawings. Paper records, however can be produced to provide work instructions for installation staff. Also, paper output for the system drawings remains important and the system has been optimised for both a clear screen presentation and paper output.
The original development of STRIDE coincided with the commissioning of the JWOTS (Indonesia) project in 1995. It initially covered the Digital Communications network (34Mb PDH) and was continually improved with the addition of new functionality over the subsequent 3 years.
Between 1996 and 2001, STRIDE was further developed and was implemented to replace the drawing based systems used by a number of organisations with private telecommunications networks. In particular, STRIDE was adopted by Western Power, SMHEA and TransGrid NSW for the documentation of their telecommunications transmission networks.
The greatest benefit from using STRIDE is usually obtained where it is implemented for telecommunications transmission because of the complexity of the documentation, the large number of interconnections implemented by electronic means and because to the high “churn” (i.e. changes and expansion of the network). Further benefit is gained where STRIDE is aligned with the Network Management system for the digital multiplex.
More recently, STRIDE has been developed further to manage the documentation of optical fibre networks.
The following organisation have utilized STRIDE for the documentation of their telecommunications networks:
- Western Power
Responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution on elctricity in Western Australia
Transmission Network Service Provider for New South Wales
Transmission Service Provider for South Australia
- Ergon Energy
Distribution Network Provider for rural Queensland
- PLN (Perusahaan Umum Listrik Negara)
Indonesian state owned electricity utility
- KCRC (Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation)
Hong Kong mainline railway company