IIT Mandi is developing a cognitive radio system for free communication between mobile devices!

Cognitive Radio is an emerging intelligent technology used to transfer information through space to long distance. The CR is a very helpful medium for interruption-free and affordable wireless communication.

Wireless communication is spreading day by day, ranging from remote controls that operate various gadgets to communication over continents. Information is carried in a wireless method across large distances by radio frequency waves (RF), a part of the electromagnetic spectrum invisible to the human eye.

But even now, people in India who live in remote areas or rural areas do not have the money to afford a communication device or even if they can, they are unable to pay for the service.

Improving the hardware efficiency of Cognitive Radio (CR) devices will make possible for these people living in the remotest parts of the country to communicate zero costs.

Professor Rahul Shrestha and his research scholar Rohit Chaurasiya, at IIT Mandi, along with Mahesh Murty, from International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hyderabad, work in this cutting-edge field of technology and have developed methods to improve hardware efficiency of CR devices. Their work has recently been published in the journal IEEE Transactions of Circuits and Systems.

What is cognitive radio?

Cognititive radio (CR) is a term coined by Joe Mitola in 1999. The CR allows a transmitter or receiver of information (transceiver’) to detect the unused or white’ channels to piggy-back on them and avoids the occupied channels, says professor Rahul Shrestha about the basics of his field.

In other words, a transceiver uses the best available wireless communication channel for communication without interference from others.

CR is an emerging intelligent technology that seeks to expand the use of the RF to alleviate the problem of spectral paucity.

A cognitive radio is a good route to affordable broadband connectivity in India especially to rural areas and large-scale Wi-Fi’s in public locations. Professor Shrestha’s study could speed up the introduction of cognitive radio systems in India.

How does cognitive radio work?

The first step in CR is identification of the white channels. Researchers from all over the world are trying to develop methods to identify the white channels in RF waves for CR applications.

These methods involve a combination of sensor devices and algorithms. Some combinations are simple, but not very efficient, says Shrestha.

For example, energy detection’ is commonly used due to its lower hardware complexity, but is inefficient when there is negative signal-to-noise-ratio. The Time-Domain Cyclostationary-feature Detector (TDCD) performs comparatively well, but consumes significantly more hardware resources.

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