NI to Supply Infrastructure for DARPA's Spectrum Collaboration Challenge

NI has announced a collaboration with DARPA to supply core infrastructure for a path-breaking channel emulation testbed, called Colosseum, which will play a central role in the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge. NI will provide USRP software defined radios (SDRs) that support a wide variety of open source and proprietary tool flows including GNU Radio, RFNoC and LabVIEW system design software.

The Colosseum channel emulation testbed supports up to 256-by-256-channel, real-time channel emulation, calculating more than 65,000 channel interactions at up to 80 MHz of real-time bandwidth per channel. The testbed, based on the USRP X310 software defined radios and NI ATCA-3671 high-performance FPGA processing system, will be housed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and will be accessible remotely for next-generation wireless research. The testbed will provide a level playing field for the three-year competition with winning teams vying for a total of $3.75 M in prize money from DARPA.

The Colosseum testbed will allow researchers to evaluate the performance of their designs to enable more reliable communications in many types of environments including the wireless conditions of a busy city neighborhood or in defense situations.

DARPA's Spectrum Collaboration Challenge is an initiative designed to ensure that the exponentially growing number of military and civilian wireless devices will have full access to the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum. The competition will unfold in three year-long phases beginning in 2017 and finishing, for those teams that survive the two Preliminary Events, in a high-profile Championship Event in late 2019. The team whose advanced, software-defined radios collaborate most effectively with a diversity of simultaneously operating radios in a manner that optimizes spectrum usage for the entire communicating ensemble will walk away with a grand prize of $2 million. The teams that rank as the second and third best collaborators will take home $1 million and $750,000, respectively.

Find more information on the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge, click here.