Date of Award

Winter 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical/Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Dimitrie C. Popescu

Committee Member

Linda L. Vahala

Committee Member

Jiang Li

Committee Member

N. Rao Chaganty


The explosion of high-data-rate-demanding wireless applications such as smart-phones and wireless Internet access devices, together with growth of existing wireless services, are creating a shortage of the scarce Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum. However, several spectrum measurement campaigns revealed that current spectrum usage across time and frequency is inefficient, creating the artificial shortage of the spectrum because of the traditional exclusive "command-and-control" model of using the spectrum. Therefore, a new concept of Cognitive Radio (CR) has been emerging recently in which unlicensed users temporarily borrow spectrum from the licensed Primary Users (PU) based on the Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) technique that is also known as the "spectrum sharing" concept.

A CR is an intelligent radio system based on the Software Defined Radio platform with artificial intelligence capability which can learn, adapt, and reconfigure through interaction with the operating environment. A CR system will revolutionize the way people share the RF spectrum, lowering harmful interference to the licensed PU of the spectrum, fostering innovative DSA technology and giving people more choices when it comes to using the wireless-communication-dependent applications without having any spectrum congestion problems. A key technical challenge for enabling secondary access to the licensed spectrum adaptation is to ensure that the CR does not interfere with the licensed incumbent users. However, incumbent user behavior is dynamic and requires CR systems to adapt this behavior in order to maintain smooth information transmission.

In this context, the objective of this dissertation is to explore design issues for CR systems focusing on adaptation of physical layer parameters related to spectrum sensing, spectrum shaping, and rate/power control. Specifically, this dissertation discusses dynamic threshold adaptation for energy detector spectrum sensing, spectrum allocation and power control in Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing-(OFDM-)based CR with operating constraints, and adjacent band interference suppression techniques in turbo-coded OFDM-based CR systems.