DARPA opens massive “Colosseum” to develop radical wireless applications


DARPA today said it the opened unique and massive testbed it will use as a battleground for researchers to build and test autonomous, intelligent and collaborative wireless technologies.

Calling it a “magnificent electronic arena” The Colosseum will be primarily used to host the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s $3.75 million three-year Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), which will pit researchers against each other to develop what the agency calls radically new technologies for “using and managing access to the electromagnetic spectrum in both military and civilian domains.”

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The idea of the challenge is to develop advanced machine-learning capabilities for wireless applications that optimize use of the wireless spectrum in ways not possible with today’s intrinsically inefficient approach of pre-allocating exclusive access to designated frequencies, DARPA stated. DARPA said the current practice of assigning fixed frequencies for various uses irrespective of actual, moment-to-moment demand is simply too inefficient to keep up with actual demand and threatens to undermine wireless reliability in the military as well as civilian applications.

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