Noncoherent MIMO radar for location and velocity estimation: More antennas means better performance

Qian He, Rick S. Blum, Alexander M. Haimovich

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216 Scopus citations


This paper presents an analysis of the joint estimation of target location and velocity using a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar employing noncoherent processing for a complex Gaussian extended target. A MIMO radar with M transmit and $N$ receive antennas is considered. To provide insight, we focus on a simplified case first, assuming orthogonal waveforms, temporally and spatially white noise-plus-clutter, and independent reflection coefficients. Under these simplifying assumptions, the maximum-likelihood (ML) estimate is analyzed, and a theorem demonstrating the asymptotic consistency, large MN, of the ML estimate is provided. Numerical investigations, given later, indicate similar behavior for some reasonable cases violating the simplifying assumptions. In these initial investigations, we study unconstrained systems, in terms of complexity and energy, where each added transmit antenna employs a fixed energy so that the total transmitted energy is allowed to increase as we increase the number of transmit antennas. Following this, we also look at constrained systems, where the total system energy and complexity are fixed. To approximate systems of fixed complexity in an abstract way, we restrict the total number of antennas employed to be fixed. Here, we show numerical examples which indicate a preference for receive antennas, similar to MIMO communications, but where systems with multiple transmit antennas yield the smallest possible mean-square error (MSE). The joint CramrRao bound (CRB) is calculated and the MSE of the ML estimate is analyzed. It is shown for some specific numerical examples that the signal-to-clutter-plus-noise ratio (SCNR) threshold, indicating the SCNRs above which the MSE of the ML estimate is reasonably close to the CRB, can be lowered by increasing MN. The noncoherent MIMO radar ambiguity function (AF) is developed in two different ways and illustrated by examples. It is shown for some specific examples that the size of the product MN controls the levels of the sidelobes of the AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5422709
Pages (from-to)3661-3680
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Ambiguity function (AF)
  • Cramér-Rao bound (CRB)
  • Joint estimation
  • Mean-square error (MSE)
  • Noncoherent MIMO radar


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