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An experimental study on the statistical properties of radio environment noise

We study the statistical characteristics of radio environment noise, in particular focusing on spurious received power arising from adjacent channel interference, harmonics and wideband man-made interference. Unlike the majority of existing studies, our measurements enable a comprehensive study on frequencies ranging from 80MHz to 2.64 GHz instead of being focused on the properties of an application-specific narrow band. We also apply a comprehensive statistical methodology to study how closely the measured noise can be modeled using a traditional white Gaussian stochastic process.

In particular, we do not only focus on the parametric modeling of the marginal power distribution, but seek deviations from the whiteness of the noise through detailed time domain characterization, and apply a rigorous hypothesis testing on deviations from normality. Our results show that while the measured noise is often close to being white and nearly Gaussian, these properties are not as universal as often assumed in the literature. In particular, impulsive noise causes deviations both from normality of the marginals, as well as from the whiteness of the spectrum at levels that depend on the environment.