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SDR system National Instruments
Software-defined-radio (SDR) systems such as this will be used as part of DARPA’s Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) competition to be held at the 2019 Mobile World Congress.

DARPA Selects Teams for Spectrum Challenge

Ten teams have been selected to compete for the championship of DARPA’s three-year quest for intelligent use of radio spectrum: the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge.

As part of a three-year contest to gain the most practical use of available radio spectrum using artificial intelligence (AI), DARPA has announced its 10 teams for the championship round of the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) competition. The teams will unveil original radio designs during a live event at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019) scheduled for Oct. 23, 2019 in Los Angeles. First-, second-, and third-place winners will earn $2 million, $1 million, and $750,000 prizes, respectively. The 10 teams feature a mix of academic and industrial competitors, including Dragon Radio from Drexel University, GatorWings from the University of Florida, and MarmotE from Vanderbilt University.

“These teams have fought long and hard for their chance to compete in SC2’s Championship Event,” said Paul Tilghman, the program manager for SC2. “After three years of competition, this final roster reflects some of the best minds working at the intersection of AI and wireless communications.”

The competition began in 2016 with more than 30 research teams. It has sought to merge advances in AI with those in software-defined-radio (SDR) technologies to create wireless communications networks capable of autonomous and practical use of available radio spectrum. “SC2 aims to determine if there is a future in which AI-enabled radios can autonomously navigate the wireless spectrum, eliminating the need for rigid, human-managed spectrum bands—or traditional spectrum allocation,” said Tilghman. “The novel approaches developed by our competitors could enable us to make more efficient use of the spectrum we currently have available, and possibly forestall spectrum scarcity that threatens future performance as more and more devices come online.”

The event finale is open to all MWC 2019 Los Angeles attendees as well as the general public. MWC 2019 attendees with a three-day pass can learn about attending the competition here by clicking on “Programs” and selecting “DARPA SC2 Championship Event.” Those without a three-day MWC 2019 pass can receive a free one-day pass to the SC2 championship by e-mailing a request.

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