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The problem of nonstationary signal detection using antenna arrays is considered. A method for detecting source signal auto-term regions in the time-frequency plane is presented, based on spatial time-frequency distribution (STFD) matrices. A general signal detection framework when using arbitrary time-frequency kernels is proposed and the trace of a whitened STFD matrix is used to form an appropriate test statistic. The expressions for the mean and variance of the statistic, necessary to evaluate the test, are provided. The detector performance using the Wigner-Ville distribution is investigated via simulated and theoretical results.