cognitive radio


: a system of wireless communication allowing a device to automatically detect an open or unused radio frequency and switch to it in order to improve performance
This strategy would allow a portable radio receiver to monitor a wide swath of the spectrum at all times without swiftly burning through its batteries. That will be important in the much-anticipated world of cognitive radio, in which our handsets become agile enough to exploit frequencies that are fair game only when a higher-priority user hasn't claimed them.Clark T.-C. Nguyen, IEEE Spectrum, 12 Dec. 2009
For example, if the government has reserved some spectrum for use at an Air Force bombing range, but no bombing is happening on a particular day, cognitive radio could allow a phone to sense the open channel and switch to it.Brian X. Chen, The New York Times, 7 June 2012

Word History

First Known Use

1999, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cognitive radio was in 1999

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Dictionary Entries Near cognitive radio

Cite this Entry

“Cognitive radio.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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