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Spectrum Sensing and Monitoring R&D Topics

The NIST CTL’s spectrum sensing and monitoring  research and development efforts focus in three areas: sensor technology, monitoring infrastructure, and analysis of spectrum occupancy to aid in real-time wireless-access coordination.

In sensor technology, the NIST CTL is:

  • Developing wideband sensor technology and signal processing algorithms to increase the accuracy and effective bandwidth of sensors (the early focus being on the 3.5 GHz band)
  • Developing sensing algorithms capable of more than simple energy detection – such as cyclostationary and matched-filter sensing – that exploit known characteristics of the signal to improve sensing performance in low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) environments
  • Assessing the various windowing functions commonly used for spectral analysis, as well as the kernel functions for quadratic time-frequency representations, and their impact on detection performance
  • Implementing the above techniques and algorithms on a range of readily-available software-defined radio (SDR) platforms, for feasibility assessment and dissemination as open-source software modules
  • Validating the above techniques using instrumentation-grade high-dynamic-range and/or high-bandwidth analog-to-digital converters (ADCs).

In monitoring infrastructure, we are:

  • Creating a scalable architecture, interface specifications, and representative implementation for gathering, storing, and presenting spectrum-occupancy measurements. Parcel to this effort includes:
    • Developing a database for long-term storage of spectrum-occupancy measurements
    • Developing a graphical user interface (GUI) and application program interface (API) for access to stored measurements
    • Building front-end servers for receiving and analyzing real-time, streamed measurements
    • Calibrating low-cost spectrum sensors
    • Performing uncertainty analysis of spectrum occupancy measurements
    • Developing SDR sensor software for calibration, database population, and real-time measurement streaming
    • Investigating the use of wide-bandwidth (~1 GHz or more) ADCs to coordinate the array of sensors
  • Identifying additional properties – such as protocol identification, waveform traces, and sufficient time/frequency resolution – to ensure compatibility with coexistence and interference metrics.

In work related to the analysis of spectrum occupancy for real-time coordination, the NIST CTL is:

  • Developing statistical models of spectrum occupancy derived from long-term measurements and comparing them with existing occupancy models in the literature
  • Creating efficient algorithms for real-time calculation and near-term prediction of spectrum occupancy to support dynamic spectrum coordination.
Created June 9, 2016, Updated August 25, 2016