The paper deals with the detection of signals with unknown parameters in impulsive noise, modeled as a spherically symmetric random process. The proposed model subsumes several interesting families of noise amplitude distributions: generalized Cauchy, generalized Laplace, generalized Gaussian, contaminated normal. It also allows handling of the case of correlated noise by a whitening approach. The generalized maximum likelihood decision strategy is adopted, resulting in a canonical detector, which is independent of the amplitude distribution of the noise. A general method for performance evaluation is outlined, and a comprehensive performance analysis is carried out for the case of M-ary equal-energy orthogonal signals under several distributional assumptions for the noise. The performance is contrasted with that of the maximum likelihood receiver for completely known signals, so as to assess the loss due to the a-priori uncertainty as to the signal parameters
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