Optimal joint target detection and parameter estimation by MIMO radar

Ali Tajer, Guido H. Jajamovich, Xiaodong Wang, George V. Moustakides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We consider multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar systems with widely spaced antennas. Such antenna configuration facilitates capturing the inherent diversity gain due to independent signal dispersion by the target scatterers. We consider a new MIMO radar framework for detecting a target that lies in an unknown location. This is in contrast with conventional MIMO radars which break the space into small cells and aim at detecting the presence of a target in a specified cell. We treat this problem through offering a novel composite hypothesis testing framework for target detection when 1) one or more parameters of the target are unknown and we are interested in estimating them, and 2) only a finite number of observations are available. The test offered optimizes a metric which accounts for both detection and estimation accuracies. In this paper, as the parameter of interest we focus on the vector of time-delays that the waveforms undergo from being emitted by the transmit antennas until being observed by the receive antennas. The analytical and empirical results establish that for the proposed joint target detection and time-delay estimation framework, MIMO radars exhibit significant gains over phased-array radars for extended targets which consist of multiple independent scatterers. For point targets modeled as single scatterers, however, the detection/estimation accuracies of MIMO and phased-array radars for this specific setup (joint target detection and time-delay estimation) are comparable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5393288
Pages (from-to)127-145
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Diversity gain
  • Finite-sample
  • Generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT)
  • Joint estimation/detection


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