Spectrum Sensing Algorithms with GNU Radio and USRPs

Status: abgeschlossen
Betreuer: Tim Esemann
Student: Jiyi Tian


With the enhanced performance of embedded systems and the progressing miniaturization of hardware (incl. sensors and actors), there are new and innovative systems in the development pipeline. Especially wireless radio technologies offer comfortable and multifunctional opportunities for mobile applications. A particular area which will gain specifically from this is the health care sector. Advanced sensor technologies can significantly improve diagnosis and therapy abilities. Examples are position and movement recognition, patient monitoring and couple of other applications during surgery, intensive care, rehabilitation and assisted living. The objective of the research project SoFT (Self-organizing Radio Frequency Technology) is to achieve coexistence of different radio transmission systems and avoiding interferences, by using software defined radio (SDR). The project develops and investigates a self-organizing cognitive radio as a transceiver. The system is supposed to operate in the ISM radio band and to configure itself (SDR) to the given requirements and priorities by sensing its environment and knowing regulatory rules. Technical target is improving the reliability of future-proofed radio transmission with cognitive radio by ensuring the coexistence of present and future standards. The focus is on modeling and software-architecture as well on developing new algorithms and protocols for cognitive radio.


The work of this diploma thesis project comprises the implementation and evaluation of spectrum sensing algorithms with GNU Radio and USRPs. The target is to find suitable algorithms that will be implemented in the cognitive radio transceiver targeted in the project SoFT. First step will be to evaluate existing spectrum sensing algorithms (e.g. FFT, CCA, Spectral Correlation, the developed algorithm in the study project “Spectrum Sensing Algorithms for Implementation in a CR Transceiver”) due to their applicability in a cognitive radio. Furthermore it has to be investigated which spectrum sensing algorithms are already implemented in GNU Radio to include them in this evaluation. After implementing all these algorithms in GNU Radio the final step will be the detailed evaluation, while testing these algorithms with a USRP. The evaluation goals have to be defined and the algorithm have to be analyzed accordingly. Important parameters will be accuracy, sensing speed and bandwidth, computing time, sensing output etc.


  • Implementation of the algorithms in GNU Radio
  • Thesis report about the implementation and evaluation of the analyzed algorithms


  • Willingness to learn more about Radio Transmission
  • Basic knowledge of Mobile Communications, Digital Signal Processing and C/C++
  • Good self-organized working skills