Robust Blind Spectral Estimation in the Presence of Impulsive Noise
Kees, Joel Thomas
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Robust nonparametric spectral estimation includes generating an accurate estimate of the Power Spectral Density (PSD) for a given set of data while trying to minimize the bias due to data outliers. Robust nonparametric spectral estimation is applied in the domain of electrical communications and digital signal processing when a PSD estimate of the electromagnetic spectrum is desired (often for the goal of signal detection), and when the spectrum is also contaminated by Impulsive Noise (IN). Power Line Communication (PLC) is an example of a communication environment where IN is a concern because power lines were not designed with the intent to transmit communication signals. There are many different noise models used to statistically model different types of IN, but one popular model that has been used for PLC and various other applications is called the Middleton Class A model, and this model is extensively used in this thesis. The performances of two different nonparametric spectral estimation methods are analyzed in IN: the Welch method and the multitaper method. These estimators work well under the common assumption that the receiver noise is characterized by Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN). However, the performance degrades for both of these estimators when they are used for signal detection in IN environments. In this thesis basic robust estimation theory is used to modify the Welch and multitaper methods in order to increase their robustness, and it is shown that the signal detection capabilities in IN is improved when using the modified robust estimators.
General Audience Abstract
One application of blind spectral estimation is blind signal detection. Unlike a car radio, where the radio is specifically designed to receive AM and PM radio waves, sometimes it is useful for a radio to be able to detect the presence of transmitted signals whose characteristics are not known ahead of time. Cognitive radio is one application where this capability is useful. Often signal detection is inhibited by Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN). This is analogous to trying to hear a friend speak (signal detection) in a room full of people talking (background AWGN). However, some noise environments are more impulsive in nature. Using the previous analogy, the background noise could be loud banging caused by machinery; the noise will not be as constant as the chatter of the crowd, but it will be much louder. When power lines are used as a medium for electromagnetic communication (instead of just sending power), it is called Power Line Communication (PLC), and PLC is a good example of a system where the noise environment is impulsive. In this thesis, methods used for blind spectral estimation are modified to work reliably (or robustly) for impulsive noise environments.
- Masters Theses