New scenarios for Cognitive Radio

Elena García Couto


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During the last years, and thanks to the flexibility that Cognitive Radio-based systems provide, new scenarios and use cases have emerged in order to take advantage of this technology, which promote   the use of a dynamic management as a response to the traditional fixed model approach.

As an example, there are several researches which propose to apply the Cognitive Radio paradigm to scenarios such as Smart Grid. Advances in both design and optimization of smart meters, in addition to digital communications, promote the Smart Grid to be a strong alternative to achieve efficient and economical power generation, distribution and utilization by means of a close interaction between power plants and end users. In such systems, communications become the core of performance of the Smart Grid and, due to its low installation costs and high flexibility, wireless communications are the prevalent option.

However, with the rapid development of these networks, more and more smart meters are applied, requiring tremendously increasing amount of data to be transmitted. Therefore, more frequency bands are required to support wireless communications, posing a significant challenge on originally scarce spectrum resources. By means of a cognitive approach, and applying any spectrum monitoring technique, the smart meter can decide to transmit its data on either channel in order to improve the communication quality without collapsing the network.

Another suitable field to apply a cognitive point of view are Vehicular Networks, where Cognitive Radio might be useful with two main purposes: on the one hand, to satisfy capacity demand for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and, on the other hand, as an aid to offload the inactive ITS applications from the dedicated spectrum in order to not congest the network. Moreover, and from a more technical perspective, this kind of systems could take advantage of white spaces located in lower frequency bands, with the subsequent radio waves propagation conditions improvement, compared to the ones located at the 5.9 GHz band.

In addition to the previous examples, we can find several areas where Cognitive Radio could be applied, such as Emergency Communications and Public Safety Networks, in Machine to Machine (M2M) Communications or as a potential technology for Green Communications.


Due to the several applications and environments where Cognitive Radio could be applied, Gradiant keeps supporting this topic, researching about new uses to such systems.