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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2015, Article ID 464982, 11 pages
Research Article

Robust Spectrum Sensing Demonstration Using a Low-Cost Front-End Receiver

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) Digital Citizen Security Unit, Via Enrico Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy

Received 19 April 2015; Revised 3 July 2015; Accepted 9 July 2015

Academic Editor: Feifei Gao

Copyright © 2015 Daniele Borio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spectrum Sensing (SS) is an important function in Cognitive Radio (CR) to detect primary users. The design of SS algorithms is one of the most challenging tasks in CR and requires innovative hardware and software solutions to enhance detection probability and minimize low false alarm probability. Although several SS algorithms have been developed in the specialized literature, limited work has been done to practically demonstrate the feasibility of this function on platforms with significant computational and hardware constraints. In this paper, SS is demonstrated using a low cost TV tuner as agile front-end for sensing a large portion of the Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) spectrum. The problems encountered and the limitations imposed by the front-end are analysed along with the solutions adopted. Finally, the spectrum sensor developed is implemented on an Android device and SS implementation is demonstrated using a smartphone.