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Spectrum Collaboration Challenge

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.


For general inquiries, please email sc2@darpa.mil

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Preliminary Event #1 Winners Announced!

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.


Phase 2 Registration & Entrance Hurdle Are Open!

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

DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge to present workshop as part of WInnComm 2017

First public discussion of DARPA program’s technology to occur in San Diego on November 15, 2017

The DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) announces its first public workshop, to be held on Wednesday, November 15 in San Diego, California. The workshop will occur as part on the Wireless Innovation Forum Conference on Wireless Communications Technologies (WInnComm 2017). The workshop will include keynotes by SC2 Program Manager Paul Tilghman of DARPA and by Artificial Intelligence expert Dr. Michael Wellman of the University of Michigan. Workshop sessions include technical talks on the new radio network technology, collaboration mechanisms, and novel infrastructure being built for the program. The workshop includes a technology demonstration and open technical discussions. For more details and to register, see http://www.conference.wirelessinnovation.org/ .

Program Manager Paul Tilghman Speaks at NIWeek 2017

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.

View the full discussion here, or visit our press page for this and more news on SC2.

World’s Most Powerful Emulator of Radio-Signal Traffic Opens for Business

“Today is the grand opening of the Colosseum. We are not referring here to the storied concrete Colosseum in Rome, which was completed in 80 A.D. and remains famous for its ancient gladiatorial spectacles. We are talking here about DARPA’s Colosseum, a next-generation electronic emulator of the invisible electromagnetic world. Though it resides in a mere 30-foot by 20-foot server room on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, MD, the Colosseum is capable of creating a much larger, and critically important wireless world. If all goes as planned during the Agency’s three-year Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), competitors vying for $3.75 million in prize money will use the Colosseum—which today became fully accessible to them for the first time—as a world-unique testbed to create radically new paradigms for using and managing access to the electromagnetic spectrum in both military and civilian domains.

‘The Colosseum is the wireless research environment that we hope will catalyze the advent of autonomous, intelligent, and—most importantly, collaborative—radio technology, which will be essential as the population of devices linking wirelessly to each other and to the internet continues to grow exponentially,’ said SC2 program manager Paul Tilghman…”

Read DARPA’s full press release here, or visit our press page for this and more of SC2 in the news!