Advancing Full Cognitive Radio
Wireless spectrum is a valuable resource. Governments across the world net a lot of money selling wireless spectrum to cellular companies who bid for spectrum in specific bands and certain geographical regions. Unfortunately, companies are not able to make optimum use of this spectrum and it ends up getting wasted. According to reports, at any time only 10 % of the spectrum is being used. This means there is a tremendous wastage of this valuable resource. But now, embedded developers may have a solution- cognitive radio.
Cognitive radio is a type of intelligent radio. Cognitive radio has the capacity to distinguish between busy and vacant spectrum. When it detects unused spectrum, it moves in and starts using it. This way, it optimizes the use of wireless spectrum.
Cognitive radio’s ability to adapt to real time wireless conditions infuses it with tremendous potential. Cognitive radio can detect available frequency bands, see which ones are clear (or less crowded), select the frequency modulation, decide suitable power levels and many other similar decisions.
Formerly this was not possible. You would have needed a bank of receivers to scan individual frequencies for vacancy. But recent embedded developments have made it a reality. Now we have programmable receivers that can scan a range of frequencies quickly.
Cognitive radio make use of this technology. If and when cognitive radios enter common currency, spectrum use will become more flexible, comprehensive and efficient.