In this paper, a cognitive radio engine platform is proposed for exploiting available frequency channels for a tactical wireless sensor network while aiming to protect incumbent communication devices, known as the primary user (PU), from undesired harmful interference. In the field of tactical communication networks, there is an urgent need to identify available frequencies for opportunistic and dynamic access to channels on which the PU is active. This paper introduces a cognitive engine platform for determining the available channels on the basis of a case-based reasoning technique deployable as a core functionality on a cognitive radio engine to enable dynamic spectrum access (DSA) with high fidelity. To this end, a plausible learning engine to characterize the channel usage pattern is introduced to extract the best channel candidate for the tactical cognitive radio node (TCRN). The performance of the proposed cognitive engine was verified by simulation tests that confirmed the reliability of the functional aspect, which includes the learning engine, as well as the case-based reasoning engine. Moreover, the efficacy of the TCRN with regard to the avoidance of collision with the PU operation, considered the etiquette secondary user (SU), was demonstrated.
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