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Array processing is widely used in sensing applications for estimating the locations and waveforms of the sources in a given field. In the absence of a large number of snapshots, which is the case in numerous practical applications, such as underwater array processing, it becomes challenging to estimate the source parameters accurately. This paper presents a nonparametric and hyperparameter, free-weighted, least squares-based iterative adaptive approach for amplitude and phase estimation (IAA-APES) in array processing. IAA-APES can work well with few snapshots (even one), uncorrelated, partially correlated, and coherent sources, and arbitrary array geometries. IAA-APES is extended to give sparse results via a model-order selection tool, the Bayesian information criterion (BIC). Moreover, it is shown that further improvements in resolution and accuracy can be achieved by applying the parametric relaxation-based cyclic approach (RELAX) to refine the IAA-APES&BIC estimates if desired. IAA-APES can also be applied to active sensing applications, including single-input single-output (SISO) radar/sonar range-Doppler imaging and multi-input single-output (MISO) channel estimation for communications. Simulation results are presented to evaluate the performance of IAA-APES for all of these applications, and IAA-APES is shown to outperform a number of existing approaches.