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In this paper, we propose a transmit beamspace energy focusing technique for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar with application to direction finding for multiple targets. The general angular directions of the targets are assumed to be located within a certain spatial sector. We focus the energy of multiple (two or more) transmitted orthogonal waveforms within that spatial sector using transmit beamformers which are designed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) gain at each receive antenna. The subspace decomposition-based techniques such as MUSIC can then be used for direction finding for multiple targets. Moreover, the transmit beamformers can be designed so that matched-filtering the received data to the waveforms yields multiple (two or more) data sets with rotational invariance property that allows applying search-free direction finding techniques such as ESPRIT or parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). Unlike previously reported MIMO radar ESPRIT/PARAFAC-based direction finding techniques, our method achieves the rotational invariance property in a different manner combined also with the transmit energy focusing. As a result, it achieves better estimation performance at lower computational cost. The corresponding Cramer-Rao bound is derived and its dependence on the number of waveforms used is discussed. Simulation results also show the superiority of the proposed technique over the existing techniques.
Date of Publication: June 2011