Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Wideband spectrum sensing for interferer detection

Technology #cu15061

This technology is an analog-to-information converter that rapidly scans for available frequency bands to reduce wireless data traffic.

Unmet Need: Energy-efficient spectrum scanning method optimized for sensitivity performance

The increasing amount of wireless data traffic due to mobile and untethered devices is rapidly increasing the need for more efficient utilization of the radio spectrum. Cognitive radio (CR) is a proposed shift for wireless communications in which a device assesses the local spectrum usage to dynamically access the available spectrum. However, current methods that implement this approach, such as the modulated wideband converter (MWC), suffer from high energy costs and reduced sensitivity. Consequently, there is a need for a CR method that delivers energy-efficient spectrum scanning without sacrificing sensitivity.

The Technology: Fast, low power, and sensitive spectrum scanning

This technology is a spectrum sensing method called Quadrature Analog-to-Information Converter (QAIC) that rapidly scans for available bandwidth using a sensitive, low power system. This technology uses frequency down-conversion to reduce the bandwidth of the input signal before sensing, resulting in improved sensitivity and energy consumption compared with the MWC. As such, this technology rapidly identifies available frequency bands to reduce wireless traffic.

This technology has been prototyped and demonstrated successful interference detection within the 2.7-3.7 GHz frequency range.


  • Increased spectrum utilization efficiency
  • Improved telecommunication systems
  • Reduction of wireless data traffic


  • Improved access to high-speed wireless data
  • Fast radio spectrum scanning within defined frequency range
  • Low power requirements

Lab Director:

Peter Kinget, Ph.D.

Patent Information:

Patent Pending (US 20170026066)

Related Publications:

Tech Ventures Reference: