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DNP3 Protocol Explained in Details Distributed Network Protocol which is abbreviated DNP3 stack is a set of communication protocols which are commonly used by water and electric companies. It is uncommon for other companies to use DNP3 stack. The main reason the DNP3 stack was developed is to ease communication between different kinds of equipment that are used to collect data. DNP3 protocol is the mainly used in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) which is a system of control that uses computers for the purpose of supervisory management. SCADA systems rely heavily on DNP3 stack especially to pass data from master stations to Remote Terminal Units or intelligent electronic Devices (IEDs). The way DNP3 stack came about is fascinating. To permit interoperability between different vendors SCADA components for the electric grid a standard was required and that’s how DNP3 protocol came about.
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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. The protocol extends the lifespan of the aging components, which may now last for decades. Through the use of DNP3 protocol poor transmission media would improve drastically.
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The reliability of the DNP3 stack cannot be questioned. Although the DNP3 offers the highest dependability; its security is below par. The DNP3 protocol could be interfered with by any malicious person or hacker since it’s not that secure. Due to the level of insecurity associated with DNP3 major critical infrastructure and control systems could come to a standstill if malevolent forces come into play. However, there has been recent development that has contributed to improved security of the DNP3 stack. Improved security brought about by the authentication features that have been added to the DNP3 stack assures the usage of this protocol. Since the DNP3 protocol complies with IEC 62351-5 they are deemed suitable. You don’t have to replace anything if you want to change DNP3 stack to IEC 62351-5, since both are compliant you would just need to add little features to make them work together. Firmness, efficiency and ability to be interoperable than the aged protocols makes DNP3 very suitable. Due to its complexity the DNP3 stack cannot be compared with other protocols. If you need a protocol that offers multiplexing and data fragmentation you need to settle for DNP3 stack. It also helps in checking of errors in systems as well as linking to control. The DNP3 stack also supports time synchronization with RTU. To reconstruct data the DNP3 protocol could receive adequate sequences of events that happens in between polls. Any company should consider in depth the advantages and disadvantages of the DNP3 protocol and indeed any other protocol.