Last Updated S012019


Unit Code ME601
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Master of Engineering (Industrial Automation)
Duration: 2 years

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr. Ivan Fair
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites ME507 Industrial Data Communications I
Credit Points


Masters total course credit points = 48
(3 credits x 12 (units) + 12 credits (Thesis))

Mode of Delivery On-Campus or Online
Unit Workload 10 hours per week:
     Lecture - 1 hour
     Tutorial Lecture - 1 hour
     Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)
     Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

This unit builds upon ME507 (Industrial data Communications I), delves deeper in the theory and constructs, and aims to provide the requisite knowledge to manage modern field buses and Industrial wireless systems. It consolidates aspects related to the selection of technologies and the synthesis, simulation, configuration and configuration of such systems, as well as the integration of wired and wireless systems. Although a range of theoretical concepts are addressed, the emphasis is on current state-of-the-art field bus and wireless technologies used in the Industrial sector.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the DNP3 and IEC60870 protocols
    Bloom’s Level 6
  2. Assess the suitability of current field bus technologies for specific Industrial
    Bloom’s Level 5
  3. Select the most appropriate wireless technologies for Industrial applications
    Bloom’s Level 6
  4. Specify and design terrestrial microwave links for telemetry and high-speed backhaul
    Bloom’s Level 6
  5. Specify, design and simulate high-speed redundant Wireless LANs for demanding
    Industrial applications
    Bloom’s Level 6
  6. Critique the various methods of using OPC for SCADA access on both LANs and
    Bloom’s Level 5
  7. Analyze the security situation around a given industrial network, and design
    appropriate security measures to safeguard the network
    Bloom’s Level 6

Student assessment

Assessment Type
(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic)
Examination (specify length and format))
When assessed(e.g. Week 5) Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assignment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer
questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment /

Example Topic: Covering DNP3, IEC60870,
Industrial Networks and RF bands.

After Topic 5 15% 1, 2, 3

Assignment 2 - Project Midterm.

Type: Report / Research / Paper / Case Study / Site
Visit / Problem analysis / Project / Professional

Example: Typical report 2,500 words maximum,
excluding references. This Project will include a
progress report (to date), literature review,
hypothesis, schedule (for this project up to the final

Example Topic: Challenges and future work on the
current state-of-the-art and trends in wired and
wireless field bus systems.

After Topic 7 25% 2, 3

Assignment 3 - Final Project

Type: Report (Final Project)

(Typical thesis 4,000 words, excluding references, figures and tables) Continuing the mid-term initial submission.

After Topic 12 40% 2, 3, 5, 7

Practical Participation
Example: May be in the form of quizzes, class tests, practical assessments, remote labs, simulation software or case studies

Continuous 15% 4, 5, 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1-7

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook

  • S. Sen, Fieldbus and Networking in Process Automation. CRC Press, 2014 – ISBN: 978-

Reference Materials
Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures). Some examples are listed

  1.  Berge, J., (2002), Fieldbuses for Process Control: Engineering, Operation and
    Maintenance, 1st edition, ISA
  2. Roshan, P. and Leary, J., (2004), 802.11 Wireless LAN fundamentals, 1st edition, Cisco
  3. IEEE802.11 specification (
  4. IEEE802.15.4 specification (
  5. OPC specifications (
  6. IDC notes and Reference texts as advised.
  7.  Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.

Topic 1

DNP and IEC60870

1. DNP3 over TCP/IP
2. DNP3 simulation and protocol analysis
3. DNP3 vs. IEC60870

Topics 2 and 3

Industrial Networks

1. First generation systems (Data Highway, Modbus Plus)
2. Second generation systems (PROFIBUS, DeviceNet, FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1)
3. Third generation systems (PROFINET, Ethernet/IP, FOUNDATION Fieldbus HSE)
4. High-speed deterministic Ethernet field buses

Topics 4 and 5

Wireless fundamentals

1. RF bands and propagation characteristics 900 MHz- 80 GHz
2. Antennas

Topics 6 and 7

Fixed wireless systems

1. Wireless modems
2. VSat
3. 3G/4G
4. Terrestrial microwave link design

Topics 8 and 9

Wireless Networks

1. IEEE802.11 Industrial WLANs
2. IEEE802.15 Industrial mesh networks

Topic 10


1. OPC legacy specifications
2. OPC Unified Architecture
3. Implementation issues

Topic 12

Project and/or Unit Review
In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work, to clarify any outstanding issues, and to work on finalizing the major assessment report.


Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.


Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.


Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline


 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.


 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem-solving.


Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.


Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: Citect Explorer, dOPCHDAClient, dOPCDAClient, MatrikonOPC (Server and Explorer), FactorySoft OPC Client, Wireshark

  • Version: Latest

  • Instructions:  Use the software on Remote lab

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A