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In this paper, we consider a distributed detection scenario where a number of remote sensors is linked to a decision fusion center by a fading multiaccess channel. The communication is assumed to be noncoherent meaning that channel gains are unknown at both sensors and the fusion center. Each sensor makes a binary local decision and communicates it to the fusion center simultaneously. We investigate the detection performance of the system in terms of error probability and error exponent under both Rayleigh and Rician fading scenarios. We reveal that on-off keying is the most energy efficient modulation scheme when the channel is subject to Rayleigh fading and that optimizing the modulation scheme can lead to a gain in error exponent under Rician fading scenario. Under both fading scenarios, optimal decision fusion rules can be reduced to simple threshold tests.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2011