Hurdle 1 (H1)

Welcome to the start of the DARPA Spectrum Challenge Qualification Period. This email contains an overview and instructions for the first qualification Hurdle.
We remind you that you will need to use ORBIT to complete the hurdles, and thus we refer you to previous emails that contained your ORBIT account information, reservation schedule, and an introduction to ORBIT.
Below you will find the instructions for Hurdle 1.


Demonstrate the ability to access ORBIT during a specified time slot, image a node with a given image file and execute a script on the node.
Upon completion, instructions for Hurdle 2 will be sent to the team leader.


  1. Receive account registration information from WINLAB
    1. Each PI (team lead) will have received an email with account registration information.
  2. Generate and upload ssh keys: Go to ssh keys page for instructions. Teams are advised that SSH key upload is not possible using Internet Explorer, and hence other browsers are recommended.
  3. Look up your reservation time to use the grid (note, teams also have received their assignments by email). For this hurdle, you will use the general-purpose domains, which are labeled ZDC##, where ## ranges from 01 to 50
    1. Go to schedule. Access to the schedule requires login information provided in a registration email from the Challenge.
    2. Note that there are a total of 50 general-purpose ORBIT virtual domains that have been set aside for Hurdle 1 and for general usage. These virtual domains are labeled ZDC##, where ## ranges from 01 to 50, and are different from the USRP-enabled virtual domains that will be used primarily for Hurdles 2 and 3. In order to be fair to all teams and ensure that each team has roughly the same exposure to the same virtual domains, a staggered time assignment has been devised for all teams across all standard virtual domains. The domains are available to DARPA Challenge teams for 14 hours per day, from 1000 to 2400 (Eastern). Teams should note that if they go to the schedule webpage, they may find out the actual nodes that belong to the virtual domain by hovering their cursor over the domain name (first column) in the schedule. At the end of each 2-hour time slot, teams will be automatically removed from their domain to make that domain available for the next team. Please be advised that this means that experiments that have not completed will be terminated.
  4. Access the domain at the specified time using:
    Teams that are using Windows will need to use an application like PuTTY to open a session to An example screen shot of a successful attempt is shown at login page
  5. Image nodes with a specified image (darpahurdle1.ndz):
      omf load -i darpahurdle1.ndz -t system:topo:all
    Note that the inclusion of "all" in the above command images all nodes within the team's virtual domain (in this case, two nodes). The execution and completion of this command will take several minutes as software is being installed onto the nodes. An example screen shot of a successful attempt is shown at load image page
  6. Once the imaging has completed, turn the imaged nodes on:
      omf tell -a on -t system:topo:all
    Teams should note that this command turns on the nodes and boots them into their operating system. This process takes a little time, thus teams are advised to wait a few minutes before proceeding to the next step.
  7. Execute the following script:
      omf exec system:exp:darpahurdle1.rb 


If successfully executed, the script will create a database on the OML server with a database name that has the team's username and timestamp. An automatic checker will monitor the database for a successful completion entry, at which time an email containing the instructions for Hurdle 2 will be sent to the team leader.
Questions or issues related to the hurdles should be sent by email to dsc-questions at orbit-lab dot org. Answers will be posted to a public forum site at Q & A page.
Teams are reminded that the Qualification Period completes on March 5, 2013 at 23:59:59pm (Eastern). Submissions for Hurdle 3 must be turned in at the end of your time slot on that day.

We wish you the best of luck in completing the hurdle.

—ORBIT Spectrum Challenge Team

Last modified 18 months ago Last modified on 10/09/15 09:13:06