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MIMO radar: Snake oil or good idea?

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2 Author(s)
Daum, F. ; Raytheon, Woburn, MA, USA ; Huang, J.

MIMO communication is theoretically superior to conventional communication under certain conditions, and MIMO communication also appears to be practical and cost-effective in the real world for some applications. It is natural to suppose that the same is true for MIMO radar, but the situation is not so clear. Researchers claim many advantages of MIMO radar relative to phased array radars (e.g., better detection performance, better angular resolution, better angular measurement accuracy, improved robustness against RFI, ECM, multipath, etc.). We will evaluate such assertions from a system engineering viewpoint. In particular, there are serious trade-offs of MIMO vs. phased array radars relative to cost, system complexity, and risk considering numerous real world effects that are not included in most theoretical analyses. Moreover, in many cases one can achieve essentially the same radar system improvement with phased array radars using simpler, less expensive, and less risky algorithms. We evaluate roughly a dozen asserted advantages of MIMO radar relative to phased arrays.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2009

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