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Yong-hao Tang, Xiao-feng Ma, Wei-xing Sheng, Yu-bing Han

School of Electronic and Optical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, China

Email: tangyonghao1988@gmail.com; maxiaofeng@njust.edu.cn; wxsheng@yahoo.com.cn; hanyb@njust.edu.cn

Abstract—Benefiting from its extra degrees of freedom Some classic DOA estimation algorithms have been

brought by waveform diversity, MIMO radar allows to applied to MIMO radar, such as ESPRIT and MUSIC

optimize the transmit beam-pattern much more freely. In [7-9]. For the reason of larger virtual effective aperture

this paper, a new transmit beamforming algorithm is that obtained by MIMO radar, in some scenarios, these

proposed for subarray MIMO radar. Firstly, the correlation algorithms applied by MIMO radar will have better DOA

matrix of the transmitted waveforms is optimized to focus estimation performance than that applied by conventional

the transmit energy within the interested sectors. Then, the phased-array radar. However, the performance of DOA

eigendecomposition method is applied to calculate the estimation algorithms is still affected by SNR. MIMO

subarray beamforming weights according to optimized radar transmitting orthogonal waveforms is faced with the

correlation matrix. Meanwhile, a principle for determining problem of SNR gain loss, which is unfavorable for DOA

the number of the subarrays is proposed, which will reduce estimation.

the computational complexity for subarray MIMO radar. In In order to mitigate the effects of the SNR gain loss,

addition, simulation results show that the proposed method some energy focus methods are developed for MIMO

obtains a better DOA estimation performance compared to radar recently. These methods can be classified into two

some of the existing transmit beamforming methods. categories: the MIMO radar transmitting partially

Keywords—Subarray MIMO radar, Transmit Beamforming, correlated signals [10][11] and the transmit array

Direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation, Eigendecomposition partitioning based MIMO radar [5][12]. The former

method. focuses the transmit energy within expected spatial

sectors by optimizing the correlation matrix of the

I. INTRODUCTION

transmitted signals, which will help to increase the SNR

In recent years, MIMO radar as an emerging field of gain obtained at the receiver. However, the shortcomings

radar research has attracted more and more attentions of of this method are that designing the partially correlated

scientific researchers [1][2]. Compared with conventional signals according to the optimized correlation matrix has

phased-array radar, MIMO radar may have a similar array a high computational cost and errors which cannot be

structure, whereas the transmitted waveforms may be ignored. The later one partitions the transmit array of

quite different from each other. Due to the extra degrees MIMO radar into several subarrays. Each subarray

of freedom offered by waveform diversity, MIMO radar transmits different waveform independently.

obtains superior capabilities compared with conventional Consequently, transmit coherent gain can be obtained in

phased-array radar, such as higher spatial angular each subarray, which will enhance the performance of

resolution and better parameter identifiability [3-6]. DOA estimation algorithms. Nevertheless, it is a quadratic

Estimating directions-of-arrival (DOAs) of multiple programming problem to design the transmit

targets is one of the most important radar applications in beam-pattern of the transmit array partitioning based

practice. As we all known, spatial angular resolution of MIMO radar, which is often difficult to be solved by

radar is inversely proportional to effective array aperture. convex optimization algorithms directly. Actually, the two

Compared to conventional phased-array radar, MIMO types of MIMO radar mentioned above are both

radar has a higher angular resolution for its larger sacrificing part of the effective array aperture for transmit

effective array aperture provided by waveform diversity.

coherent gain. pointing at the spatial angle θ can be written as

In this paper, a new transmit beamforming algorithm N

matrix of the transmitted waveforms is optimized firstly,

n =1

(2)

by which the transmit energy is focused within the where C=[c1,…,cN] is the transmit beamforming weight

interested sectors. Once the optimized correlation matrix matrix with a dimension of Mt×N, and ФN(t)=[Ф1(t),…,

is obtained, eigendecomposition method is applied to ФN(t)]T is the N×1 transmitted orthogonal waveforms.

calculate the subarray beamforming weights. Meanwhile, Then, the transmit beam-pattern can be written as

fewer orthogonal waveforms are transmitted in the { }

P (θ ) = Ε s (t ,θ ) s H (t ,θ )

proposed method compared to conventional MIMO radar,

which means that less number of subarrays will be used.

H T

{ }

= (C a (θ )) Ε Φ N (t )Φ N H (t ) (C a (θ ))

H ∗

(3)

H H H

The reduction in the number of transmitted orthogonal = a (θ )CC a (θ ) = a ( θ) RC a (θ )

complexity at the receiver. In addition, the proposed H

RC = CC . (4)

method overcomes the shortcoming of subarray MIMO

radar that it is difficult to optimize the beamforming Obviously, P(θ) is a linear function in terms of the

weights of sub-arrays directly, and enables us to design correlation matrix RC. As a result, transmit beam-pattern

the correlation matrix more freely without considering of could be optimized by convex optimization methods

the partially correlated signals design. conveniently, such as the methods in [5] and [10]. Once

This paper is organized as follows. In section II, the the optimized correlation matrix RC has been obtained, we

principle and mathematical model of the proposed could calculate the subarray beamforming weights C

transmit beamforming algorithm are discussed. The according to the equation (4). The eigendecomposition of

simulation results compared to other two methods are the RC is given as follows:

shown to prove the correctness of the proposed algorithm H

RC = UΛU

in section III. Finally, a brief conclusion is given in (5)

section IV. where Λ is the M×M diagonal matrix whose diagonal

elements are the eigenvalues of RC, and U are the

II. PRINCIPLE OF THE ALGORITHM

eigenvectors of RC. It is worth noting that RC is not

Consider a MIMO radar equipped with a transmit always full rank, and some of the eigenvalues are small

array of Mt antennas and a receive array of Mr antennas. relatively (often less than 1% of the largest eigenvalue). In

The transmit and receive arrays are both uniform linearly other words, these zero or small eigenvalues and their

array (ULA), and they are assumed to be closely located corresponding eigenvectors make few, if any, contribution

so that both of them can see a target located in the to the overall transmit beam-pattern. Therefore, only the N

far-field at the same spatial angle. Assume that the largest eigenvalues (whose sum exceeds 99%) and their

transmit array is partitioned to N subarrays, the transmit corresponding eigenvectors are selected to constitute the

beamforming weights of which are defined as subarray beamforming weights, i.e.

cn(n=1,…,N). Note that cn is M×1 weight vector, the zero

) ⋅ Δ]

[ sqrt ( Λ

C=U

element in which represents that the corresponding (6)

antenna does not belong to the nth subarray. Therefore,

where Λ is the N×N diagonal matrix whose diagonal

the transmit energy of the nth subarray received at the elements are the N principal eigenvalues of RC,

angle θ can be written as

U Δ is the

contains corresponding eigenvectors, and

sn (t , θ ) = cn a (θ )Φ n (t )

H

n = 1,..., N correction factor for transmit energy ensuring that

(1)

where Фn(t) is the nth waveform in orthogonal waveforms trace (CC H ) = E (7)

set Ф(t). Thus, the sum of all the beams of subarrays

256

where E denotes the total transmit energy.

2

10

menthod in [5]

III. SIMULATION RESULTS The proposed method

1

10 menthod in [3]

In the section, a MIMO radar system is assumed to

have a transmit array of Mt=10 omni-directional antennas

0

10

RMSE(DEGREES)

spaced half a wavelength apart, which is also used as the -1

10

receive array. The transmit energy E is set as 10. The

additive noise is Gaussian zero-mean σ2-variance spatially -2

10

10

located at directions -1° and 1°, respectively. For the

reason of comparison, we also give the simulations of the -4

10

-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40

MIMO radar which transmits partially correlated SNR(dB)

waveforms in [5]and the transmit array partitioning based Fig. 2 Results of 400 Monte Carlo simulations versus SNR for

MIMO radar in [6]. Throughout our experiments, the ESPRIT-based DOA estimators

number of snapshots is set as L=256 and each method has

completed 400 independent runs in the Monte-Carlo It is defined in [13] that targets can be considered to

analysis and the probability of source resolution test

respectively. be resolved if the following is satisfied:

Fig.1 shows the overall transmit beam-patterns of the Δθ

three kinds of MIMO radar. It can be noticed that the θn − θ n ≤ n = 1, 2 (8)

2

proposed method and the method in [5] have the where θ= θ1－θ2 . Figure 3 shows the probability of

approximate beam-patterns, which are higher than that in resolution versus SNR for all the methods. From this

[6]. It is because of that the former two methods both figure, it is easy to find that the method in [6] has the

adopt the Min-max Sidelobe Beam-pattern Design in [5] worst probability of resolution under low SNR. The

and the proposed method has an approximate correlation proposed method (N=2) has the best probability of

matrix to it in [5]. However, the proposed method has the resolution performance obviously with the least

best DOA estimation performance shown in figure 2, computational complexity of O(23Mr3).

especially under the poor SNR, for the reason that less

orthogonal waveforms are transmitted in the proposed

1

method.

Probability of targets resolution

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

menthod in [5]

The proposed method

menthod in [6]

0

-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40

SNR(dB)

ESPRIT-based DOA estimators

In this paper, the proposed transmit beamforming for

subarray MIMO radar can achieve a superior performance

257

Process., Jun. 2010,vol. 58, no. 6, pp. 3137–3151.

of DOA estimation. First, the correlation matrix of

[4] J. Li, P. Stoica, MIMO radar-Diversity means superiority, in: MIMO

transmitted waveforms is optimized to focus the transmit radar signal processing, Wiley-IEEE press, New York, 2009,

pp.1-64.

energy within the interested sectors. Then, a principle is [5] MA Xiaofeng, TANG Yonghao, SHENG Weixing. Low sidelobe

transmit antenna design for MIMO radar. Chinese Journal of

proposed to transmit fewer orthogonal waveforms, and Radio Science. 2012, 27(6): 1-6.

consequently fewer subarrays are used. Meanwhile, the [6] A. Hassanien and S. A. Vorobyov, “Direction finding for MIMO

radar with colocated antennas using transmit beamspace

proposed method obtains the subarray beamforming preprocessing,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Workshop Comput. Adv.

Multi-Sensor Adapt. Process., Aruba, Dutch Antilles, Dec. 2009, pp.

weights indirectly by applying the eigendecomposition 181–184.

method, which avoids the difficulty in optimizing the [7] I. Bekkerman and J. Tabrikian, Target detection and localization

using MIMO radars and sonars, IEEE Trans. Signal Process. 54

subarray beamforming weights directly and saves the (2006) 3873-3883.

[8] C. Duofang, C. Baixiao, Q. Guodong, Angle estimation using

computational cost of designing the partially correlated ESPRIT in MIMO radar, Electronics Letters. 44 (2008) 770-771.

signals according to the optimized correlation matrix. [9] L. Caicai, L. Guisheng, Z. Shengqi and W. Sunyong, An

ESPRIT-like algorithm for coherent DOA estimation based on data

matrix decomposition in MIMO radar, Signal Processing. 91(2011)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 1803-1811.

[10]D. R. Fuhrmann and G. S. Antonio, Transmit beamforming for

This work was supported by the National Natural MIMO radar systems using signal cross-correlation, IEEE

Trans.Aerosp. Electron. Syst., 2008, 44 (1) : 171 – 186.

Science Foundation of China under Grants 11273017. [11]S. Ahmed, J. S. Thompson, B. Mulgrew, and Y. Petillot,

Unconstrained synthesis of covariance matrix for MIMO radar

REFERENCES transmit beampattern, IEEE Transaction on Signal Processing, 2011,

59（8）：3837 – 3849.

[1] E. Fishler, A. Haimovich, R. Blum, D. Chizhik, L. Cimini, and R. [12]H. Li and B. Himed, Transmit subaperturing for MIMO radars with

Valenzuela, MIMO radar: An idea whose time has come, in: collocated antennas, IEEE J. Sel. Topics Signal Process., Feb.

Proceeding of IEEE radar conference. 2004, pp. 71-78. 2010,vol. 4.

[2] F. Daum and J. Huang, MIMO radar: snake oil or good idea?, IEEE [13]H. L.Van Trees, Optimum Array Processing, Wiley, New York,

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine. 24 (2009) 8-12. 2002.

[3] A. Hassanien and S. Vorobyov, Phased-MIMO radar: A tradeoff

between phased-array and MIMO radars, IEEE Trans. Signal

258

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