How I Became An Expert on Protocols

A Guide to Understanding DNP3 Stack

DNP3 Protocol or stack is an abbreviation for Distributed Network Protocol which is simply a set of communication protocols used in utilities such as the water and electric companies. Other companies rarely use the DNP3 protocols. The main reason the DNP3 stack was developed is to ease communication between different kinds of equipment that are used to collect data.

For the purposes of supervisory management Supervisory control and data acquisition the DNP3 is used for protocol for supervisory management and control. 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. A standard that would permit interoperability between different vendors SCADA components for the electrical grid was needed since the IEC 60870-5 was under development.
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The usefulness of DNP3 protocol is seen in areas where installing electric utility automation systems is a challenge. The distortion caused by EMI could be overcome by use of DNP3 stack. The aging components could be made to last longer by using the DNP3 stack. Drastic improvement in transmitting of data would be witnessed when DNP3 protocol is used.
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The reliability of the DNP3 stack cannot be questioned. DNP3 protocol is not that secure. The DNP3 protocol could be interfered with by any malicious person or hacker since it’s not that secure. So control systems and critical infrastructure could be interfered with especially if the DNP3 stack is the major communication protocol. Improved security of the DNP3 stack has somehow reassured their use. DNP3 stack has gotten authentication features that assure improved security. 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.

The features of the DNP3 stack makes it firm, efficient and have the ability to be interoperable than the aged protocols. The complexity of the DNP3 protocol cannot be compared with any other source code.

Settle for DNP3 protocol if you want a stack that offers multiplexing and data fragmentation. 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. To ensure that the protocol a company settles on is adequate a thorough research and analysis should be carried out.


Author: s3m4ng4t