News | July 9, 2007

SDR Forum Identifies Three Problems For Its Smart Radio Challenge '08

Denver -- Student engineering teams entered in the Software Defined Radio (SDR) Forum's Smart Radio Challenge '08 can now choose which problem to address in designing, developing and testing their SDR system. At its recent general meeting in Portland, Ore., the Forum disclosed three defined problems, each supporting a target waveform.
  • Problem 1 (sponsored by the SDR Forum Public Safety Special Interest Group) involves communications from an infrastructure-damaged area, whereby teams must demonstrate a smart radio system that can automatically extend the existing communications network so that voice communications can be relayed to and from the incident site and the communications infrastructure. Student teams will demonstrate a cognitive radio system (hardware and software) operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band with individual remote radios capable of knowing when they have been disconnected from the existing infrastructure.

  • Problem 2 (sponsored by the Forum's Cognitive Radio Working Group) concerns automated spectrum mapping. Here the challenge is to develop a smart radio system that can effectively communicate information on spectrum utilization through a cooperative spectrum access protocol. Teams will develop a secondary-user cognitive transceiver system that can detect primary-user signals operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band and determine the occupied spectrum, transmission times and geographical locations to sufficient resolution to avoid interference with legacy systems while operating within that band.

  • Problem 3 (sponsored by the Forum's Design Process and Tools Working Group) sets up a scenario in which a manufacturer of wireless products is developing a next-generation access point for broadband streaming media in the home. Students must design a smart radio terminal and a rapid development model defining sufficient software and firmware infrastructure to allow new air interfaces to be quickly added to the platform. Teams will be given a specification for an air interface standard supported by a Forum radio that will be transmitting a secret message; the first team to decode this message and transmit a suitable response will be deemed the winner.

Smart Radio Challenge '08 was open to student teams from all academic institutions interested in SDR and cognitive radio technologies; registration ended June 15. Like the inaugural 2007 competition, Smart Radio Challenge '08 entails multiple phases, including a qualifying round and one or more development rounds. Teams must submit proposals specific to one of the three defined problems by September 30, and those that qualify will be announced at the Forum's annual technical conference in Denver (Nov. 5-9). The qualifying teams will then have 10 months to complete and submit their projects.

Providing participating teams with development tools and training are the Challenge's corporate sponsors: Lyrtech, The MathWorks, Objective Interface, PrismTech, Synplicity, Texas Instruments, Xilinx, and Zeligsoft. The Forum, a nonprofit international industry association, is also accepting additional sponsorships – available in five levels – from companies and government agencies worldwide.

Full details on the three defined problems, as well as more information about Smart Radio Challenge '08, can be found on the competition website.