Efficient spectrum sensing for aeronautical LDACS using low-power correlators

Shanker Shreejith, Libin K. Mathew, Vinod A. Prasad, Suhaib A. Fahmy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Air traffic has seen tremendous growth over the past decade pushing the need for enhanced air traffic management schemes. The L-band digital aeronautical communication system (LDACS) is gaining traction as a scheme of choice, and aims to exploit the capabilities of modern digital communication techniques and computing architectures. Cognitive radio-based approaches have also been proposed for LDACS to improve spectrum efficiency and communication capacity; however, these require intelligent compute capability in aircrafts that enforce limited space and power budgets. This paper proposes the use of multiplierless correlation to enable spectrum sensing in LDACS air-to-ground links, and its integration into the on-board LDACS system. The proposed architecture offers improved performance over traditional energy detection (ED) even at low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) with lower energy consumption than a multiplier-based correlator, while also assisting in receiver synchronization. We evaluate the proposed architecture on a Xilinx Zynq field-programmable gate array and show that our approach results in 28.3% reduction in energy consumption over the multiplier-based approach. Our results also show that the proposed architecture offers 100% accuracy in detection even at -12-dB SNR without requiring additional circuitry for noise estimation, which are an integral part of ED-based approaches.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1191
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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