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Recent research indicates the potential of MIMO radar with dispersed antennas to achieve high target localization accuracy via coherent processing. Coherent processing requires phase synchronization. Usually, perfect phase synchronization is difficult to realize. Assuming frequency synchronization, possibly through reception of a beacon, and white noise, possibly due to estimating the covariance matrix and whitening the observations, we consider the impact of static phase errors at the transmitters and receivers for cases with sufficiently high SNR such that the Cramer-Rao bound (CRB) provides accurate performance estimates. We model the phase errors as random variables and discuss the impact of these errors on target localization performance. In a few example cases the CRB is computed and compared with those in the ideal coherent and noncoherent processing cases. For these examples, using numerical results, we will show that at high enough signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), phase errors degrade performance only by a relatively small amount.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2010