Version 18 (modified by Surya Satyavolu, 15 years ago) ( diff )

Orbit > HowToGetStarted

How to get started

First, you need an account. Please check the UsagePolicy if you are eligible. In order to get an account please register here.

A typical experiment requires the following three steps:

  • Reservation
  • Running the experiment
  • Analyzing the results


As this is a wireless testbed, it is difficult to run multiple experiments without interference. Therefore, we currently only support one experiment at a time on the grids. In Orbit speak, a grid is a set of nodes on which can be used to run experiments. In the present setup, the testbed consists of a 20*20 grid of nodes, and an array of sandboxes (1*2 node grids).

There are multiple sandboxes (2 nodes) available, which are development and test environments intended to reduce the time experimenters need on the main grid. Ideally, experimenters develop their software (application programs, routing protocols, measurement instrumentation, etc.) on offsite machines and then use the sandboxes for integration with the orbit environment and orbit software infrastructure. Once the experiment runs successfully in the sandbox environment, it can be moved to the main grid with few modifications.

Reservations for sandboxes or the main grid can be made here.

Note, that a reservation is just a request. You will receive an email when your slot is approved.

Running the Experiment

During your approved time slot, you will be able to ssh into the console of the respective grid. A console is a dedicated machine that allows access to all resources on that grid.

Currently, this requires a two step process.

  • You first need to log into with your Orbit credentials using SSH.
  • During your approved time slot, you can then log into the console corresponding to the following table using SSH:
Main grid (400 nodes)
Sandbox 1 (2 nodes)
Sandbox 2 (2 nodes)
Sandbox 5 (2 nodes)
Sandbox 6 (2 nodes)
Sandbox 9 (64 nodes)

For e.g to access the smaller grid (64 nodes),


gateway> ssh

When you have successfully logged in, you can start an experiment using the nodehandler. First time users are highly encouraged to reserve time on a sandbox instead of the main grid, and start with the built-in Hello World experiment. This experiment will send UDP datagrams of 1024 bytes from node 1-1 to node 1-2 at 300 kbps CBR traffic. Both, sender and receiver, report measurements to a database, using our OML measurement framework.

The experiment can be started with:

user#> nodehandler -t

More information on writing experiment scripts can be found in the Tutorial.

Analyzing Results

Orbit provides a sophisticated framework to efficiently collect measurements at runtime into a database. This database is accessible to the experimenter during the experiment from the console. At the end of an experiment, the database is copied to an external machine and is accessible without a reservation. More information can be found here.

Where to go from here

If you are still unsure what Orbit is, please read the FAQ, otherwise go ahead and register.

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