DARPA built the world’s largest testbed for doing repeatable radio experiments. The testbed is called Colosseum. It’s like a holodeck for radios. Experimenters can connect up to 256 radios which transmit, receive and interfere with each other just as they would in the real world. Except their movements and the world around them are totally controlled by the test script.
Colosseum was commissioned at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where SC2 competitors were able to login from anywhere on the Internet to conduct their experiments during the three year build up to the SC2 Championship Event. In October 2019, Colosseum was moved to the show floor of Mobile World Congress – Los Angeles, where it was on public display during the live final competition of SC2. With the SC2 competition now completed, Colosseum has transitioned to a national research asset supporting academic, industry and defense exploration of wireless networks. Colosseum is now being operated by the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University in support of the National Science Foundations-sponsored Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program.
Colosseum is so big, its input and output data streams are also massive. DARPA had to build new tools to automate input generation and to make the output data understandable.