The standard analysis of the radiometric detectability of a spread-spectrum signal assumes a background of stationary, white Gaussian noise whose power spectral density can be measured very accurately. This assumption yields a fairly high probability of interception, even for signals of short duration. By explicitly considering the effect of uncertain knowledge of the noise power density, it is demonstrated that detection of these signals by a wideband radiometer can be considerably more difficult in practice than is indicated by the standard result. Worst-case performance bounds are provided as a function of input signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), time-bandwidth (TW) product and peak-to-peak noise uncertainty. The results are illustrated graphically for a number of situations of interest. It is also shown that asymptotically, as the TW product becomes large, the SNR required for detection becomes a function of noise uncertainty only and is independent of the detection parameters and the observation interval.