Multi-channel energy detection under phase noise: Analysis and mitigation

Ahmet Gokceoglu, Yaning Zou, Mikko Valkama, Paschalis C. Sofotasios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


For the development of highly integrated, flexible and low-cost cognitive radio (CR) devices, simple transceiver architectures, like direct-conversion receiver, are expected to be deployed and provide viable radio frequency (RF) spectrum sensing solutions for practical implementation. Yet, this can be very challenging task especially if spectrum sensing and down-conversion are conducted over multiple RF channels simultaneously for improved efficiency in channel scans. Then, the so-called dirty RF problem that degrades link performance of traditional transmission systems starts to be influential from spectrum sensing perspective as well. The unavoidable RF impairments, e.g., oscillator phase noise in direct-conversion receiver, could generate crosstalk between multiple channels that are down-converted simultaneously, and thus considerably limit the spectrum sensing capabilities. Most of the existing spectrum sensing studies in literature assume an ideal RF receiver and have not considered such practical RF hardware problem. In this article, we study the impact of oscillator phase noise on energy detection (ED) based spectrum sensing in multi-channel direct-conversion receiver scenario. With complex Gaussian primary user (PU) signal models, we first derive the detection and false alarm probabilities in closed-form expression. The analytical results, verified through extensive simulations, show that the wideband multi-channel sensing receiver is very sensitive to the neighboring channel crosstalk induced by oscillator phase noise. More specifically, it is shown that the false alarm probability of multi-channel energy detection increases significantly, compared to the ideal RF receiver case. The exact performance degradation depends on the power of neighboring channels as well as statistical characteristics of the phase noise in the deployed receiver. In order to prevent such performance degradation in spectrum identification, an enhanced energy detection technique is proposed. The proposed technique calculates the leakage power from neighboring channels for each channel and improves the sample energy statistics by subtracting this leakage power from the raw values. An analytical expression is derived for the leakage power which is shown to be a function of power spectral levels of neighboring channels and 3-dB bandwidth of phase noise process. Practical schemes for estimating these two quantities are discussed. Extensive computer simulations show that the proposed enhanced detection yields false alarm rates that are very close to those of an ideal RF receiver and hence clearly outperforms classical energy detection.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)473-486
Number of pages14
JournalMobile Networks and Applications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Cognitive radio
  • Energy detection
  • Multi-channel
  • Phase noise
  • RF impairments
  • Spectrum sensing
  • Wideband


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