Faculty Advisor

Dr. Kim I. Mallalieu

Faculty Advisor

Professor Kaveh Pahlavan

Faculty Advisor

Professor Donald R. Brown III

Faculty Advisor

Professor Alexander M. Wyglinski


In the expanding spectrum marketplace, there has been a long term evolution towards more market€“oriented mechanisms, such as Opportunistic Spectrum Access (OSA), enabled through Cognitive Radio (CR) technology. However, the potential of CR technologies to revolutionize wireless communications, also introduces challenges based upon the potentially non€“deterministic CR behaviour in the Electrospace. While establishing and enforcing compliance to spectrum etiquette rules are essential to realization of successful OSA networks in the future, there has only been recent increased research activity into enforcement. This dissertation presents novel work on the spectrum monitoring aspect, which is crucial to effective enforcement of OSA. An overview of the challenges faced by current compliance monitoring methods is first presented. A framework is then proposed for the use of random spectral sampling techniques to reduce data collection complexity in wideband sensing scenarios. This approach is recommended as an alternative to Compressed Sensing (CS) techniques for wideband spectral occupancy estimation, which may be difficult to utilize in many practical congested scenarios where compliance monitoring is required. Next, a low€“cost computational approach to online randomized temporal sensing deployment is presented for characterization of temporal spectrum occupancy in cognitive radio scenarios. The random sensing approach is demonstrated and its performance is compared to CS€“based approach for occupancy estimation. A novel frame€“based sampling inversion technique is then presented for cases when it is necessary to track the temporal behaviour of individual CRs or CR networks. Parameters from randomly sampled Physical Layer Convergence Protocol (PLCP) data frames are used to reconstruct occupancy statistics, taking account of missed frames due to sampling design, sensor limitations and frame errors. Finally, investigations into the use of distributed and mobile spectrum sensing to collect spatial diversity to improve the above techniques are presented, for several common monitoring tasks in spectrum enforcement. Specifically, focus is upon techniques for achieving consensus in dynamic topologies such as in mobile sensing scenarios.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





spectrum monitoring, compliance enforcement, opportunistic spectrum access