Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Electrical and Systems Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Arye Nehorai


The contributions of this dissertation are in the fields of biologically inspired sensing and multi-input multi-output: MIMO) radar array processing. In our research on biologically inspired sensing, we focus on the mechanically coupled ears of the female Ormia ochracea. Despite the small distance between its ears, the Ormia has a remarkable localization ability. We statistically analyze the localization accuracy of the Ormia's coupled ears, and illustrate the improvement in the localization performance due to the mechanical coupling. Inspired by the Ormia's ears, we analytically design coupled small-sized antenna arrays with high localization accuracy and radiation performance. Such arrays are essential for sensing systems in military and civil applications, which are confined to small spaces. We quantitatively demonstrate the improvement in the antenna array's radiation and localization performance due to the biologically inspired coupling. On MIMO radar, we first propose a statistical target detection method in the presence of realistic clutter. We use a compound-Gaussian distribution to model the heavy tailed characteristics of sea and foliage clutter. We show that MIMO radars are useful to discriminate a target from clutter using the spatial diversity of the illuminated area, and hence MIMO radar outperforms conventional phased-array radar in terms of target-detection capability. Next, we develop a robust target detector for MIMO radar in the presence of a phase synchronization mismatch between transmitter and receiver pairs. Such mismatch often occurs due to imperfect knowledge of the locations as well as local oscillator characteristics of the antennas, but this fact has been ignored by most researchers. Considering such errors, we demonstrate the degradation in detection performance. Finally, we analyze the sensitivity of MIMO radar target detection to changes in the cross-correlation levels: CCLs) of the received signals. Prior research about MIMO radar assumes orthogonality among the received signals for all delay and Doppler pairs. However, due to the use of antennas which are widely separated in space, it is impossible to maintain this orthogonality in practice. We develop a target-detection method considering the non-orthogonality of the received data. In contrast to the common assumption, we observe that the effect of non-orthogonality is significant on detection performance.


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