Orion 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 Cyber Secure communications 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. Preconfigured “point pick lists” for most vendors’ intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), extensive diagnostic LEDs and a built-in communications analyzer reduce integration time and errors. All Orion models from the Orion16 (1999), through the Orion5 and Orion5r (2003) to the OrionLX (2008) and OrionLXm (2014), are configured and programmed with the same software – NovaTech Configuration Director (NCD) – so applications created for the Orion16 can still be loaded into an OrionLXm. The OrionLX models (OrionLX, OrionLXm and Orion5rL) add powerful security features for making encrypted connections, managing passwords, logging syslog events and extracting configurations from critical cyber assets, in accordance with evolving NERC CIP standards. This combination of powerful features and ease of use has made Orion the substation automation platform of choice for more U.S. utilities than any comparable product.

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

Number One for a Number of Reasons


NERC CIP-Compliant Cyber Secure Communications

All OrionLX models are designed to operate with existing secure devices and practices in the utility IT infrastructure to prevent unauthorized access to substation data and devices. Based upon open, industry-standard hardware and software to ensure compatibility, all OrionLX models provide stateful firewall, strong passwords, LDAP support, syslog, encryption and extensive alarm and event logging to capture unauthorized activity. Legacy Orion5r units can be upgraded to the Orion5rL model which provide the same Cyber Security features.

Rugged Construction

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 or fans.

Flexible and Modular Like a PLC

Includes a complete logic suite for local control and intelligent alarming, modular and expandable I/O and communication ports, and non-volatile memory.

Standard PC Tools

Including a large, expandable solid state memory, SQL-compliant relational database, built-in 10/100MB Ethernet, and a variety of communication options such as web pages, sFTP, SSH, telnet and PPP.


NERC CIP Cyber Security features, built-in breaker control, counter and accumulator functions, momentary-change-detect function and a full suite of utility protocols including support for bit synchronous communications.

Consistent Setup and Configuration

All Orion software features and configurations are seamlessly transferable from one generation to the next.

  • 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

  • Orion Comparison Chart 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.

    March 23, 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

  • The CrossBow™ Secure Access Manager from RuggedCom® is a proven NERC CIP compliant connection management and password management solution for Intelligent Electronic Devices. Orion is a family of automation platforms and I/O modules for substation and distribution automation. NovaTech and RuggedCom have engineered an interface between CrossBow and Orion.

    January 24, 2011

  • 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

  • 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.

    February 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.

    February 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.

    February 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.

    February 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.

    February 01, 2015

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