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In this paper, the authors consider the problem of finding a spectrum hole of a specified bandwidth in a given wide band of interest. They propose a new, simple and easily implementable sub-Nyquist sampling scheme for signal acquisition and a spectrum hole search algorithm that exploits sparsity in the primary spectral occupancy in the frequency domain by testing a group of adjacent subbands in a single test. The sampling scheme deliberately introduces aliasing during signal acquisition, resulting in a signal that is the sum of signals from adjacent sub-bands. Energy-based hypothesis tests are used to provide an occupancy decision over the group of subbands, and this forms the basis of the proposed algorithm to find contiguous spectrum holes.
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