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For systems and devices, such as cognitive radio and networks, that need to be aware of available frequency bands, spectrum sensing has an important role. A major challenge in this area is the requirement of a high sampling rate in the sensing of a wideband signal. In this paper a wideband spectrum sensing method is presented that utilizes a sub-Nyquist sampling scheme to bring substantial savings in terms of the sampling rate. The correlation matrix of a finite number of noisy samples is computed and used by a non-linear least square (NLLS) estimator to detect the occupied and vacant channels of the spectrum. We provide an expression for the detection threshold as a function of sampling parameters and noise power. Also, a sequential forward selection algorithm is presented to find the occupied channels with low complexity. The method can be applied to both correlated and uncorrelated wideband multichannel signals. A comparison with conventional energy detection using Nyquist-rate sampling shows that the proposed scheme can yield similar performance for SNR above 4 dB with a factor of 3 smaller sampling rate.
Date of Conference: 3-6 May 2011