Radios are used for a wide range of tasks, from the most mundane to the most critical of communications, from garage door openers to military operations. As the use of wireless technology proliferates, radios and communication devices often interfere with and disrupt other wireless devices. First responder radios need to be able to communicate reliably in such congested and contested environments and to share radio spectrum without direct coordination or spectrum preplanning.
The DARPA Spectrum Challenge aims to stimulate the development of innovative approaches to adaptive, software-based radio communications in such multi-user environments. Teams will compete to create protocols for software-defined radios that best use communication channels in the presence of other dynamic users and interfering signals. The Challenge is not focused on developing new radio hardware, but instead seeks algorithmic strategies for guaranteeing successful communication in the presence of other radios without explicit coordination.
The Spectrum Challenge will conduct a sequence of head-to-head competitions between each team's software radio protocols on a standardized software-defined radio hardware platform. The team whose software most reliably achieves successful communication in the presence of other competing radios could win as much as $150,000. For more information, visit the DARPA Spectrum Challenge webpage at http://dtsn.darpa.mil/spectrumchallenge/.
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