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May 2015

Cognitive Radio Contest
Contact:  Carl Dietrich,

As potential developers of future wireless technology, ECE students need to integrate and apply their knowledge of communications, software-defined radio (SDR), and related disciplines in a team environment.  While class projects provide this to some extent, a longer-term and more team-oriented experience offers the advantages of a broader scope, greater opportunities for collaboration, and the flexibility and challenge of scheduling work over a longer time frame.

To help address this need, we plan to host the Spectrum Sharing Radio Contest (Spectrum-ShaRC) for students.  With re-regulation of spectrum access forecast to contribute a trillion dollars in societal benefits and enhance U.S. technological leadership over many years (PCAST), the contest topic is very timely. While the topic typically covered at the graduate level, the contest will involve undergraduate students to the extent possible.  The excitement of competition and possible publicity from performing well will provide additional motivation for students to deepen and apply their SDR related knowledge and to think in innovative ways.

Wireless @ Virginia Tech is organizing the Spectrum-ShaRC student cognitive radio contest for the 2015-16 academic year and summer of 2016.  The contest will use the cognitive radio test system (CRTS), a framework developed for cognitive radio experimentation and performance measurement, and Virginia Tech’s Internet-accessible CORNET cognitive radio testbed to measure performance of student-designed cognitive / dynamic spectrum access radios in challenging operational environments.  Teams will be given reference waveforms, implemented in SDR software such as liquid-dsp and / or GNU Radio, that are ready to run and interface to CRTS.  By providing this ready-to run reference waveform software, we will substantially lower the barrier to entry.  The waveforms can be modified in any way desired by the participating teams to improve the waveforms’ performance.  Teams will also have access to CORNET and CRTS throughout the academic year to enable them to test their waveforms at every step.  

If you are interested in competing in the contest please send a letter of intent to Dr. Carl Dietrich. More information will be posted as plans are finalized.