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The authors consider a set of cognitive nodes cooperatively sensing the activities of a primary system. Two cooperative protocols are proposed, where cognitive nodes opportunistically transmit to each others, and finally each node makes a decision based its own observations. In the first protocol (Protocol 1), a node relays the signal received from the primary to the other nodes only if the signal energy is sufficiently large. In the second protocol (Protocol 2), given the knowledge of channel gains to the other nodes, a node transmits only if the channel gains are large. With two cognitive nodes, Protocol 1 improves the average detection probability by up to 50% relative to the protocol.
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