ECE graduate students took top honors during the 2007 Software Defined Radio Forum conference in November.
Teams representing Wireless@Virginia Tech participated in the international Smart Radio Challenge. Tech was the only school with two teams among the finalists. Each group had to design, develop, and test a software defined radio (SDR) in a way that would solve a specific problem.
A team of eight graduate students, advised by professor Charles Bostian, won the competition's grand prize by developing a software defined radio capable of finding available spectrum within a pre-defined band, rendezvousing with an intended receiver, and successfully transmitting data accordingly.
Tech's other team of graduate students, advised by Carl Dietrich, won the "Best Design" in the Smart Radio Challenge for its approach to the problem of spectrum access for first responders.
Software defined radio devices use software rather than traditional dedicated hardware to define and modify the way they perform signal processing for transmission and reception. This technology is used in two-way communications devices by tactical military forces and emergency responders, as well as in the development of wireless networks that provide Internet services to rural areas.