New DARPA challenge is looking for innovative approaches to adaptive, software-based radio communications

Dec 21, 2012
Can you program a radio to dominate the spectrum?

Radios are used for a wide range of tasks, from the most mundane to the most critical of communications, from garage door openers to military operations. As the use of wireless technology proliferates, radios and communication devices often compete with, interfere with, and disrupt the operations of other devices. DARPA seeks innovative approaches that ensure robust communications in such congested and contested environments.

The DARPA Spectrum Challenge is a competition for teams to create software-defined radio protocols that best use communication channels in the presence of other users and interfering signals.

Using a standardized radio hardware platform, the team that finds the best strategies for guaranteeing successful communication in the presence of other competing radios will win. In addition to bragging rights for the winning teams, one team could win as much as $150,000.

High priority radios in the military and civilian sectors must be able to operate regardless of the ambient electromagnetic environment, to avoid disruption of communications and potential loss of life. Rapid response operations, such as , further motivate the desire for multiple to effectively share the spectrum without requiring direct coordination or spectrum preplanning. Consequently, the need to provide robust communications in the presence of interfering signals is of great importance.

"The Spectrum Challenge is focused on developing new techniques for assured communications in dynamic environments – a necessity for military and first responder missions. We have created a head-to-head competition to see who can transmit a set of data from one radio to another the most effectively and efficiently while being bombarded by interference and competing signals," said Dr. Yiftach Eisenberg, DARPA program manager. "To win this competition teams will need to develop new algorithms for software-defined radios at universities, small businesses and even on their home computers."

Registration for the Spectrum Challenge is expected to officially open in January 2013. Any U.S. academic institution, business, or individual, is eligible to compete, with certain restrictions. More information and additional details can be found at Spectrum Challenge website.

Explore further: FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers study best use of 'whitespace' spectrum

Sep 11, 2012

(Phys.org)—The demand for faster, more mobile Internet access for smartphones, tablets and laptops does more than strain the available space we have in our pockets and bags. There's a finite amount of wireless spectrum ...

Cognitive radio inventor received IEEE Award

May 09, 2011

Dr. Joseph Mitola, Distinguished Professor and Vice President of The Research Enterprise at Stevens Institute of Technology, received the IEEE TCCN Recognition Award at the IEEE International Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks ...

Dr. Mitola and cognitive radio are featured on Computing Now

Jun 23, 2010

Dr. Joseph Mitola III, Vice President for the Research Enterprise at Stevens Institute of Technology, is the subject of a recent article on Computing Now which details the benefits and development of Cognitive Radio (CR), ...

Increasing efficiency of wireless networks

Nov 13, 2012

(Phys.org)—Two professors at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have developed a new method that doubles the efficiency of wireless networks and could have a large impact ...

Radio signals research scans new horizons

Jun 22, 2010

A study at the University of Leicester aims to understand the reasons why radio signals sometimes act unpredictably- travelling beyond the horizon and interfering with other signals.

Recommended for you

Scalping can raise ticket prices

11 hours ago

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. ...

User comments : 0