DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) & Battle of the ModRecs

DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) & Battle of the ModRecs
July 17, 2017 | Source: DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge, spectrumcollaborationchallenge.com, 2017

Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2)

The DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge is the first-of-its-kind collaborative machine-learning competition to overcome scarcity in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum. Today, spectrum is managed by dividing it into rigid, exclusively licensed bands. This human-driven process is not adaptive to the dynamics of supply and demand, and thus cannot exploit the full potential capacity of the spectrum. aims to ensure that the exponentially growing number of military and civilian wireless devices will have full access to the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum.

In SC2, competitors will reimagine a new, more efficient wireless paradigm in which radio networks autonomously collaborate to dynamically determine how the spectrum should be used moment to moment. SC2 teams will develop these breakthrough capabilities by taking advantage of recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and the expanding capacities of software-defined radios. Ultimately this competition aims not only to challenge innovators in academia and business to produce breakthroughs in collaborative AI, but also to catalyze a new paradigm for spectrum use that can help usher in an era of spectrum abundance. The team whose radio design most reliably achieves successful communication in the presence of other competing radios could win as much as $3,500,000.

For updates about SC2, visit https://spectrumcollaborationchallenge.com/

Battle of the ModRecs Lays Groundwork for Improved Spectrum Management

If human ears could hear the electromagnetic spectrum, the noise levels these days would be overwhelming. The skyrocketing use of wireless devices in military and civilian domains has created a complicated and cacophonous environment, filled with signals of widely varying frequency and amplitude and a menagerie of modulations. For warfighters trying to maintain critical communications links, interpret ambiguous radar returns, or defend against electronic warfare tactics, the ability to sort through that thicket of waveforms is essential—to identify where key signals are coming from, what kind of signals they are, and how best to send and receive information via the least contested spectral bands.

Toward that end, DARPA earlier this month hosted the Battle of the ModRecs—a low-key competitive opportunity for engineers with a penchant for antennas and algorithms to test their skills in modulation recognition.

“We’re looking to push modulation recognition out of its comfort zone,” said DARPA program manager Tom Rondeau. “We want scientists and engineers to rethink conventional approaches and advance the technology to new heights, so it will function dynamically and with precision—not just under laboratory conditions but in real-world scenarios.”

For more informaiton on Battle of the ModRecs, visit http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2017-03-30