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MDS Orbit Platform
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MDS Orbit Platform

Industrial LTE, Licensed, Unlicensed Communications


As industrial SCADA and automation applications have evolved, corresponding requirements for security, reliability and performance of communication networks have become more demanding. Furthermore, the diversity of topography and wireless spectrum conditions across regions is often difficult to address with any single wireless technology. The MDS™ Orbit industrial wireless platform offers the security, reliability, performance, and wireless flexibility required for next-generation industrial networks. Orbit enables customers to deploy advanced communications using diverse options of wireless technologies and frequencies. Orbit allows for communication over licensed spectrum, unlicensed spectrum, cellular and Wi-Fi in various form factors with single or dual radio options.

Protecting critical networks from vulnerabilities is of great concern with increasing cases worldwide of attacks impacting services. The MDS Orbit platform offers industry leading cyber security and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) compliance to protect critical networks from attack. 

The MDS Orbit is offered in three different packaging options.  The OCR (Outdoor-Connect Router) is designed to provide security and strength in harsh weather environments. The ECR (Edge-Connect Router), is the smallest of the options, designed for space limited installations. The MCR (Multiservice-Connect Router) provides an industry unique advantage of dual radio uplinks which help minimize network downtime with capabilities such as signal quality based smart auto failover and other redundancy features.  Customer hybrid communications networks are supported with popular use cases such as licensed narrowband and LTE connectivity in one solution. 

Industrial Public & Private LTE

The MDS Orbit offers secure industrial grade public and private LTE in various spectrum around the world including the following options:

  • Anterix Active™ and FCC certified for use on Anterix 900 MHz operated private LTE spectrum (Read the announcement).
  • FCC authorized for operation in 3.5 GHz Band 48 CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service).
  • FirstNet Ready™ and available for use on FirstNet®, delivering the security and reliability needed by first responders and utilities (Read the announcement).

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority. Anterix and the Anterix logo are registered trademarks of the Anterix Company.

New or Trending Capabilities

  • Outdoor rated router – Orbit OCR (view the brochure)
  • Private LTE in CBRS and Anterix™ 900
  • FirstNet Ready™
  • GSMA eSIM compatible and dual SIM multi-carrier auto switching
  • Cellular Dual APN
  • 1000BASE-X SFP interface option on the MCR
  • VRF and Open VPN
  • Automatic and Configurable Firmware Over the Air Upgrades
  • EMP hardened per MIL-STD-461G, RS105
  • Advanced MAC Mode providing the best real-world narrowband performance
  • Advanced Polling Mode (250 remotes per AP)
  • Added 32QAM for improved real-world performance
  • Efficient pass-through native serial
  • Auto failover between Access Points
  • 50 kHz in 130-155 MHz and 800-880 MHz bands
  • TACACS+
 


MDS Orbit Interactive Explorer

MDS Orbit Platform Overview

Due to technology limitations, utilities today install and manage communication networks that are purpose-built for each application. With the MDS Orbit Platform, utilities can now capitalize on uniform security to converge disparate applications within one network and reduce personnel training time. MDS Orbit is a highly versatile industrial wireless platform that provides multiple wireless access technologies depending on terrain, customer concentrations and economy.

MDS Orbit Application Example

MDS Orbit Application Example


Comprehensive Security Framework


A foundational building block for the MDS Orbit Platform is security, a core competency area for GE, and a critical consideration and requirement for evaluating wireless communications systems for customers across all industry types and geographies. GE approached the development of its comprehensive security framework from three different perspectives:

  • Securing the device – ensuring that the device isn’t compromised by tampering or alterations
  • Securing the user – ensuring that only the right users have access to prevent inappropriate device, network configuration and status entry
  • Securing the network – ensuring that only the right devices are on the network by preventing unauthenticated access to the network/services

By securing the device, the user, and the network with open standards-based algorithms and protocols, the MDS Orbit Platform provides the necessary functions and tools to enable utilities to meet cyber security requirements and regulations.

Security Features Embedded in the MDS Orbit Platform


Security Features Embedded in the MDS Orbit Platform

Advanced System Performance

GE’s MDS Orbit Platform has been designed with flexibility to allow use of different communication technologies to meet specific bandwidth, range, frequency, and geographic requirements of industrial applications. The CPU horsepower of an MDS Orbit device can be scaled to meet the application, network, and security performance requirements of a broad range of utility applications.

To further support advanced performance, the MDS Orbit Platform:

  • Uses standards based technology
  • Is ruggedized in a die-cast aluminum enclosure
  • Operates in industrial temperature ranges (-40°C to +70°C)
  • Provides IP routing, port forwarding and network address translation
  • Leverages GE’s best-in-class quality and testing procedures

Substation photo

Ease of Use and Integration


Several features have been designed into the MDS Orbit Platform to provide ease of use for customers, reducing the learning curve for new users, and reducing the time required for network deployment, troubleshooting and maintenance.


  • A common web page and command line interface provides consistency across all MDS Orbit product models.
  • The technology-agnostic user interface provides common nomenclature, processes and Wizards for product and network configuration.
  • A USB console enables users to locally connect to devices to provision, configure and monitor status.
  • Multiple communication ports allow connection to PLCs, RTUs, controllers and other end devices.
  • Wall mount and DIN rail mount options allow flexibility in cabinet and enclosure installations.
  • Network management with MDS PulseNET provides out-of-the-box management for MDS radio networks.

Sample Orbit Device Manager screenshots

MDS Orbit Platform – An Interior View

MDS Orbit Platform interior diagram

MDS Orbit Platform – An Exterior View

MDS Orbit Platform exterior diagram

MDS Orbit ECR – An Exterior View

MDS Orbit ECR exterior view