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One of the key problems in cognitive radio (CR) is the detection of primary activity in order to determine which parts of the spectrum are available for opportunistic access. This detection task is challenging, since the wireless environment often results in very low SNR conditions. Moreover, calibration errors and imperfect analog components at the CR spectral monitor result in uncertainties in the noise spectrum, making the problem more difficult. In this work, we present a new multiantenna detector which is based on the fact that the observation noise processes are spatially uncorrelated, whereas any primary signal present should result in spatial correlation. In particular, we derive the generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT) for this problem, which is given by the quotient between the determinant of the sample covariance matrix and the determinant of its block-diagonal version. For stationary processes the GLRT tends asymptotically to the integral of the logarithm of the Hadamard ratio of the estimated power spectral density matrix. Additionally, we present an approximation of the frequency domain detector in the low SNR regime, which results in computational savings. The performance of the proposed detectors is evaluated by means of numerical simulations, showing important advantages over existing detectors.
Date of Conference: 14-19 March 2010