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: Scientists twist radio beams to send data: Transmissions reach speeds of 32 gigabits per second

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

Alibaba mega IPO caps founder Jack Ma success tale

23 minutes ago

When Jack Ma founded Alibaba 15 years ago he insisted the e-commerce venture should see itself as competing against Silicon Valley, not other Chinese companies. That bold ambition from a time when China was ...

Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

27 minutes ago

A California judge's ruling against a tech entrepreneur seeking access to records kept secret in government databases detailing the comings and goings of millions of cars in the San Diego area via license plate scans was ...

User comments : 0