DARPA spectrum challenge chooses teams to expand spectrum access

ARLINGTON, Va. DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] has selected 30 teams for Phase 1 of its Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), a three-phase competition designed to greatly expand the amount of radio traffic that the electromagnetic spectrum can accommodate.

Competitors in SC2 -- with its stated aim to ensure that the exponentially growing number of military and civilian devices will have full access to the increasingly crowded -- are tasked with reimagining spectrum access and developing a new wireless paradigm in which radio networks will autonomously collaborate. By taking advantage of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), , and software-defined radios, teams will come up with new ways of sharing the RF spectrum, avoiding interference, and efficiently using the available spectrum.

All 30 of the chosen teams now must meet several requirements throughout the year to prepare for the Preliminary Event #1 Competition this December. The top-performing teams in this first phase of the competition will receive $750,000 and will automatically proceed to the second phase of SC2, which will end with another similarly run competition in December 2018. The finale will occur at the end of 2019, with prizes of $2 million, $1 million, and $750,000 going to the top three finishers, respectively.

(View a graphic here of the crowded U.S. /Courtesy U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.)