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The Results!

First place team: Dinamico, NCSU

Second place team: Skynet, University of Crete, Greece

Third place team: Spectral Rangers, New York University Tandem School of Engineering

Fourth place team: Tennessee Tech Telecom



And the winners are -


First Place - Team Dinamico, North Carolina State University

Team Members: Sameera Magapu Venkata Nagasree, Arya Venkatagiri, Srikar Potta and Sasaank Nety, Advisors: Mihail Sichitiu, Muhammad Shahzad

team Dinamico

From left to right: Bruce Mueller, Motorola Solutions Foundation (sponsor), Sameera Magapu VN, Srikar Potta, and Dr. Carl Dietrich, Spectrum ShaRC Challenge Organizer.

Second Place - Team Skynet, University of Crete

Team Members: George Vardakis, Kostis Triantafyllaksi, Manolis Sourligas, Advisor: Stephen Papadakis

From left to right: Bruce Mueller, Motorola Solutions Foundation (sponsor), George Vardakis, Kostatinos Triantafyllakis, Emanouil "Manolis" Sourligas and Dr. Carl Dietrich


Third Place: Team Spectral Rangers, New York University Tandon School of Engineering

Team Members: Aginkya Kadam, Rose Merlyn Prakash, Advisor: Freida Fund


Spectral Rangers

From left to right: Rose Prakash, Ajinka Kadam, Bruce Mueller of Motorola Solutions Foundation (sponsor) and Dr. Carl Dietrich


Fourth Place Winner: Tennessee Tech Telecom

Team Members: Brett Witherspoon, Kyle Reed, Luke Prince, Corey Cooke, Advisor: Dr. Adam Anderson

4th place winner

From left to right: Corey Cooke, Brett Witherspoon, Ben Hilburn, Ettus Research (sponsor), Dr. Carl Dietrich

More Spectrum-ShaRC Challenge photos!


Welcome to the Spectrum Sharing Radio Challenge Website!


The Spectrum - ShaRC (spectrum sharing radio challenge) will take place during the 2015 - 2016 academic year, with a final round in June 2016. Qualifying teams may also have the option to attend a special invitational round at a U.S. government lab.

The challenge will use the cognitive radio test system (CRTS), a framework developed for cognitive radio experimentation and performance measurement, and Virginia Tech's internet-acessible CORNET cognitive radio testbed to measure performance of student-designed cognitive or adaptive dynamic spectrum access radios in challenging operational environments. Teams will be provided with ready-to-run software, provided at no cost by the challenge organizers. This software will consist of a reference waveform implemented using open-source software-defined radio (SDR) software such as liquid-dsp and/or GNU Radio, and will serve as a starting point for the students' own designs to ensure the challenge provides both a low barrier to entry and potential for extensive innovation.

We have added a new Frequently Asked Questions page that we hope will answer some of your questions. It not, please feel free to email Dr. Carl Dietrich, or Dr. Vuk Marojevic, or Joyce Donathan!

The Poster Template is now available for the final eight qualifying teams. Please note, the poster template is 24 in. x 36 in. Do not alter the size. If you can design and email your poster to me in (pdf format please!) by May 8, we will print them here and frame them for display during the challenge semi-finals and finals. If you can't get them to me by then, you will be responsible for printing them and bringing them with you when you come. Please email the poster pdf to Joyce Donathan at The agenda for the challenge is now available. The agenda for the 26th Wireless Symposium & Summer School is also available.


A Note About Travel Reimbursements


Travel reimbursements are also considered income. It is a two-step process. Once we know who will qualify to attend the final round of competition, the first step is to do a travel request. For this first step, I will need your travel itinerary. The second step is the actual travel reimbursement after the challenge. For that, I will need the following from each invitee:

If - You are a United States citizen, permanent resident you will only need to fill out a W-9. Your travel reimbursement will be sent to you in a check for the total amount, and you will receive a 1099 from Virginia Tech to file with your taxes. If you are a US citizen for tax purposes, you will fill out the W-9, plus provide copies of your visa, passport, Foreign National Data Form, I-94 record and either the DS-2019 or I-20. You will receive your travel reimbursement for the full value and then receive a 1099 from Virginia Tech next year to file with your taxes.

If - You are a foreign national who is not a US citizen for tax purposes, I will need a W8BEN, copies of your I-94, Visa, Passport, Foreign National Data Form, DS-2019 or I-20 depending on your visa status. Your travel reimbursement will be mailed to you minus taxes.

The process usually takes about 6 weeks, however it can take longer. Submitting all of your documentation BEFORE you arrive to me via email, will speed this process up considerably. Simply use the Contact Us form and attach copies of all your forms. I will need original receipts of all expenses with the exception of your receipt for airfare since those are done electronically. I will however need the electronic copy of your itinerary. I cannot reimburse you for any expenses that do not have receipts. If you are close to Virginia Tech and plan to drive, you will receive mileage at the rate allowed by the Commonwealth of Virginia which is .45/mile. Your meals are provided for you at the symposium June 1, 2, and 3, so you will not receive reimbursement for meals on those days. The symposium ends on June 3 at 12 noon. You will be entitled to either receive a partial payment of the standard M&IE rate or reimbursement for your dinner expenses if you save your receipts. Travel reimbursements are up to $1100 per person for direct costs only. This reimbursement will cover your hotel room, your symposium registration fee ($200), and your meals. These costs will be automatically transferred from the travel reimbursement fund to Wireless @ Virginia Tech, therefore you will not be reimbursed for these costs directly. Your direct costs will include transportation and any meals you may incur on the days of travel (Tuesday and Friday) if you keep and submit your receipts. You can catch the SmartWay Bus from the Roanoke Airport to Squires Student Center and the hotel will pick you up at Squires. The cost of the SmartWay Bus is $4.00 each way. If you decide to rent a car to carpool together from the airport to the Virginia Tech campus, we will reimburse you for the cost of the rental and the following car rental options: CDW (collision damage waiver) and LDW (liability damage waiver). Do not choose the FSO (fuel service option), GPS, roadside assistance, PAI (personal accident insurance), or any other options because you will not be reimbursed for those. Do keep your gas receipts if you buy gas. More information will be posted here as we receive it. If you have questions that we have not answered please send me an email at

A Note About Prize Money

Prize money is considered income! The following is very important information about how the prize money will be dispersed. Checks will be issued to individual team members for an equal share of the prize award. If you take first place, the $5,000 award will be split equally according to the number of people on your team. If you have 10 team members, each member gets $500. This is why it is critically important that we have accurate and complete team rosters! The checks will be mailed to you after the challenge. The reason for that is we don't know who is going to win, so we will need to collect from the winners several documents according to your citizenship status and send those along with the authorization to pay to the accounting office to be processed. This process takes approximately 10 days once I have submitted all documentation. Please note the following required forms! If you are among the final 8 teams that are invited to compete during the Wireless Symposium, please have these forms completed and bring them with you so that we can process the payments quickly!

If - You are a US citizen OR if you are a US permanent resident OR if you are a foreign national that is considered a US tax resident - you will need to submit the W-9 and you will receive your check for the full amount of your prize award and Virginia Tech will send you a 1099 next year to file with your taxes.

If - You are a foreign national student attending a US university, even if you are considered a US tax resident, you will need to submit copies of your I-94, Foreign National Data Form, Visa, Passport, and either the W-9 (if you are considered a US tax resident) or a W8BEN if you are not a US tax resident. If you are considered a US tax resident, you will receive a check for the full amount and be flagged to receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes, BUT if you are a foreign national who is not a US tax resident, you will receive your check with taxes taken out of the total amount.

If - You are an international student participating remotely, you will need to submit your W8BEN, and your Foreign National Data Form, and the check will be mailed to you minus taxes.

If - You are an international student who will be participating in person, you will need to submit a W8BEN, a Foreign National Data Form, your visa, your passport, your I-94, and taxes will be taken out of the total and then a check mailed to you for the balance.


Information on Visas for International Competitors


Travel reimbursements and the prize money is considered taxable income. 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 or J-1 Visa. If you are an international student who has been here in the US 5 years or more, you may be considered a US tax resident and would complete the W-9. These are the preliminary steps you will need to take, but not all. Every international student that is invited to the challenge must undergo an Export Compliance Review by Virginia Tech's Office of Export Compliance (OEC). Essentially, we will need to fill out an application on our end and attach your resume to that application and wait for you to be cleared to travel to the United States by the OEC. The review can take up to two weeks, so timing is very important. At the present time we do not know who will make the final invitational round but we did want to let you know the procedure so that you could prepare/procure as many of the needed documents as possible. If you do not have a resume, or need to update your resume, now is a good time to work on it!


New Prizes by Ettus Research!

Ettus logoEttus Research has graciously agreed to support the Spectrum-ShaRC Student Cognitive Radio Design Challenge by awarding 5 state of the art software defined radio front ends, (a $3500 value) to the top undergraduate team. A fifth unit (a $715 value) will be awarded to the 4th place winner. Details on Ettus Research model USRP B200-mini-i is available here.


NSF logoTravel reimbursements are partially funded through a travel grant from The National Science Foundation. You can read more about The National Science Foundation at

New Videos

CRTS Testing Video

This demo shows CRTS testing a basic cognitive radio design similar to the one we will provide to students as a starting point for the challenge.