Orion Enhancements in 9.6 Firmware

PUBLISHED ON Nov 16, 2020

The 9.6 firmware is now available for all active Orions: OrionLX+, OrionLX CPX, OrionLXm, OrionMX, and Orion I/O.

New Features: 

  • Added five new Sensor points
  • Added support for Bridging and Bonding
  • Added “Regex” (Regular Expressions) to SEL Serial Client Protocol (formerly SEL Master Protocol)
  • Added ability to configure a second syslog server in the web GUI
  • Enhanced web tables for Alarms, Alarm Archive and Archive
  • Enhanced Email with new logging and naming features
  • Added 1Gbps fiber SFP support for Orion I/O and OrionMX
  • Added support for the 3-Port Orion I/O Ethernet Switch
  • Added support for the Orion I/O 8 AI Flex Card
  • Added support for ICCP protocol
  • Added support for RADIUS remote authentication and authorization

Each of the new features listed above are reviewed in a Power Hour webinar recording posted to our Power Community Support Site.

Please Note: To access the Power Community Support Site, you need an account, and you can easily request an account online by selecting Sign Up. You will need to use a corporate email, instead of free email programs such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.

Added Five New Sensor Points
Orion Sensor points provide real-time Orion diagnostics, connection details, and operational status.

Added Support for Bridging and Bonding
Orion networking flexibility is expanded with Bridging and Bonding. Bridging enables two or more separate Ethernet ports (separate NICs) to be “Bridged” into a single NIC and perform as an unmanaged switch. Bonding combines Ethernet ports in parallel to achieve redundancy and/or to increase throughput. Bridging and Bonding capabilities vary with Orion models.

On October 21, 2020, we hosted a Power Hour webinar covering Analog Scaling, Bonding and Bridging. The webinar recording is posted to our Power Community Support Site.

Added “Regex” (Regular Expressions) to SEL Serial Client Protocol
The “operational data” inside SEL relays can be accessed using the Orion SEL Serial Client Protocol (formerly SEL Master Protocol). The new “Regex” enhancement enables other “non-operational data” – settings, etc.– to also be accessed. This new capability enables you to define the command to be sent to an SEL relay, and then parse out the desired data from the response using Regular Expressions, a standard technique ideal for parsing data from strings. With Regex and other Orion capabilities, any data inside SEL relays can now be accessed and disseminated.

On July 24, 2020, we hosted a Power Hour webinar covering Orion File Handling and Emailing that included a session on Regex at 0:4:37. The webinar recording is posted to our Power Community Support Site.

Added Ability to Configure a Second Syslog Server in the Web GUI
Orion syslog data can be streamed to a remote syslog server, such as the Tripwire “Log Center” for analysis. It is now possible to configure a second backup syslog server from the Setting/SystemLog GUI webpage. This is a simpler approach than the previous file editing process.

Enhanced Web Tables for Alarms, Alarm Archive, and Archive
A new search capability is now available for the Alarm, Alarm Archive, and Archive web tables. The Point Name, Alias Name, and Message can all be searched. Also, an improved column editor – similar to the one recently engineered into the DataValues web table–is available.

Enhanced Email
A new Subject Prefix and Friendly Name are now available to distinguish individual Orion’s emails. We also added logging of successfully sent emails.

Added 1Gbps fiber SFP Support for Orion I/O and OrionMX
Small Form-Factor Pluggable port option  accepts the same SFP transceivers as offered on the OrionLX+.

Added Support for the 3-Port Orion I/O Ethernet Switch
The 3-Port unmanaged Ethernet switch option further expands the applications for Orion I/O.

Added Support for the Orion I/O 8 AI Flex Card
This new analog input card offers more application flexibility compared to our standard AI Card, notably in legacy RTU retrofits. The AI Flex Card offers the same eight isolated analog inputs and ranges as our standard 8 AI Card (-2mA to +2mA, -10V to +10V and +4mA to +20mA. New capabilities include range selection in software (NCD), increased impedance on -10V to +10V range from 10kohm to 1Mohm, and terminals to land shields.

Added Support for ICCP Protocol
The Inter-Control Center Communications Protocol (ICCP or IEC 60870-6/TASE.2) is now available on Orion.

Added Support for RADIUS Remote Authentication and Authorization
RADIUS enables users attempting access to Orion to be authenticated from a remote server, instead of being authenticated locally using user names and passwords stored in Orion. RADIUS can reduce the efforts to manage passwords in the Orion and can simplify NERC CIP compliance. Furthermore, RADIUS ties in efficiently with RSA SecureID, enabling a second factor to be introduced for improved security. 9.6 firmware supports an initial implementation of RADIUS Client on Orion. This initial release–manually configured–is intended for review by interested customers and to obtain feedback to complete our design.