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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. 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. 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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In areas where installing electric automation systems are a challenge the DNP3 protocol would be very useful. 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. However, its security is questionable. Actually it’s not that secure and it could be attacked by any hacker or spiteful people. 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. 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 suitability of the DNP3 stack comes in such that they are compliant with the IEC 62351-5. Just by adding a few features you would not have to change DNP3 protocol if you want to incorporate IEC 62351-5.
The features of the DNP3 stack makes it firm, efficient and have the ability to be interoperable than the aged protocols. You cannot compare the DNP3 protocol with any other protocol due to its complexity.
Settle for DNP3 protocol if you want a stack that offers multiplexing and data fragmentation. To check for errors and link control you could use the DNP3 protocol.
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. It is important that a thorough analysis of various protocols is carried out to ensure that they indeed good enough.