OrionLX Family Overview

Multiple Functions, Minimal Headaches


The Cyber Secure Substation Automation Platform of Choice for More U.S. Utilities Than Any Other

The Orion Family of Substation Automation Platforms perform an expanding array of automation and security applications in electric utility substations, with minimal setup and maintenance. A single Orion can replace multiple legacy boxes in a substation, reducing hardware, design, wiring, and panel costs. Orion is the automation platform of choice for more U.S. utilities than any competing product.

“We’ve used six different boxes…and your Orion is the best we’ve used so far”  – Terry S

Number-OneDesign Goals

The OrionLX and OrionLXm borrow design features from rugged protective relays, modular PLCs, powerful PCs, diagnostic test sets, and secure routers. The result is a rugged platform that can reliably take on a range of automation tasks.

  • Rugged Meets ANSI C37.90.1 2002 Fast Transient on I/O and power supplies and ANSI C37.90.2 1995 RFI to 35 volts per meter. Direct fiber optic is available on serial communication ports and Ethernet port. Designed to operate over -40°C to 70°C without heaters, fans, or moving parts.
  • Flexible and Modular Both hardware and software are modular. Communication cards can be switched or added, software options and protocols can be added quickly and easily in the field. Toolsets for logic, HMI development, and points mapping provide the flexibility to meet the needs of multiple applications.
  • Standard  Tools from the PC Industry Includes a large solid state memory, SQL-compliant relational database, web technology, and standard tools for file transfer, diagnostics, and time management.
  • Utility Specific Includes functions for breaker controls, counters, accumulators, Local/remote, and momentary-change-detect. Includes support for both legacy utility protocols (Modbus, CDC, Conitel, etc.) and new international standards (IEC 61850, IEC 60870, and DNP3).
  • Built-In Diagnostics Includes a built-in protocol analyzer to view all messages, plus extensive diagnostic LEDs, internal health monitoring, and time diagnostics. Commissioning tools include points blocking and forcing functions.
  • Built-In NERC CIP Security Comes equipped with built-in security, including strong passwords, remote authentication, encrypted protocols (OprnVPN, HTTPS, SSH, SFTP), firewall, and syslog. Solutions to meet NERC CIP Version 5 available.
  • Consistent Setup and Configuration All Orion software features and configurations are seamlessly transferable from one generation to the next.

Hardware Features

An OrionLX can be configured with wide-range redundant power supplies, a fiber optic Ethernet port, a Multimedia Board with VGA Video Output, and any combination of RS-232, RS-485, and Fiber communication cards. The OrionLXm is a physically smaller OrionLX designed for applications requiring fewer connections and less space, including smaller distribution substations and OEM and pole-top RTU applications. All OrionLXm connections and diagnostic LEDs are on the front face, and universal mounting options include panel, 19” rack, or DIN-rail.





The Kaizen philosophy of continuous evolutionary improvement is central to the Orion product family. By simplifying complexity with consistent and intuitive configuration while continuously adding new capabilities, Orions provide application flexibility and increasing value in substation automation applications. Some of the latest innovations include:

  • Intuitive PLC-Like Programming IEC 61131-3 is the international standard for programmable logic controller (PLC) programming, specifying the syntax, semantics, and display for five languages. This enables the control program developer to select the language best suited to a particular task.
  • High Performance CPU The optional OrionLX High Performance CPU provides two to three times more speed and processing power than the standard OrionLX CPU. It is intended for larger automation applications, notably transmission substation applications with large SCADA databases, extensive math and logic, many webpages, and encryption.
  • Relay Data Retrieval Simplified NovaTech currently provides over 200 pre-engineered SEL® “point pick lists” (or “Default Files”) to simplify the process of selecting points from SEL relays. OrionLX Relay Helper simplifies the Default File creation process by automating the extraction of SEL relay “ID” and “DNA” from any new relay models. Using these data, Relay Helper automatically creates a new complete and accurate Default File.
  • Secure Web-based SCADA in Your Hands OrionLX WEBserver is a web-based SCADA and local HMI solution that uses open-source web technologies to build interactive screens accessible from standard web browsers. A browser can connect to an OrionLX and view data from connected IEDs and RTUs. Displays can range from a single text-based screen to detailed substation one-line drawings with multiple password protected drill-down screens for viewing IED data or establishing a pass-through connection with the IED. WEBserver has pre-configured pages for Data Archiving/Sequence of Events Recording, Alarm Annunciation, one-line diagrams, IED faceplates, control screens, alarms, trending,  and communications diagnostics.
  • VGA Touchscreen Monitor A rugged VGA touchscreen monitor is available for the OrionLX, eliminating the need for a substation PC and its inherent software and Cyber Security hassles. Webpages served from the OrionLX, and applications supported by the OrionLX (terminal mode, screen capture, text editing, etc.) can be viewed on this VGA touchscreen when OrionLX is equipped with the optional Multimedia Board. This monitor works both as a touchscreen monitor and with a keyboard/mouse at the same time.
  • Data Visualization and Dissemination Tools A wide range of modern software tools “bring the data out of the box” with minimal engineering efort. The new Tile Annun-ciator – up to 24 pages of 60 alarms each – simplifies interpretation of alarms and reduces configuration time. Any substation data point – breaker position, monitored temperature, user access attempt, etc. – can be accessed by Orion and presented to engineers and operators where they want it, when they want it and how they want it. Secure file transfer, secure webpages, email, and data logging are all supported in Orion.

Feature Comparison

Physical Feature OrionLX OrionLXm Reasons Different
Serial Ports An number from 1 to 17, RS-232 (A or E), RS-485, RS-422 (B or G), Serial Fiber (C or H), Bit Synchronous (D), HDLC (F) Up to two serial cards, factory upgradeable Less space, less cost
Ethernet Two Standard Eth0 / Eth1 copper ports, Optional Eth1 fiber, Optional Eth2 copper port Standard Eth0 / Eth1 copper ports Even smaller jobs will need more Ethernet
Maintenance Port USB or RS-232 USB only Less space, RS-232 not available on newer PCs
Aux USB Port 2 standard, 2 optional on MMB None available Less space, Direct Video not on OrionLXm
IRIG-B Unmodulated or modulated COAX Unmodulated only, twisted pair Space and cost
1PPS input Yes No rarely used in distribution substations
Local I/O 4 in / 2 out, Alarm Contact 1 in, Alarm Contact, plus up to two optional 12 in/4 out cards More built in I/O can eliminate the need for a separate I/O module
VGA Direct Video Port Available option Not available Less space, No HP CPU to support Direct Video
Modem (built in, internal) Available option Not available, but can connect external modem Less space, Fewer modem applications due to NERC, plus more broadband
Power Supply 12 and 24 V dc, 48V dc, 120V ac / 125V dc and 120V ac, Dual option 24 – 250V dc; 120 – 240V ac, 12V dc, No dual option International will require 240V ac, No space for dual power supply


Build an OrionLX/LXm Part Number and Request a Quote. 

Click here for the Orion Support website (separate login required) 

  • OrionLX Tile Annunciator

    The OrionLX Tile Annunciator is a web-based software-defined alarm annunciation product. The Tile Annunciator
    webpages are served directly from an OrionLX automation platform and provide simplified setup, categorization
    and viewing of active and acknowledged alarms in substation HMI and web-based SCADA applications.

    October 16, 2015

  • The OrionLX is a multi-port automation platform. It is designed to operate all ports independently of one another. Each port can support a unique communications protocol withits own communication timing. All ports use a common database, which makes data from all ports available to any other port. The OrionLX also provides a logic processor and logging/archiving capabilities, making the OrionLX a powerful RTU. The OrionLX acquires data from IEDs and stores this data for polls by SCADA. SCADA commands are routed to the target IED for appropriate action.

    April 28, 2015

  • OrionLX™ Datasheet

    The OrionLX Substation Automation Platform is designed with a Linux operating system, more powerful processors for an expanded range of substation automation applications, and comprehensive Cyber-Security functions for meeting NERC CIP requirements.

    February 18, 2013

  • The Orion Automation Platform is a family of modular hardware platforms and software designed to perform a range or monitoring and control applications…

    September 19, 2012

  • The OrionLX™ WEBserver provides open-source tools to create an unlimited variety of customized webpages. In most applications, commonality exists for IED faceplates and breaker control screens. The Indirect Addressing feature in OrionLX WEBserver reduces the effort to configure display points on pages that must be replicated many times.

    July 23, 2012

  • VGA Touchscreen Monitor for OrionLX

    A rugged VGA Touchscreen Monitor is available for the OrionLX™. Features include:
    • Viewable area: 19”
    • Brightness: 300 cd/m2
    • Contrast ratio: 700:1
    • Viewing angle: V/H 80°/75°
    • Response time: 8ms
    • Pixel pitch: 0.294mm
    • Maximum resolution: 1280 x 1024
    • Input power: 125V or 48V dc
    • 19” Rack-Mount or Panel-Moun

    May 3, 2012

  • OrionLX Relay Helper™

    NovaTech currently provides over 200 pre-engineered SEL® “point pick lists” (or “Default Files”) to simplify the process of selecting points from SEL® relays. When new SEL® relay model variations are introduced, NovaTech Engineering, or the user, creates a new Default File for that specific new relay model.

    February 21, 2012

  • High Performance OrionLX CPU

    The optional OrionLX High Performance CPU provides two to three times more speed and processing power than the standard OrionLX CPU. It is intended for larger automation applications, notably transmission substation applications with large SCADA databases, extensive math and logic, many webpages and encryption and other security features implemented.

    January 2, 2012

  • OrionLX™ Multimedia Board

    An optional Multimedia Board is now available on the OrionLX. This new expansion module includes the following ports:
    a. 15-pin D-Shell VGA port.
    b. Third Ethernet port (ETH2)
    c. One audio port.
    d. Two USB ports (USB4 and USB5).

    December 22, 2011

  • NCD3 Upgrade Datasheet

    This note summarizes new features in NCD3 and describes the procedure for obtaining / updating to NCD3.

    October 19, 2011

  • OrionLX™ IEC 61131-3 Datasheet

    The OrionLX can now be ordered with the five IEC 61131-3 programming languages. Background on IEC 61131-3 IEC 61131-3 is the international standard for programmable logic controller (PLC) programming languages and specifies the syntax, semantics and display for five languages:
    • Ladder Diagram (LD)
    • Function Block Diagram (FBD)
    • Structured Text (ST)
    • Instruction List (IL)
    • Sequential Function Chart (SFC)

    August 31, 2011

  • This system demonstrates two simultaneous connections to a Form6 Control: one connection to access SCADA data and the other connection to access engineering data using ProView. The remote PC running ProView is connected via an analog dial-in phone line to the OrionLX which “passes through” ProView to the Form6. This application note details PC settings, OrionLX settings and Form6 settings to make this application work.

    January 1, 2011

  • The Orion Automation Platform is widely applied in electric substations to perform secure monitoring, data processing and control functions. The Orion physical structure, flexible software architecture and powerful configuration software make it an ideal solution for integration and automation in wind farm substations.

    February 2, 2013

  • Orion Security Features Comparison Datasheet

    The OrionLX/Orion5rL Automation Platforms are designed with access controls, intrusion protection and security logging to meet or exceed NERC CIP Cyber Security standards for critical cyber assets. The OrionLX/Orion5rL are designed to provide a migration path to upgrade the existing Orion5/Orion5r platforms to meet these new security requirements. Configuration conversions tools are provided to preserve engineering investments. This datasheet summarizes security features on the OrionLX/Orion5rL compared to the Orion5/Orion5r.

    December 17, 2010

  • The OrionLX was specifically designed for applications in electrical substations. Its modularity and scalability enable it to be cost effective for both transmission and distribution applications. This document summarizes key design features.

    November 11, 2010

  • Customized webpages and pre-formatted webpages can be configured to create a comprehensive Orion web-based substation HMI, including one-line diagrams, IED faceplates, control screens, alarms, trending, sequence of events and communications diagnostics. Pages can include controls for breakers, tap changers, regulators and other substation devices. Security is provided with secure protocols and individual user authentication levels for page access, device control and alarm acknowledgement.

    November 10, 2010

  • Orion offers two solutions for expansion beyond the standard 17 serial ports: the software option Cascaded Orions and the network protocol option STCP. STCP, or SEL® Protocol over TCP, is designed to work with SEL relays and enables one or more expansion Orions to serve as a “port switch” or “terminal server” to a Master OrionLX. Up to 96 SEL relays can be connected using STCP. Any Orion can be used as the “port switch” Orion, and can be located local or remote to the Master OrionLX.

    November 10, 2010

  • OrionLX™ 自动化平台 Datasheet (Chinese)

    The OrionLX Substation Automation Platform is designed with a Linux operating system, more powerful processors for an expanded range of substation automation applications, and comprehensive Cyber-Security functions for meeting NERC CIP requirements.

    June 1, 2008

  • Additional Datasheets, Application Notes, Customer Success Stories and other documents in our documentation library

  • OrionLX / OrionLXm Automation Platform [#K700]

    Lenexa, KS Training Office

    A one and a half-day course to provide instruction in the specification, configuration, application, and real-time monitoring of the OrionLX / LXm automation processor.  Students will be introduced to OrionLX / LXm hardware and firmware options and their various uses and applications. 

    March 8, 2016 – March 9, 2016

  • NERC CIP Cyber Secure Gateway

    The OrionLX or LXm can serve as a NERC CIP secure substation gateway. Orion connects to substation meters, event recorders, distributed I/O, protective relays and other substation IEDs using any combination of RS232, RS485, Fiber or Ethernet connections and over 30 available IED protocols.

    December 01, 2015

  • OrionLX IEC 61131-3 Math & Logic Webinar

    A webinar covering the five Math and Logic toolkits in IEC 61131-3: Ladder Diagram, Structured Text, Function Block Diagram, Sequential Function Chart, Instruction List, and how each application should be used.

    December 01, 2015

  • OrionLX WEBserver Webinar

    A webinar centered around the Orion WEBserver HMI. Covering and demonstrating the use of standard webpages in the OrionLX, examples of customized OrionLX webpages, and also pre-formatted webpages in OrionLX.

    December 01, 2015

  • Direct Video for OrionLX Webinar

    Direct Video for OrionLX is the revolutionary new capability that enables users to cut substation hardware costs, meet emerging NERC CIP security standards, and to accomplish additional “PC” tasks with the Orion Substation Automation Platform. The innovative OrionLX Multimedia Board allows for greater connectivity and substation hardware versatility by cutting out the need for a hardened substation PC. For the first time, Orion WEBserver graphics can be created and served directly from the OrionLX to the substation display monitor, while maintaining NERC CIP compliance.

    The webinar will highlight features designed to improve substation automation through the use of Direct Video for OrionLX and Orion WEBserver HMI.

    December 01, 2015

  • Overview of NERC CIP Cyber Security Functions

    The NovaTech Orion Substation Automation Platform facilitates NERC CIP compliance with strong passwords, remote authentication, firewall, encryption, and logging functions.

    December 01, 2015

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.Update my browser now