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DARPA's 'Battle of the ModRecs' - Fighting to Improve Wireless Communications

If human ears could hear the electromagnetic spectrum, the noise levels would be overwhelming. The increasing use of wireless devices in military and civilian domains has created a complicated environment, filled with signals of varying frequency and amplitude and multiple modulations. For soldiers trying to maintain critical communications links and interpret ambiguous radar returns, the ability to sort through these waveforms is essential - to identify where key signals are coming from, what kind of signals they are, and how best to send and receive information via the least contested spectral bands. In March, DARPA hosted the 'Battle of the ModRecs' - a low-key competitive opportunity for engineers with a penchant for antennas and algorithms to test their skills in modulation recognition.