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MDS Orbit Platform
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Converged Communications for
Hybrid Networks

Today’s environment requires that utilities develop comprehensive communication networks to meet demanding and evolving user, geographic and regulatory requirements. This ever-changing landscape often forces utilities to work with a variety of technologies to reach their infrastructure assets.

GE has addressed this challenge with the MDS Orbit platform. This next generation wireless communications solution integrates a range of technologies, from cellular to private, and licensed to unlicensed, supporting customers’ needs for secure private, public and hybrid communications networks.

The MDS Orbit platform provides a comprehensive security framework to support three unique facets of enterprise requirements: device, user and network security. Meeting the needs for functional and application flexibility and ease of use, the MDS Orbit platform of products offer multiple interface options in a compact robust package which adapts freely to indoor and outdoor environments.

Key Benefits

  • Comprehensive security enables customers to meet their current and future requirements
  • Networking capabilities extend and simplify the communications infrastructure
  • Consistent packaging and configuration streamlines engineering, operations, supply chain and support

 


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


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

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

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.

MDS Orbit Platform – An Interior View


MDS Orbit Platform – An Exterior View


MDS BridgeNET – An Interior View