March 21, 2007
Burgeoning demands for communications bandwidth stress the abilities of military and civil spectrum managers to provide needed access to spectrum resources while taking appropriate measures to avoid causing harmful interference to legacy users. Empirical analysis shows that radio frequency (RF) bandwidth is often available: measurement data indicate that while most channels are used at some times, most channels remain unused at any given time. Going forward, so- called “smart radio” technologies will be able to exploit these holes in the RF spectrum and will play a crucial role in achieving the core objectives of efficient spectrum management. The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (“DARPA”) NeXt Generation Communications Program (“XG”) is on the vanguard of smart radio innovations. In particular, XG technology uses automated intelligence at a system’s edges in order to navigate real-time fluctuations in spectral conditions that cannot be precisely predicted in advance. This dynamism will enable opportunistic use of intermittently available spectrum.