Graduation date: 1968This thesis discusses the analysis, design, and experimental\ud evaluation of an instrument that can be used to detect the presence or\ud absence of a signal, not necessarily known, in a noisy background.\ud The detection principle is based on application of the sign test of\ud distribution-free statistics to the stochastic process defined by the\ud zero-crossing intervals of a signal or signal plus noise process. It\ud is shown that the detector is distribution free in the sense that the\ud false-alarm probability can be evaluated with only a limited knowledge\ud of the statistics of the underlying noise process.\ud A theoretical discussion of the detection principle and false\ud alarm probability analysis is presented in conjunction with design\ud considerations of the circuitry used to implement the zero-crossing\ud analyzer technique. Results of an experimental evaluation with\ud narrow-band noise are presented along with a complete schematic\ud diagram of the analyzer. For a noise filter center frequency of 10.3\ud kHz and with the signal frequency removed from the filter center\ud frequency by at least 300 Hz, reliable detection can generally be obtained\ud with a signal to noise power ratio of -8 dB
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