Doctoral Dissertations


Colin Stagner

Keywords and Phrases

Electromagnetic radiative interference; Radar applications


"Electronically-initiated explosives can have unintended electromagnetic emissions which propagate through walls and sealed containers. These emissions, if properly characterized, enable the prompt and accurate detection of explosive threats. The following dissertation develops and evaluates techniques for detecting and locating common electronic initiators. The unintended emissions of radio receivers and microcontrollers are analyzed. These emissions are low-power radio signals that result from the device's normal operation. In the first section, it is demonstrated that arbitrary signals can be injected into a radio receiver's unintended emissions using a relatively weak stimulation signal. This effect is called stimulated emissions. The performance of stimulated emissions is compared to passive detection techniques. The novel technique offers a 5 to 10 dB sensitivity improvement over passive methods for detecting radio receivers. The second section develops a radar-like technique for accurately locating radio receivers. The radar utilizes the stimulated emissions technique with wideband signals. A radar-like system is designed and implemented in hardware. Its accuracy tested in a noisy, multipath-rich, indoor environment. The proposed radar can locate superheterodyne radio receivers with a root mean square position error less than 5 meters when the SNR is 15 dB or above. In the third section, an analytic model is developed for the unintended emissions of microcontrollers. It is demonstrated that these emissions consist of a periodic train of impulses. Measurements of an 8051 microcontroller validate this model. The model is used to evaluate the noise performance of several existing algorithms. Results indicate that the pitch estimation techniques have a 4 dB sensitivity improvement over epoch folding algorithms"--Abstract, page iii.


Grant, Steven L.

Committee Member(s)

Beetner, Daryl G.
Kosbar, Kurt Louis
Zoughi, R.
McMillin, Bruce M.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering


United States. Department of Homeland Security
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Wilkens Missouri Endowment


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2013

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • A practical superheterodyne-receiver detector using stimulated emissions.
  • Locating noncooperative radio receivers using wideband stimulated emissions.


x, 93 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2013 Colin Stagner, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Electromagnetic interference -- Computer simulation
Signal detection -- Computer simulation
Electromagnetic waves -- Computer simulation
Superheterodyne receivers
Sensor networks
Software radio

Thesis Number

T 10369

Electronic OCLC #