The Wireless Innovation Forum announced the winners of their annual Achievement Awards. Technology of the Year was given to the SVFuA, the Leadership Award (formerly the International Achievement award) to Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dr. h.c. mult. Ulrich L. Rohde, partner of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co., KG, Munich, and chairman of Synergy Microwave Corp. and the President’s Award to Greg Billock of Google. Winners were announced at the Wireless Innovation Forum Conference on Communications Technologies and Software Defined Radio (WInnComm 2017), November 15-17  in San Diego, Calif.

The Technology of the Year award is presented to an individual or organization for a breakthrough product or technology in the field of Software Defined or Cognitive Radio as selected by the members. The SVFuA (Streitkraeftegemeinsame, Verbundfaehige Funkgeraete-Ausstattung) Project had the objective of developing a software defined radio (SDR) system for joint and combined operations for the German Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). It was successfully completed in June 2016. Both the radio platform and the waveforms were certified as compliant to the WINNF endorsed standard Software Communications Architecture (SCA) version 2.2.2. The certificates of SCA compliance were issued by the German Federal Armed Forces Technical Center for Information Technology and Electronics (Wehrtechnische Dienststelle fuer Informationstechnologie und Elektronik) (WTD 81). With this, the WTD 81 is the first European test lab to issue a certificate of SCA compliance and SVFuA is the first European SDR to achieve SCA certification. SVFuA is also the first European SCA based SDR system, where porting of third party waveforms was successfully completed. Furthermore, it is the first radio system worldwide where the waveform porting was performed whilst protecting intellectual property rights of both the platform and the waveform suppliers. Rohde & Schwarz as the lead industry partner in the SVFuA project facilitates this approach through its waveform development environment. The German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt fuer Sicherheit in der Informationstechnologie, BSI) stated that the system is certifiable up to the national classification level GEHEIM (Secret). This is an essential precondition for a certification up to the NATO classification level NATO SECRET. Being a three-channel radio system, SVFuA supports Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS). Overall, SVFuA supports the WInnForum objective of enabling coalition interoperability.

The Leadership Award (formerly Forum International Achievement Award) is presented to an individual, group of individuals or organization that made especially significant contributions in furthering the global mission of the Wireless Innovation Forum. This year’s award goes to Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dr. h.c. mult. Ulrich L. Rohde, partner of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co., KG, Munich, and chairman of Synergy Microwave Corp., Paterson, N.J. Dr. Rohde is a prolific technical author, engineer, businessman and amateur radio operator. He studied microwave and RF in Munich, Darmstadt and N.Y., graduated from the TU Berlin with a Dr.-Ing. and from the BTU Cottbus with a Dr.-Ing. habil. He was in charge of the Rohde & Schwarz office in the U.S., and then was general manager of RCA Radio Group for communications and radio intelligence. While working under a U.S. Department of Defense contract at RCA in 1982, Rohde’s department developed the first SDR, which used the COSMAC (Complementary Symmetry Monolithic Array Computer) chip. Dr. Rohde was one of the first to present publicly on this topic with his February 1985 talk entitled, “Digital HF Radio: A Sampling of Techniques,” at the Third International Conference on HF Communication Systems and Techniques in London. Since then Dr. Rohde has actively driven innovation in the field of SDR, both in industry and academia. He has founded several companies in the field of microwave CAD technology and for developing and manufacturing microwave components. Since 1977, he has been professor of electrical engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and since 1982, he has been adjunct professor of electrical engineering at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. In addition to other academic commitments, Dr. Rohde is honorary professor at the University of Cottbus, honorary member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich and honorary senator at Federal Armed Forces University, Munich and is a member of the Center of Excellence at this last university. He has published six monographs and in excess of 100 peer-reviewed papers. He is the proprietor of roughly 50 patents. In March 2014, Dr. Rohde gave a keynote on “Microwave Receiver and Design Principles” at the SDR-WInnComm 2014 in Schaumburg. In December 2016, Dr. Rohde was invited to deliver at IEEE Hyderabad the prestigious Sir J. C. Bose Memorial Lecture on “Next-Generation Networks: Software-Defined Radio--Emerging Trends.” In the 2017 edition of the book on “Communications Receivers,” Dr. Rohde and his co-authors set SDR at the core of modern communications systems design.

The President’s Award is presented to individuals in recognition of their sustained outstanding contributions in support of the Wireless Innovation Forum and its activities. This year’s recipient, Greg Billock of Google, was selected because of his prolific contributions to the Forum in 2017 supporting the commercialization of the U.S. CBRS Band. These contributions included 120 written input contributions and 386 separate initiated email threads to explore and resolve specific technical topics. He also championed getting the CBRS Root of Trust Certified Authority certification completed and led multiple document development efforts including the CBRS SAS to SAS Technical Specification, the CBRS Protocols Technical Report and the CBRS PAL Database Specification. Mr. Billock started the CBRS SAS GitHub test harness project as well as the CBRS Certified Professional Installer (CPI) Certification Project.

For past award winners, visit