Efficient Wideband Spectrum Sensing Using MEMS Acoustic Resonators


Junfeng Guan, Jitian Zhang, Ruochen Lu, Hyungjoo Seo, Jin Zhou, Songbin Gong, and Haitham Hassanieh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


This paper presents S^3, an efficient wideband spectrum sensing system that can detect the real-time occupancy of bands in large spectrum. S^3 samples the wireless spectrum below the Nyquist rate using cheap, commodity, low power analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). In contrast to existing sub-Nyquist sampling techniques, which can only work for sparsely occupied spectrum, S^3 can operate correctly even in dense spectrum. This makes it ideal for practical environments with dense spectrum occupancy, which is where spectrum sensing is most useful. To do so, S^3 leverages MEMS acoustic resonators that enable spike-train like filters in the RF frequency domain. These filters sparsify the spectrum while at the same time allow S^3 to monitor a small fraction of bandwidth in every band.

We introduce a new structured sparse recovery algorithm that enables S^3 to accurately detect the occupancy of multiple bands across a wide spectrum. We use our fabricated chip-scale MEMS spike-train filter to build a prototype of an S^3 spectrum sensor using low power off-the-shelf components. Results from a testbed of 19 radios show that S^3 can accurately detect the channel occupancies over a 418 MHz spectrum while sampling $8.5 times below the Nyquist rate even if the spectrum is densely occupied.

NSDI '21 Open Access Sponsored by NetApp

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@inproceedings {265011,
author = {Junfeng Guan and Jitian Zhang and Ruochen Lu and Hyungjoo Seo and Jin Zhou and Songbin Gong and Haitham Hassanieh},
title = {Efficient Wideband Spectrum Sensing Using {MEMS} Acoustic Resonators},
booktitle = {18th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 21)},
year = {2021},
isbn = {978-1-939133-21-2},
pages = {809--825},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi21/presentation/guan},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr

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