Cognitive Radio, being much discussed, is a computer driven adaptive technology often defined as “networks are sufficiently computationally intelligent about radio resources and related computer-to-computer communications to detect user communications needs as a function of use context, and to provide radio resources and wireless services most appropriate to those needs.”
More simply put, Net & Radio resources that evaluate, an then adapt method-mode-frequency-priority-sequncing, all based both evaluation of the original message and the technology & environmental opportunities to communicate the message.
Commercial/Governmental/Military have long used varying evaluative systems, though often hybrid manual/computer, to handle traffic with some of the decision tree that goes into Cognitive Radio systems.
How Useful would Cognitive Radio Systems (CRS) be for Amateur Radio? Other than experimentation Amateur Radio tends to not have the repetitive hierarchical traffic that is the best fit for CRS. Perhaps in the Emcom mode there is some utility, but more likely under a RACES type structure than a normal amateur use.
One wonders if CRS are warranted, or Just Complexity Because We Can? Just a digital SSB has a small place, but doesn’t seem currently a candidate to replace analogue SSB on a large scale, CRS is interesting, but lacks amateur utility.
That the frequency hopping runs afoul of the FCC rules for Amateur Radio HF Bands may be a problem.
Does the user loose control or is it an aid? Many who have experienced a major CRS communications environment recognize what this question is about – will your traffic authenticate and be moved, be “bumped” by higher priority traffic, or be shut off? CRS designs very strictly control the traffic that is passed in a way that is not typical for Amateur Radio. We may refuse certain passed traffic over content, third party rules or for other very limited reasons, but there is no “Control” like CRS where traffic can be manipulated or deleted.
I should be clear that there are many different concepts of CRS, some that are more technical (TETRA and other cell/near-cell ideas), some that are adaptive within fairly tight confines, and a pure theoretical CRS idea of being fully adaptive on every possible axis.
While there are likely fortunes and fates at stake in the serious use of CRS, for the present Amateur Radio community it looks of limited utility – an ideal experimentation area, but not a paradigm shift for the hobby as a whole.