Dual-function radar-communications (DFRC) systems implement radar and communication functionalities on a single platform. Jointly designing these subsystems can lead to substantial gains in performance as well as size, cost, and power consumption. In this paper, we propose a DFRC system, which utilizes generalized spatial modulation (GSM) to realize coexisting radar and communications waveforms. Our proposed GSM-based scheme, referred to as spatial modulation based communication-radar (SpaCoR) system, allocates antenna elements among the subsystems based on the transmitted message, thus achieving increased communication rates by embedding additional data bits in the antenna selection. We formulate the resulting signal models, and present a dedicated radar processing scheme. To evaluate the radar performance, we characterize the statistical properties of the transmit beam pattern. Then, we present a hardware prototype of the proposed DFRC system, demonstrating the feasibility of the scheme. Our results show that the proposed GSM system achieves improved communication performance compared to techniques utilizing fixed allocations operating at the same data rate. For the radar subsystem, our experiments show that the spatial agility induced by the GSM transmission improves the angular resolution and reduces the sidelobe level in the transmit beam pattern compared to using fixed antenna allocations.
- Joint radar-communications system
- spatial modulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Automotive Engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Applied Mathematics