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3 Rounds of Competition
Third and Final Round Determines the Winners

Phase 1 Due November 11
Phase 2 Due February 20

Space is limited to the first 18 teams to register. Registration opens Tuesday, September 6, 2016. The completed registration package is due by September 20, 2016.

New this year! Applicants must complete a tutorial as part of the registration package and create a CORNET account. Your CORNET account user name must be included in the registration form!



Round Two begins Wednesday, December 21 at 12:01 a.m.

See the instructions page for more information, dates, and CORNET schedule.

Note: Virginia Tech will be closed for the holidays starting Friday, December 23, 2016 and will not reopen until Tuesday, January 3, 2017. The CORNET website may not be available during some or all of this time.


Team rankings for Phase 1 of second Spectrum-Sharing Radio Challenge (Spectrum-ShaRC-2) Announced

Virginia Tech announced team rankings in the first phase of its Spectrum-Sharing Radio Challenge (Spectrum-ShaRC).  Each team developed source code for a controller that adapts settings of a radio, such as frequency, power level, digital modulation format, and error-correction coding, to allow the radio to transmit data to another radio in challenging interference environments.  Each submitted radio controller design was tested using the CORNET (cognitive radio network) testbed in Kelly Hall on the main campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.  Radio / controller combinations were tested in one scenario that included ambient interference and noise and in ten additional scenarios that included deliberately introduced interfering signals with a variety of characteristics.  Because each team’s radio design was tested separately from the others, rather than in head-to-head competition, similarly-performing radio designs were deemed to have tied if differences in their scores were within 5%.  Phase 2 will emphasize different aspects of radio performance, and a final competition will be held at Virginia Tech on April 7, 2017.  The competition is made possible by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Ettus Research, and Wireless @ Virginia Tech

Team Rankings for Spectrum-ShaRC-2, Phase 1

  1. Salty Novelty Reptiles (SNR), Tennessee Tech
  2. (Tie) Skynet, University of Crete and University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
  3. Tennessee Tech Telecom


Prize money update! NOTE: Each team must submit code for all phases to win a prize! The top undergraduate team will also win $750 plus an Ettus B210 mini (a $1,119.00 value) in addition to any other prize won.

Team information has been uploaded here.

Registration forms available here.

Instructions for Phase 1 now posted.

The CORNET access schedule is now uploaded to the CORNET website.

Brief video explaining how the challenge is scored:

Welcome to the 2017 Spectrum Sharing Radio Challenge Website

Greetings from the Spectrum-ShaRC Contest Organizers! We are now open for registration. You can find the application at 2017 Spectrum ShaRC 2. This home page will be your main source of information so please bookmark this page and reference it often. We have made some changes this year based on the surveys and reviews from our experience last year at the 2016 Spectrum-ShaRC Challenge. New this year are less rounds (3 this year versus 4 last year). We are also moving the final round of competition up to April to avoid conflicts wtih students who have either graduated or who have summer jobs and internships. As we move forward we will continue to modify and improve the challenge to make it more efficient, more fun, more challenging and more rewarding. Registration is limited to the first 15 US based teams and 3 international teams. You must also be a student in good standing on April 8, 2017 in order to participate in the challenge. A letter from your advisor or department stating that you are a student in good standing is REQUIRED and must be submitted as part of the application package. Your registration will not be considered complete without the letter of good standing from your advisor/department.

Applications are due October 7, 2016. Phase 1 will be due November 18, 2016 and Phase 2 is due February 20, 2017. The final competition will be a one day event on April 7, 2017.

REQUIRED!!!! Please read the Rules and Regulations here, you will find a linked pdf that you will download and submit for your team stipulating that you have read all of the Rules and Regulations and agree to all terms and conditions. Your team advisor will be the one to submit this completed form to Joyce Donathan, one form for the whole team, with all of the team members and the advisor signatures. **Note that the Video/Image Release Form and the Hold Harmless/Indemnify Form is now included in the Rules and Regulations.


What constitutes the complete application package? The registration page, the completed Rules and Regulations, the Letter of Good Standing and your resume all have to be completed and submitted before your application is considered complete.



1st place: $5,000

2nd place: $3,000

3rd place: $1,500

4th place: $1,000

Top undergraduate team: $750, plus Ettus B210 mini. Details on the Ettus Research model USRP B210-mini-i are available here.

This year's challenge is three phases. Phase 1 is PHY/MAC competitive. Your radios will be scored depending on their stand alone quality. That is, they will not be judged by how they interact with other radios. Phase 2 wil be PHY/MAC co-existence. In this phase they will be judged by how well they perform with other radios that exist in the same band without interfering with those radios.

Also new this year is our Facebook page!

General Information

One of the chief obstacles last year was the paperwork, so this year we are going to get that out of the way early. We will need along with the registration package your resumes. Last year it was optional but this year it is required as part of your registration package. That is due in large part to the required Export Compliance Review for any international student which can take up to a month to complete. The Export Compliance Review requires your resume. In your resume please let me know if you are an international student who is attending a college/university in the United States, an international student who has US tax residence status, an international student who is enrolled in a college/university from another country, or a US citizen/permanent resident. This is important - if you are an international student at a college/univeristy from another country, you will have to be cleared to travel to the United States for the final round of competition if you are a finalist. The second reason for your resume is that it will help our tax specialist determine if you are subject to the 30% tax rate for non-US residents. More on that below!


Tax Information

Prize money and travel reimbursements are considered taxable income. In the case of US citizens or permanent residents or foreign nationals who are US residents for tax purposes, you will fill out a form W-9. You will receive a Form-1099 in the mail to file with your taxes and your taxes will not be deducted from your prize money or travel reimbursements. HOWEVER - if you are a foreign national your tax rate is 30%. That 30% will be deducted from any prize money or travel reimbursement BEFORE your check is mailed to you. So if we allow $1000 travel reimbursement and you are a foreign national attending a US college/university, or you are an international competitor from a college/university from another country, you will receive a check for $700. $1000 - $300 (30%) = $700. If your receipts do not total $1000, you will receive the total of your receipts minus 30% of whatever your receipts do total.

Again, prize money is considered income. If you win one of the cash prize awards, your share of the prize money is taxed at 30% if your are an international student. So if there are 4 people on your team, and you win first place, the prize money is divided up by 4, which is $1250. Out of that $1250, 30% or $375, is deducted for taxes leaving you with a $875 total for your share of prize money. If you are a US citizen, permanent resident or US resident for tax purposes, you will receive the entire $1250, and will receive a form 1099 in January of 2018 to file with your taxes.

For those of you who are international, you need to be thinking about your Visas. You will apply for a B1 (Visitor for Business) or B2 (Visa for Tourism). In addition you will need your passport, Foreign National Data Form (attached), an I-94 (arrival and departure form located here) and a W-8BEN (attached). If you are an international student who is already here in the United Sates attending a university, then you are required to submit your passport, US Visa, 1-94 document and either your F-1 with an I-20 or J-1 Visa along with a DS-2019, your Foreign National Data form and W8BEN.

Travel reimbursements are done through a system called TEM. Reimbursements go through several layers of certification before they are issued, and the process can take up to 8 weeks!! Patience is appreciated!

Travel Grants:

To enable participation of a diverse group of students, we strongly encourage students from underrepresented groups and undergraduate students to apply for the travel grants. For more information on travel grants please email Joyce Donathan.


Challenge Organizers: