This issue`s front cover photo is a symbolic depiction of one of Utility Automation`s goals in editorial coverage–capturing breakthroughs in utility technology. And as captured in this issue, utilities are discovering innovative uses to system applications ranging from distribution automation to customer information systems. In the first feature article, Dariush Shirmohammadi gives us a primer on data communication needs for distribution automation including a short discussion on trends in telecommunication media technologies. This article prepares the reader to better critically analyze the stories on the city of San Antonio`s distribution automation pilot project and Springdale Water Utilities` SCADA system.
Your continuing response to topics such as those mentioned above has prompted us to add a new section for letters “To the Editor.” Please continue to write or e-mail me with your concerns, suggestions or opinions on any topics or issues discussed in this publication. I will do my best to include your feedback in future issues of Utility Automation. This is your opportunity to use this magazine as a vehicle to voice your interests on the latest technology issues.
In conclusion to a successful year and the holidays that are upon us, I would like to be the first to wish you all a very happy holiday season. As we rejoice with family and friends during this special time, one can easily be distracted from the surging waves of change occurring around us. The economic and political climate in the upcoming year will definitely present us all with new challenges and obstacles to overcome … and our continued success will be measured on how we overcome those obstacles and take on new challenges. I am already looking forward to a stellar new year, and counting on 1997 to be yet another year of technology breakthroughs for the utilities industry.