FRaC: FMCW-Based Joint Radar-Communications System Via Index Modulation

DIngyou Ma, Nir Shlezinger, Tianyao Huang, Yimin Liu, Yonina Eldar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Dual function radar communications (DFRC) systems are attractive technologies for autonomous vehicles, which utilize electromagnetic waves to constantly sense the environment while simultaneously communicating with neighbouring devices. An emerging approach to implementing DFRC systems is to embed information in radar waveforms via index modulation (IM). Implementation of DFRC schemes in vehicular systems gives rise to strict constraints in terms of cost, power efficiency, and hardware complexity. In this paper, we extend IM-based DFRC systems to utilizing sparse arrays and frequency modulated continuous waveforms (FMCWs), which are popular in automotive radar for their simplicity and low hardware complexity. The proposed FMCW-based radar-communications system (FRaC) operates at reduced cost and complexity by transmitting with a reduced number of radio frequency modules, combined with narrowband FMCW signalling. This is achieved via array sparsification in transmission, formulating a virtual multiple-input multiple-output array by combining the signals in one coherent processing interval, in which the narrowband waveforms are transmitted in a randomized manner. Performance analysis and numerical results show that the proposed radar scheme achieves similar resolution performance compared with a wideband radar system operating with a large receive aperture, while requiring less hardware overhead. For the communications subsystem, FRaC achieves higher rates and improved error rates compared to dual-function signalling based on conventional phase modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1364
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Automotive radar
  • FMCW
  • Index modulation
  • MIMO radar
  • dual function radar communications system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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