Cognitive radio for smart grids: Survey of architectures, spectrum sensing mechanisms, and networking protocols

Athar Ali Khan, Mubashir Husain Rehmani, Martin Reisslein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

283 Scopus citations


Traditional power grids are currently being transformed into smart grids (SGs). SGs feature multi-way communication among energy generation, transmission, distribution, and usage facilities. The reliable, efficient, and intelligent management of complex power systems requires integration of high-speed, reliable, and secure data information and communication technology into the SGs to monitor and regulate power generation and usage. Despite several challenges, such as trade-offs between wireless coverage and capacity as well as limited spectral resources in SGs, wireless communication is a promising SG communications technology. Cognitive radio networks (CRNs) in particular are highly promising for providing timely SG wireless communications by utilizing all available spectrum resources. We provide in this paper a comprehensive survey on the CRN communication paradigm in SGs, including the system architecture, communication network compositions, applications, and CR-based communication technologies. We highlight potential applications of CR-based SG systems. We survey CR-based spectrum sensing approaches with their major classifications. We also provide a survey on CR-based routing and MAC protocols, and describe interference mitigation schemes. We furthermore present open issues and research challenges faced by CR-based SG networks along with future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7275088
Pages (from-to)860-898
Number of pages39
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)
  • Cognitive radio network (CRN)
  • Communication architecture
  • Smart grid (SG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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