Beyond 5G Challenge Video Creates Buzz, New Entrants to AFRL Software Defined Radio Competition

13.01.21 04:44 PM By Jennie Hempstead

Video courtesy of Air Force Research Laboratory

Written by: Laura Dempsey

A technology challenge devised by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Sensors Directorate (AFRL/RY) and Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) has gained traction – and participants – after a successful first year.


AFRL/RY’s Dr. Stephen Hary, the Core Technical Competency Lead for Enabling Sensor Devices, came up with a plan to introduce young scientists and engineers to what he knows will be an in-demand and challenging career focus: 5G.


“We are currently witnessing a global rush to 5G,” said Bob Lee, Open Innovation Project Manager at WBI. “Nations, mobile operators and handset manufacturers are all vying to be first in delivering the next generation of cellular connectivity, or at least get in the game early. This challenge builds a skillset in students that is very much needed by the AF in maintaining next-generation communication systems.”


The challenge invited university teams to find innovative uses for Software Defined Radios (SDR) and Software Defined Networks (SDN). AFRL provided SDR kits to each team and set them loose. The challenge ran concurrent with the academic year, with teams presenting their work in the spring. The winning team received $5,000.


The Beyond 5G Challenge is in its third year, with a record number of participants, possibly because of this promotional video produced to get the word out.