Artificial noise-aided physical layer security in underlay cognitive massive MIMO systems with pilot contamination

Hayder Al-Hraishawi, Gayan Amarasuriya Aruma Baduge, Rafael F. Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this paper, a secure communication model for cognitive multi-user massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems with underlay spectrum sharing is investigated. A secondary (cognitive) multi-user massive MIMO system is operated by using underlay spectrum sharing within a primary (licensed) multi-user massive MIMO system. A passive multi-antenna eavesdropper is assumed to be eavesdropping upon either the primary or secondary confidential transmissions. To this end, a physical layer security strategy is provisioned for the primary and secondary transmissions via artificial noise (AN) generation at the primary base-station (PBS) and zero-forcing precoders. Specifically, the precoders are constructed by using the channel estimates with pilot contamination. In order to degrade the interception of confidential transmissions at the eavesdropper, the AN sequences are transmitted at the PBS by exploiting the excess degrees-of-freedom offered by its massive antenna array and by using random AN shaping matrices. The channel estimates at the PBS and secondary base-station (SBS) are obtained by using non-orthogonal pilot sequences transmitted by the primary user nodes (PUs) and secondary user nodes (SUs), respectively. Hence, these channel estimates are affected by intra-cell pilot contamination. In this context, the detrimental effects of intra-cell pilot contamination and channel estimation errors for physical layer secure communication are investigated. For this system set-up, the average and asymptotic achievable secrecy rate expressions are derived in closed-form. Specifically, these performance metrics are studied for imperfect channel state information (CSI) and for perfect CSI, and thereby, the secrecy rate degradation due to inaccurate channel knowledge and intra-cell pilot contamination is quantified. Our analysis reveals that a physical layer secure communication can be provisioned for both primary and secondary massive MIMO systems even with the channel estimation errors and pilot contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number349
Issue number7
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial noise
  • Cognitive radio
  • MassiveMIMO
  • Physical layer security
  • Pilot contamination


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