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A Guide to Understanding DNP3 Stack

A set of communication protocols commonly used by water and electric companies includes the DNP3 stack which is an abbreviation for Distributed Network Protocol. It is uncommon for other companies to use DNP3 stack. To ease communication between different types of equipment that are used to collect data it would be wise to use DNP3 stack.

For supervisory management and control DNP3 protocols are used. The DNP3 protocols are used by the SCADA systems to pass data from master stations to remote terminals units or intelligent electronic Devices (IEDs).

It’s interesting how the DNP3 protocol came into being. Since the IEC 60870-5 was under development there was a need to have a standard that would permit interoperability between different vendors SCADA components for the electrical grid.
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DNP3 protocol gives dependable communications in the remote areas that are not suitable for installing electric utility automation systems. The DNP3 stack helps to overcome distortion caused by EMI. DNP3 stack helps improve the lifespan of the aging components. Poor transmission media may as well be improved through the use of the DNP3 protocol.
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The people who developed DNP3 stack ensured that it offered the highest dependability possible. Although the DNP3 offers the highest dependability; its security is below par. Malicious people or hackers could interfere with the DNP3 protocol. So control systems and critical infrastructure could be interfered with especially if the DNP3 stack is the major communication protocol. DNP3 protocol has in the recent past gotten new features that have contributed to improved security. Improved security brought about by the authentication features that have been added to the DNP3 stack assures the usage of this protocol. The compliance of DNP3 protocol with IEC 62351-5 makes it very suitable. The compliance of DNP3 protocol with the IEC 62351-5 makes it less challenging when switching to either of the two.

The suitability of the DNP3 protocol is brought about by its firmness, efficiency and ability to be interoperable than the aged protocols which is as a result of its strong features. You cannot compare the DNP3 protocol with any other protocol due to its complexity.

The DNP3 protocol is among the best stacks since it offers multiplexing, data fragmentation. DNP3 protocol is good since it could help check for errors and link control.

The DNP3 stack also supports time synchronization with RTU. The DNP3 stack could be able to receive adequate data to reconstruct a sequence of events that happens in between the polls. Any company should consider in depth the advantages and disadvantages of the DNP3 protocol and indeed any other protocol.