Performance evaluation and waveform design for MIMO radar
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Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar has been receiving increasing attention in recent years due to the dramatic advantages offered by MIMO systems in communications. The amount of energy reflected from a common radar target varies considerably with the observation angle, and these scintillations may cause signal fading which severely degrades the performance of conventional radars. MIMO radar with widely spaced antennas is able to view several aspects of a target simultaneously, which realizes a spatial diversity gain to overcome the target scintillation problem, leading to significantly enhanced system performance. Building on the initial studies presented in the literature, MIMO radar is investigated in detail in this thesis. First of all, a finite scatterers model is proposed, based on which the target detection performance of a MIMO radar system with arbitrary array-target configurations is evaluated and analyzed. A MIMO radar involving a realistic target is also set up, whose simulation results corroborate the conclusions drawn based on theoretical target models, validating in a practical setting the improvements in detection performance brought in by the MIMO radar configuration. Next, a hybrid bistatic radar is introduced, which combines the phased-array and MIMO radar configurations to take advantage of both coherent processing gain and spatial diversity gain simultaneously. The target detection performance is first assessed, followed by the evaluation of the direction finding performance, i.e., performance of estimating angle of arrival as well as angel of departure. The presented theoretical expressions can be used to select the best architecture for a radar system, particularly when the total number of antennas is fixed. Finally, a novel two phase radar scheme involving signal retransmission is studied. It is based on the time-reversal (TR) detection and is investigated to improve the detection performance of a wideband MIMO radar or sonar system. Three detectors demanding various amounts of a priori information are developed, whose performance is evaluated and compared. Three schemes are proposed to design the retransmitted waveform with constraints on the transmitted signal power, further enhancing the detection performance with respect to the TR approach.