As teams gear up for Phase 2 of the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), Barone Consulting is providing infrastructure development and essential support.


APRIL 10, 2018—Plans are well underway for Phase 2 of DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), with Barone Consulting working with DARPA to make the research problem more challenging and to enhance the scenarios, radio frequency (RF) emulation systems and scoring approach to spur greater collaboration.

Ten finalists from Phase 1 are moving up to Phase 2, while interested contenders are working on the Phase 2 hurdle—creating a machine learning enabled, software-defined radio system that can successfully move data across a simulated, virtual RF environment the; the design of which was overseen by Barone Consulting. Contestant designs are due on April 30.

SC2 is addressing a growing problem: the shortage of radio frequency bandwidth available to support the growing number of connected devices, from home computers to cell phones to soldiers on the battlefield, using these same frequencies to transverse the wireless communications highway.

“One of the problems in today’s radio spectrum, is that often two devices are trying to use the same frequency, but they aren’t able to function, due to their mutual interference,” explains Craig Pomeroy, senior consultant at Barone Consulting. “This is what happened when Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, two wireless technologies, became widely available. The goal of SC2 is for teams to make use of machine learning techniques to enable their devices to automatically figure out how to interoperate. This interoperability will massively increase the available usable spectrum for future services like the Internet of Things.”

As part of Phase 2, Barone Consulting is working with SC2 vendors to move beyond canonical RF problems and into real world sharing problems modeled on commercial and DoD spectrum users. This involves scaling up the size of networks and network interactions and retooling the scoring approach to ensure desired outcomes are rewarded; incumbent radio systems are protected, and to incentivize collaboration between networks when opportunities exist. “During Phase 1, we wanted the teams to develop a solid radio system that was fast and able to move lots of data,” says Pomeroy. “For this phase, we want the teams, like their radios, to work more closely and leverage efficiencies that can be achieved through collaboration.” Underpinning this effort, teams are developing intelligent reasoning engines, which rely on a shared collaboration language being developed by Barone and the teams.

After all the teams secure their spots, they will have until December 2018 to complete their designs, which will compete at SC2’s Second Preliminary Event at the end of the year. Winners of the Second Preliminary Event will advance to the final phase of competition in 2019, culminating in a Championship Event. The first-place winner of that event will receive a prize of $2 million; the second-place winner, $1 million; and the third-place winner, $750,00.

The programs Championship Event will be held in conjunction with the 2019 Mobile World Congress Americas annual conference and exhibition. The combined event is the result of a partnership between  GSMA (the organization that represents mobile operators worldwide), and DARPA.

“Competitions like this one show how effectively research can be conducted in a results driven framework like the one Barone provides,” concludes Pomeroy. “The successes of this program can be attributed to the hard work of both the competitor teams developing the technology, and the government teams providing the infrastructure necessary to bring disparate research together in a way never before possible.”

About Barone Consulting

With an emphasis in areas such as autonomous systems, electronic warfare, big data, geointelligence, and cloud computing, Barone Consulting provides support to America’s leading scientists and engineers with a mission of tackling the toughest problems faced by the Department of Defense. Barone Consulting is a subcontractor to ECS for this effort.

Barone Consulting is actively recruiting and encourages strong candidates with Top Secret security clearances, systems integration, flight test, and aeronautical engineering to contact us regarding DARPA opportunities.

Information about Barone Consulting can be found at