Implementation of a real-time auto-tunable energy detector for spectrum sensing in the context of cognitive radio

  • E. W. Mureu
  • P.K. Kihato
  • P.K. Langat


With the ever increasing popularity of wirelessapplications, more innovative ways of enhancing spectral efficiencyare needed in-order to avail more bandwidth. One such way, is toallow for secondary use of channels allocated to a licensed primaryuser, but which in a given time or location happen to be idle. This ison condition, that no harmful radio interference is caused to thelicensed primary user, and that the secondary user should vacate thechannel immediately, once the former is present.One of the proposed technologies to enable this, is the CognitiveRadio (CR). A CR is a form of wireless communication in which atransceiver can intelligently detect which communication channelsare in use and which are not, and instantly move into vacant channelswhile avoiding occupied ones. This is with an aim of optimizing theuse of available radio-frequency (RF) spectrum while minimizinginterference to other users.A key requirement of CR is spectrum sensing which aids in thedetection of the channels status. Several spectrum sensing methodsexist but the energy detection method is preferred due to itssimplicity and ability to sense even unknown signals. Most of theresearch work carried out in this area is simulation based. Wherepractical implementation has been done, it involved sensing of only anarrow radio spectrum band. An implementation of a wide band autotunableenergy detector would be more useful and realistic in thecontext of cognitive radio.This paper presents results of a practical real-time auto-tunableenergy detector implemented in MATLAB, using the UniversalSerial Radio Peripheral (USRP) N200 kit, that could performspectrum sensing within the 10 MHz to 3.2 GHz spectrum band. Thesystem was able to sense any desired radio band or channel withinthis range and detect the presence or absence of the licensed primaryuser signal. The performance of the implemented system wascompared with that of a commercial spectrum analyzer using theprobability of detection and the probability of false alarm parameters.
Feb 19, 2020
How to Cite
MUREU, E. W.; KIHATO, P.K.; LANGAT, P.K.. Implementation of a real-time auto-tunable energy detector for spectrum sensing in the context of cognitive radio. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, [S.l.], p. 151-156, feb. 2020. ISSN 2079-6226. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 05 july 2020.