The Spectrum Collaboration Challenge
The DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) 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. 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.
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 more information, see the About Page.
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DARPA’s three-year, $3.75 million challenge to solve spectrum scarcity will culminate in a live event alongside “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”
Competitors from around the world came together this month for the Preliminary Event #1 (PE1) of DARPA’s Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, MD. This was the first event of the three-year long tournament designed to generate new wireless paradigms and access strategies in which radio networks enhanced with artificial intelligence will autonomously collaborate and reason about how to share the increasingly congested electromagnetic spectrum. Months of development and hundreds of scrimmage hours paid off for 10 teams who each walked away from the December 13 event with $750,000 in prize money. The winning teams’ demonstrated software defined radio (SDR) designs that were most effective at collaborating with competing radio designs to jointly optimize spectrum usage.
Congratulations to the 10 top scoring teams, each receiving $750,000 :
- MarmotE from Vanderbilt University
- SHARE THE PIE from BAE Systems with Eigen LLC
- Zylinium from a Maryland-based startup
- Erebus, consisting of three independent engineers and software developers
- SCATTER from IDLab, an imec research group at Ghent University and University of Antwerp, and Rutgers University
- GatorWings from University of Florida
- Sprite from Northeastern University
- Strawberry Jammer from Northrup Grumman
- Optical Spectrum, consisting of two independent LIDAR engineers
- BAM! Wireless from Purdue University and Texas A&M University
SC2’s Preliminary Event #2 (PE2) will be held in December 2018. Over the next 12 months, the 19 teams that participated in PE1 will have continued access to Colosseum to test their designs and a chance to participate in scrimmages against other competitors. In addition, new teams looking to join the SC2 competition may enter by completing entrance hurdle described here: https://spectrumcollaborationchallenge.com/join.
DARPA’s Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), the world’s first collaborative machine intelligence competition to overcome spectrum scarcity, is opening the search for teams to compete in Phase 2 of the Challenge. As the number of military and civilian wireless devices continues to grow exponentially, the need for full access to the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum has never been greater. To overcome the issues of spectrum scarcity, SC2 aims to redefine conventional, rigid spectrum management paradigms in favor of more efficient and fluid machine-driven approaches.
As Phase 1 of SC2 comes to a close in December, the SC2 organizers are excited to reopen the competition to new candidates who are eager to develop smart systems that collaboratively and autonomously adapt in real time to today’s dynamic and congested spectrum environment. To join in, however, will take “hurdling” over some technological challenges. The Phase 2 Qualification Hurdles are now open and require interested teams to deliver software defined radio code. The results of these entrance hurdles will determine the final line-up for the next stage, which will culminate in a Second Preliminary Event in December 2018.
The registration deadline for taking on the Hurdles is January, 2018. However, interested participants are encouraged to review the qualification details well in advance to ensure sufficient time is allowed for completion.
Visit https://spectrumcollaborationchallenge.com/join to Join
Recently at NIWeek 2017, Eric Starkloff and DARPA program manager Paul Tilghman met on stage and discussed the challenges of spectral coexistence and how Darpa launched a new program called the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge to encourage teams to develop radio networks which can autonomously collaborate to thrive without spectrum allocation. As part of this, DARPA created a testbed called the “Colosseum” to emulate tens of thousands of possible interactions between hundreds of wireless communication devices in real time, using NI’s USRPs and ATCA blades.