Target detection and localization using MIMO radars and sonars

Ilya Bekkerman, Joseph Tabrikian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1029 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a new space-time coding configuration for target detection and localization by radar or sonar systems. In common active array systems, the transmitted signal is usually coherent between the different elements of the array. This configuration does not allow array processing in the transmit mode. However, space-time coding of the transmitted signals allows to digitally steer the beam pattern in the transmit in addition to the received signal. The ability to steer the transmitted beam pattern, helps to avoid beam shape loss. We show that the configuration with spatially orthogonal signal transmission is equivalent to additional virtual sensors which extend the array aperture with virtual spatial tapering. These virtual sensors can be used to form narrower beams with lower sidelobes and, therefore, provide higher performance in target detection, angular estimation accuracy, and angular resolution. The generalized likelihood ratio test for target detection and the maximum likelihood and Cramér-Rao bound for target direction estimation are derived for an arbitrary signal coherence matrix. It is shown that the optimal performance is achieved for orthogonal transmitted signals. Target detection and localization performances are evaluated and studied theoretically and via simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3873-3883
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Cramér-Rao bound (CRB)
  • Generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT)
  • MIMO radars
  • MIMO sonars
  • Maximum likelihood
  • Orthogonal signal transmission
  • Space-time coding
  • Transmit beamforming
  • Virtual sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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