The ORBIT chassis manager (CM3) was developed as part of the large scale WINLAB ORBIT infrastructure upgrade initiative. The CM3 is a small device that goes inside the computers used in the ORBIT testbed and controls the power state and monitors the status of the computers. This functionality provided by the CM3 allows the ORBIT testbed computers to be remotely imaged, a crucial step in large scale experiments performed daily in the facility.


This designs aims to replace the original wide scale deployment of the first revision when the ORBIT testbed was first designed over 10 years ago. The new design included an embedded networking module, programmed with custom firmware to include the necessary functionality, and includes a full TCP/IP stack.

Similar to the original versions the CM3 had the ability to reset the attached computer remotely, determine physical location based on fixed IP address, pass a live telnet session to the attached PC over a serial connection, and monitor the CPU status. 

Using the new hardware DHCP functionality was added, as well as remote programming, debugging, and configuration, and more flexibility in installation to allow deployment in several types of testbed settings. Over 500 of these were successfully manufactured with the help of a contract facility.