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Welcome to the AOC Spectrum Visualization Challenge!

How would you like the opportunity to earn a scholarship, develop your future professional network and have something you imagined broadly published? The AOC Spectrum Visualization Challenge (SVC), a pilot project sponsored by Raytheon, may be for you! 

The SVC challenge is to visually represent and explain electronic warfare (EW), which takes place within the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS).

The EMS is all around us in everyday life, but most people do not even realize the extent to which they rely on it and on cyberspace – remotely unlocking the car, turning on the television, using wireless networks and smart phones, electronic sensors that give drivers better situational awareness, and so much more.

Our military deals with the EMS every day, and spectrum control and superiority are at the heart of EW – a complex and challenging field, requiring truly innovative and leap-ahead technology solutions. EW is critical to global security, in peacetime and wartime. Recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven that control of the spectrum can save lives, just as it did in countering remote controlled improvised explosive devices. In fact, future conflicts will be decided by EW and control of the EMS, something we can’t even see.

So what is EW? There are many different definitions, and according to the Electronic Warfare Capabilities Enhancement Act of 2016, EW is "military action involving the use of electromagnetic and directed energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum or attack the enemy." More broadly, electromagnetic spectrum warfare "means electronic warfare that encompasses military communications and sensing operations that occur in the electromagnetic operational domain" (Ref: Electronic Warfare Capabilities Enhancement Act, HR 4851, 114th Cong. (2016)).

WHAAAAT?!!?! How do we enable EW understanding when its definition is so complex? How do you visually explain that which you cannot see or hear or feel?

That is the challenge. Visually explain EW, assuming future audiences have absolutely no knowledge about the electromagnetic spectrum.

Official Rules

Team members are optional but encouraged.  Team members must be identified by the time of abstract and storyboard submission. Team members may also be registered at anytime prior to submission by email the AOC at  By clicking “Agree,” the Team Leader reads and accepts the official rules on behalf of all current and future team participants as identified on the submission of the abstract and storyboard.

The Prize

  • The number one rated team:
    • Each student will earn a one-time scholarship paid directly to their college/university, $5,000 each
    • Special networking event at AOC International Conventino & Symposium
    • Potentially broad use of the video to an extensive and varied audience by AOC, Raytheon and others
    • Showcase video at AOC International Convention & Symposium
  • Two honorable mention teams:
    • Each student will earn a one-time scholarship paid directly to their college/university, $2,500 each
    • Special networking event at AOC International Convention & Symposium
    • Showcase video at AOC International Convention & Symposium

Submission Guide

  • The goal: visually explain EW
    • Ask yourself if the video answers these questions:
      • Will an audience come away with a basic understanding of EW?
      • Can the audience members articulate to others what they just watched?
      • Is it factually accurate?
      • Is it visually and audibly creative & appealing to a broad audience?
  • Clearly explain/demonstrate the electromagnetic spectrum, keeping in mind that EW takes place in space, the air, on (and under) the ground and at sea.
  • Avoid an abundance of technical jargon; avoid acronyms
  • Make it relatable and interesting
  • Although this refers to the visual as a video, various visual types will be accepted. Types include, but are not limited to: video scenario, sequenced images and animation.

Submission Requirements:

  1. Abstract – Detail how your video will explain electronic warfare, what it is and what it does. Abstracts shall not exceed 500 words, Times New Roman 12 font with 1 inch headers, footers and margins. Files must be submitted in .pdf format. All submissions must be in the English language. No monetary funds shall be provided to create the abstract.
  2. Storyboard – In a storyboard, as detailed as possible, represent each segment of the video. Storyboards graphically organize and pre-visualize the video through a sequence of illustrations, images and/or dialogue. Storyboards should anticipate a future final video length of two minutes or less. If handwritten text is included, it must be clearly legible. If typed text is included, it may be in any font style but shall be 12 font size. Files must be submitted in .pdf format. All submissions must be in the English language. No monetary funds shall be provided to create the storyboards.


  • Abstract and storyboard must be received via email no later than 5 p.m. ET, April 30, 2017
  • Review and downselect of submissions to three teams occur May 1 – 21, 2017
  • Notifications to the final three teams; a minimum of one mentor with EW expertise/knowledge will be assigned to each team – May 22, 2017
  • Final video submission due no later than 5 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time, October 16, 2017 (postmarked or email received). Video language requirement shall be in English. No monetary funds shall be provided to create the video.
  • Review and downselect of the three video submissions to occur October 16 – November 1, 2017
  • Top team announced at AOC International Convention & Symposium 2107

Submission Assessment

A committee of experts comprised of individuals from AOC and industry will review the submissions, and judge them based on the following criteria:

  1. Meaning and intent of approach
  2. Factually accurate representation of EW and spectrum
  3. Ability to effectively communicate, what is EW
  4. Ability to convey understanding of EW in a creative and entertaining manner

Team Guidelines:

  • Team Dynamics
    • Teams must consist of a minimum of two students; maximum of three students.
    • Students must be considered a full-time student by the community college or university, domestic or international, in which they’re enrolled
    • At least two students must be enrolled as a science, technology, engineering and/or math subject major.


Seek out advice from classmates, professors and others you may know that are knowledgeable about EW and even video creation. Online research is also available. Below are a few resources that may help.


  • Students may submit questions to AOC to validate their information. AOC will respond to all questions within three days of receipt by posting responses to the Spectrum Visualization Challenge FAQ page. Email Ken Miller -


In accordance with the AOC Bylaws (Section 2.02), persons or entities from countries on the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls “Country Policies and Embargoes” list ( as of 21 August 2015 are not eligible for participation in the spectrum visualization challenge.


Information on this page is subject to change. Please check back periodically for changes and updates in regard to the spectrum visualization challenge.