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Welcome to the Community College Edition of the Spectrum Sharing Student Radio Challenge

Greetings from the Spectrum-ShaRC Contest Organizers! This year we are focusing the challenge on community college students across the country. Although wireless technology is so widespread that it is likely most readers are using wireless devices to view this page, the challenge will provide students with a more in-depth exposure to the wonderful world of wireless communications and software defined radio. The challenge this year is a total of 3 phases. The first phase is the Qualifying Round. Teams will have to learn to operate their radios through a remote desktop browser. You will submit your throughput code to the contest organizers in order to participate in round 2. Codes will be due to the contest organizers by November 18. COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE FOUND HERE!

Registration is Now Open!

You can find the application at 2018 Spectrum ShaRC Challenge. This home page will be your main source of information so please bookmark this page and reference it often. 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. You must also be 18 years of age by December 31, 2017 in order to compete. Your registration will not be considered complete without the letter of good standing from your advisor/department.

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: $2,500

Third place prize is an Ettus Research/National Instruments USRP valued at $1,200.

New this year! Best Paper Award Prize of $250!

Best Paper AwardIn order to encourage community college students to write professional-style papers on their research, we are offering a "Best Paper" award. Details on the requirements for the paper will be published closer to the final competition deadline.

Check out this year's 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/university from another country, you will have to be cleared to travel to the United States for the final round of challenge 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.

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:

Travel grants will be available to the top tiered teams up to $1,000. Teams will be able to compete remotely through WebEx.

Challenge Organizers: