Empirical Validation of Commodity Spectrum Monitoring

Ana Nika
Zhijing Li
Yanzi Zhu
Yibo Zhu
Ben Y. Zhao
Xia Zhou
Haitao Zheng

Proceedings of 14th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2016)

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Paper Abstract

We describe our efforts to empirically validate a distributed spectrum monitoring system built on commodity smartphones and embedded low-cost spectrum sensors. This system enables real-time spectrum sensing, identifies and locates active transmitters, and generates alarm events when detecting anomalous transmitters. To evaluate the feasibility of such a platform, we perform detailed experiments using a prototype hardware platform using smartphones and RTL dongles. We identify multiple sources of error in the sensing results and the end-user overhead (i.e. smartphone energy draw). We propose and implement a variety of techniques to identify and overcome errors and uncertainty in the data, and to reduce energy consumption. Our work demonstrates the basic viability of user-driven spectrum monitoring on commodity devices.