Radio Wrestlers Fight It Out at the DARPA Spectrum Challenge

By Tam Harbert



The words engineering and sports aren’t usually used in the same sentence, and the two activities usually don’t happen in the same room. But they were, and they did, last week at the DARPA Spectrum Challenge, held at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency headquarters in Arlington, Va.


The goal of the contest, the first ever DARPA challenge on the use of spectrum, was to demonstrate how a software-defined radio can use a given communication channel in the presence of other users and interfering signals. Over the course of two days, normally taciturn techies oohed, aahed, and cheered as 18 teams competed in a series of head-to-head matches to see who had the best algorithms. …[Read more]