16.04.24 05:39 PM By Jennie Hempstead

Photo/Ted Pitts AFRL
Wright Brothers Institute (WBI), in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), is proud to host the awards presentation culminating the successful end to the sixth annual “Software Defined Radio University Challenge”. This event will feature an awards ceremony on Friday, April 19, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at WBI, 444 E. 2nd Street, Dayton.

Software Defined Radio (SDR) is a platform deemed ideal for exploring communication, sensing and networking applications: it is expected that SDR architects will be in high demand because of the highly congested electromagnetic environment. SDR allows enhancement of wireless devices via software upgrades, as opposed to traditional hardware-based radio, which requires physical intervention. Each team was given an SDR kit provided by National Instruments, then turned loose to apply their skill and imagination in the design and prototyping of an SDR application of their choice.

WBI and AFRL jointly designed this Challenge to enhance current technology portfolios and attract the next generation workforce for this technology area. The Challenge runs annually and follows the academic year (October-April), with the teams checking in regularly via monthly teleconferences to report their progress and collect feedback. A total of 17 university teams across the United States participated in this challenge, with the top 8-10 teams to be invited to the Final Showcase event in Dayton. 

The teams’ working prototypes will be judged by a panel of SDR experts at this year’s Software Defined Radio University Challenge Showcase, culminating in the upcoming19 April awards presentation where up to $10K in cash and prizes will be awarded. The public is welcome to attend the in-person demonstration and awards ceremony. This is a free event; pre-registration is requested.

Teams participating in this year’s Challenge are:

  • University of Dayton
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut
  • Georgia Tech
  • University of Houston
  • Kansas
  • Stevens Institute Technology
  • North Carolina State University
  • Wright State University
  • University of Missouri Kansas City
  • University of Louisville
  • UMass Boston
  • Ohio State University
  • Virginia Tech University
  • Texas A&M Commerce
  • North Dakota University
  • UMass Dartmouth

About Wright Brothers Institute

Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) is a cutting-edge innovation and technology commercialization center for the Air Force Research Laboratory, with facilities located just outside of WPAFB in Dayton, OH.  We drive fast, agile innovation that enables successful technology development to solve the Air Force’s most complex challenges by leveraging resident experts, unique facilities, disruptive innovation processes, and extensive networks. We leverage subject matter experts and intellectual property from AFRL and SBIR companies to unlock the right problem, connect to new partners and synchronize transition pathways through our commercialization partners. 

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Jennie Hempstead