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Cognitive Radio Networks for Tactical Wireless Communications

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Technical Report

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Defence Research and Development Canada - Ottawa Research Centre Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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The modern battlefield is a demanding environment for tactical radio networks in that in addition to the variation in the wireless propagation environment, the radio must co-exist and contend with a high density of emitters having varying waveforms. Cognitive Radio CR is widely considered as a promising technology for providing the mechanisms to mitigate interference, and allow more flexible and dynamic radio resource allocation. Many nations and organizations have put forward a roadmap for applying Cognitive Radio Networks CRN to tactical communications an overview of these is given in this report. We will also document current Canadian defense Research and Development R and D programs in this area, and provide our perspectives and plans for future research. We look at the significance of cognitive radio networks for our future tactical wireless communications, in terms of the benefits, technological challenges, and the implications for security. CRNs are expected to provide benefits such as Dynamic Spectrum Access for fast network deployment and ease of spectrum congestion, increased communications resilience in dynamic, heterogeneous environments, and may provide the basis for the tactical radio as a multi-functional radio-frequency RF unit, capable of supporting intelligent Cyber Electromagnetic EM attacks and defenses. In our current and future research, we wish to provide solutions which empower the CRN to achieve all of these benefits without compromising security.

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