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We consider the direction-finding problem in partly calibrated arrays composed of several calibrated and identically oriented (but possibly nonidentical) subarrays that are displaced by unknown (and possibly time-varying) vector translations. A new search-free eigenstructure-based direction-finding approach is proposed for such class of sensor arrays. It is referred to as the rank-reduction (RARE) estimator and enjoys simple implementation that entails computing the eigendecomposition of the sample array covariance matrix and polynomial rooting. Closed-form expressions for the deterministic Cramer-Rao bounds (CRBs) on direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation for the considered class of sensor arrays are derived. Comparison of these expressions with simulation results show that the finite-sample performance of RARE algorithms in both time-invariant and time-varying array cases is close to the corresponding bounds. Moreover, comparisons of the derived CRBs with the well-known bounds for the fully calibrated time-invariant array case help to discover several interesting properties of DOA estimation in partly calibrated and time-varying arrays.
Date of Publication: Sep 2002