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Ambiguity-Function-Based Techniques to Estimate DOA of Broadband Chirp Signals


Ning Ma, Senior Member, IEEE and Joo Thiam Goh, Member, IEEE
AbstractVarious methods are available to perform direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation for random sources. However, the work on DOA estimation of deterministic sources, such as broadband chirp signals, is quite limited. This paper proposes two novel methods for broadband chirp DOA estimation (BCD), namely the incoherent broadband chirp DOA estimation (BCD-I) and coherent broadband chirp DOA estimation (BCD-C). The proposed methods exploit the time-frequency structure of the chirp signal via the ambiguity function, which converts the absolute time and frequency of the chirp signal into relative time lag and frequency difference. The algorithms can be applied to arrays of any aperture size and arbitrary chirp rate signals. The signal frequency of the source can be higher than the conventional array design frequency, and the number of sources can be greater than the number of sensors as long as the signals are separable in the ambiguity function plane. These methods can be applied to single or multiple chirps with the same or different chirp rates. The performance analysis shows that our algorithms generally provide improvements in the DOA estimation of the broadband chirp sources. Index TermsAmbiguity function, broadband DOA estimation, chirp signal.

I. INTRODUCTION

HE broadband chirp or linear frequency-modulated (LFM) signals are frequently used in sonar and radar systems because of its good performance in both Doppler frequency and time-delay estimation. To estimate the direction-of-arrivals (DOAs) of broadband signals, the conventional methods [1][4] assume that the signals are white random processes carrying no information of interest. These techniques usually use Fourier transform to decompose the broadband signal into narrowband components. Thereafter, by averaging the narrowband spatial spectra over different frequency bins, the incoherent broadband DOA estimation is obtained from the averaged spectrum. The coherent approach focuses or interpolates the narrowband data from different frequency bins into one selected frequency and then applying a narrowband DOA estimation method to the focused or interpolated data. When the signals of interest have certain time-frequency structure, such as chirps, these conventional methods may not
Manuscript received June 2004; revised March 2005. This work was supported by the Directorate of Research and Development, Defence Science and Technology Agency, Singapore. Parts of the paper were published in the Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), Vol. 2, May 2004, pp. 261264. The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Dr. Christ D. Richmond. The authors are with DSO National Laboratories, Singapore Science Park, Singapore 118320 (e-mail: mning@dso.org.sg; gjoothia@dso.org.sg). Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TSP.2006.871977

provide the optimal solutions. By exploiting the time-frequency structure of chirps, the DOA estimation performance can be improved [5][10]. However, these existing methods have certain limitations. The method proposed by Belouchrani and Amin [5] can only be used for narrowband chirp signals. Amin et al. [6] uses the spatial ambiguity function for estimating the DOAs of narrowband signals and removing the interferences of broadband chirps. The method of Wang et al. [7] uses an iterative algorithm to estimate the broadband chirp DOAs, but the convergence of the algorithm is not guaranteed and is sensitive to the choice of the initial values. The broadband method proposed by Gershman et al. [8], [9] assumes that the instantaneous signal frequencies do not change during the time needed for a wave to travel across the array aperture. This assumption is not always true, particularly for large aperture array and high chirp rate signals. The method proposed in [10] requires that the chirp rates of multiple signals must be different. In this paper, we present a class of broadband chirp DOA (BCD) estimation algorithms that are based on the ambiguity functions [11] of the sensor outputs to overcome some of the aforementioned limitations. Part of this work was published earlier in [14]. Some advantages of our proposed methods include the following: they work well even when the number of sources is greater than the number of sensors; the upper frequency limit of the signal can be higher than the conventional array design frequency without causing spatial aliasing; the methods work well even for multiple chirps having the same or different chirp rates; the methods can be used for any array aperture size and any chirp rate.

The only conditions for applying our proposed methods are that the chirp rates are known and the signals are separable in the ambiguity function plane. For active sonars, radars, and communication systems, the chirp rates are usually known. If the signals chirp rate is not known a priori, there exist methods for estimating the chirp rate [12], [13]. In this paper, the chirp rate is assumed to be known, in order to concentrate on the DOA estimation problem. Simulation results and theoretical performance analysis show that our proposed techniques outperform the existing methods for both low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and closely located sources. This paper is organized as follows. In Section II, we present the theoretical development of the two proposed algorithms and their applications for multiple chirps. In Section III,

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we conduct the simulation experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods. A treatment of theoretical performance analysis is detailed in Section IV. Finally, conclusions are given in Section V. II. THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT A. Review of Correlation Based DOA Estimation Consider an array of sensors receiving independent narrowband random signals with center frequency impinging from the unknown directions . The vector of sensor outputs can be modeled as (1) where is the is the array manifold, propagation vector of the th source, is the vector of the source signals at time , and is the vector of additive white noise, which is not correlated to the signals. The correlation matrix of the sensor output vector is given by (2) where denotes the Hermitian transpose, denotes the statistical expectation, is the signal correlation matrix, which is a diagonal matrix with each diagonal element corresponding is the noise power. This sensor to the signal power, and output correlation matrix is used for DOA estimation by the well-known correlation-based methods, such as conventional beamforming (CBF), minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR), and multisignal classication (MUSIC). The narrowband spatial spectra estimated by these methods are respectively given below: (3) (4) (5) is the steering vector, is the signal frequency, where is the look direction, and is the noise subspace that can be estimated from the correlation matrix via eigen decomposition. For an arbitrary array geometry, the steering vector can be described by

As shown in (6) and (7), the steering vector depends on the signal frequency. To avoid spatial aliasing, the signal frequency . To estimate the broadband signal DOA, must satisfy conventional incoherent broadband DOA estimation methods decompose each sensor signal into narrowband components via discrete Fourier transform (DFT), evaluate the correlation matrix for each frequency bin, calculate the narrowband spatial spectrum in each frequency bin, and then average or integrate the spectra of different frequency bins. Coherent methods convert the signal from the time domain into the frequency domain via DFT. This is followed by converting different frequency components into one specic frequency by a focusing matrix and nally applying the narrowband DOA estimation techniques to the focused data. A key assumption made when applying these methods is that the signal is a stationary white process. When the source signals have certain time-frequency structures, these methods do not provide the optimal solution since the signal time-frequency structures are not exploited. B. Incoherent Broadband Chirp DOA Estimation A chirp signal can be expressed as (8) where is the signal amplitude, is the starting frequency, is the chirp rate, and is the signal time duration. When the chirp source is located in the direction to an array of sensors, the th sensor output is given by (9) where is the unknown starting time of the received chirp in all the sensors, and the noise is white with a power of . The vector of the array output can be written as (10) The propagation vector in this model is given by

(11) Hence, the steering vector depends not only on space but also on the signal starting time and the chirp parameters. In order to estimate source DOA, the signal parameters, the starting frequency , the chirp rate , and the chirp starting time need to be known. However, in practical applications where SNR is often low, it is difcult to accurately determine the signal starting time. Therefore, it is not advisable to use the steering vector (11) for the DOA estimation of chirp signals. is dened as [11] The auto-ambiguity function of a signal (12) where and are time lag and frequency lag, respectively, denotes the conjugate operation. This auto-ambiguity function presents the frequency difference between and ,

(6) for is the time delay of the th where sensor signal relative to a reference point for the wave coming from direction . For a uniform linear array, the steering vector is given by

(7) where is the interelement spacing and is the wave propagation speed.

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which is different from the cross-ambiguity function used in sonars and radars. The cross-ambiguity function of the signals and is dened as (13) To simplify the discussion, we rst consider a single-chirp scenario. The solution for multiple chirps will be discussed later. , we have Letting . Assume the noise being an ergodic process, the autois given by ambiguity function of (14) where is the noise energy, delta function dened as denotes the Kronecker

with several sidelobes. The width of on the straight line the main lobe depends on the signal length and the amplitudes . The noise energy is of the sidelobes decrease with concentrated at . Assuming that the chirp rate is known, the two-dimensional (2-D) ambiguity function (17) can be reduced to a one-dimensional (1-D) function by selecting the values along the straight . The 1-D ambiguity function is expressed as line

(21) where

(22) otherwise (15) otherwise is approximately a white and , according to the Gaussian noise with zero mean when central limit theorem [18]. The importance of using the auto-ambiguity function in (21) is that the time of arrival of broadband chirp signal at each sensor element is converted into a phase shift which is related to the time lag. The spatial information is fully captured in this phase shift. denote the vector of the sensors 1-D ambiLet guity functions at given by (23) (17) This can be rewritten as (24) where the revised propagation vector is (25) It is worthwhile to mention that the propagation vector in (11) depends on the unknown starting time of the chirp signal. In contrast, the new propagation vector in (25) depends only on the unknown source DOA. Thus, the source DOA estimation can be carried out without estimating . Therefore, it is not critical in the following discussions on DOA estimation methods, and . As is constrained by henceforth, we will assume , we recommend rst performing a detection in the averaged sensors ambiguity functions to identify amplitudes of the

in (8) and the auto-ambiguity function of the chirp signal is given by (16), shown at the bottom of the page. The signal model in (14) is deterministic. However, when the integration time is limited, there are cross terms and the autoterm associated in the with the noise. Since the signal is only located in ambiguity function (16), we use the chirp time duration as the integration time to simplify the discussion. The auto-ambiguity with integration time has the form function of

where the noise component

is given by

(18) and the signal component is given by (19), shown at the bottom of the page, where the signal starting time is relative to the integration starting time. In the following discussion, the ambiguity function with limited integration time (17) is used since this corresponds to how the algorithms will be implemented in practice. The expectation of (17) is (20) is the same as It shows that the expectation of . From (19), the signal energy is concentrated

otherwise.

(16)

otherwise

(19)

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the segment with a power above the noise level. The signal part . can be roughly detected along the line When comparing the propagation vectors in (25) and (6), it is useful to dene an effective frequency for the new propagation vector (26) Since , it has . Thus, in the ambiguity function domain, the array is equivalently operating from 0 Hz to the bandwidth of the chirp signal . As in normal spatial processing, the effective frequency is limited by the spacing between sensors for a uniform linear array to avoid the spatial aliasing as follows: (27) From this condition, the signal instantaneous frequency can exceed the conventional array design frequency without causing spatial aliasing as long as the effective frequency satises (27). As the time lag is a selectable variable, the chirp rate is not limited. This new antialiasing condition can be interpreted as being due to the demodulation effect of the auto-ambiguity operation, yielding self-smoothed basebanded data. The lower the effective frequency is, the lower the resolution. , the effective frequency becomes zero In particular, when and DOA estimation is no longer possible. In addition, the noise . Furhas a nonzero mean in the signal model (17) at thermore, the SNR levels are very low at the beginning and end of the ambiguity function because of the short signal overlap. Hence, the time lag here is limited by (28) The correlation matrix of is given by

are the ambiguity functions of the th signal where segment of all the sensor outputs. For MVDR and MUSIC, is required. This process is the same as the frequency-domain broadband DOA estimation, except that the ambiguity functions are used. The computational load for applying BCD-I with either ambiguity functions must be MVDR or MUSIC is high, as computed for each sensor. We will introduce a computationally more efcient method in the next section. C. Coherent Broadband Chirp DOA Estimation The focusing method [3] can be applied to the 1-D ambiguity function to obtain the coherent broadband DOA estimation. However, this results in additional computation cost. In this section, we propose a novel method for coherent broadband DOA estimation of a chirp signal based on the property of the chirp ambiguity function. From (21), the product of the th sensors ambiguity funcand its conjugate at is given by tion at

(31) where is a constant and

and

(32) is a white noise (see Appendix II) and is given by

(33) Although the rst two terms in are related to the DOA, they vary with . The dependence on DOA will be reduced by over different time lags as in the correlation averaging function to be discussed below. , we have Denoting (34) where the propagation vector becomes

(29) is calculated in Appendix I. All the where the noise power narrowband DOA estimation methods can be applied to (29) directly. The broadband DOA can therefore be estimated by averaging the narrowband spectrum over different time lag . We call this method the incoherent broadband chirp DOA estimation (BCD-I). To implement this algorithm, the correlation matrix (29) is estimated as follows. First, the output time series from each sensor is divided into possibly overlapped segments of duration with . The ambiguity function for each segment and each sensor is evaluated. The correlation matrix used for narrowband DOA estimation at each is then obtained by averaging the ambiguity functions

(35) , which is a selectable parameter during For a constant computation, this propagation vector depends only on the source DOA. The effective frequency is given by (36) and is proportional to . By selecting such that is larger than the chirps upper frequency, the spatial resolution can be improved for low frequency chirps. As in our earlier disshould satisfy cussion, (37)

(30)

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Similar to the BCD-I method, the signal frequency is not reis a selectable paramlated to the spatial sampling rate and eter. Hence, the signal frequency can be higher than the conventional array design frequency. The correlation matrix for broadband DOA estimation can be outer products of at estimated by averaging different as follows:

. which is The third and fourth terms are cross terms between signals given by

(43)

(44) (38) where (39) where (45) (46) The operator refers to the Fourier transform. As the two and , the 1-D autoterms are concentrated along ambiguity function for each chirp can be obtained by selecting vectors of the two the data along these two lines. The signal auto-ambiguity functions at are as follows:

(40) The noise power is calculated in Appendix II. All the correlation-based narrowband DOA estimation methods can be applied to (38) using the steering vector given by (35). We call this method the coherent broadband chirp DOA estimation (BCD-C). BCD-C provides a direct broadband DOA estimation for chirp signals without the focusing or interpolation procedure. As it requires only one-time ambiguity function computation, it has a much lower computational load than BCD-I. D. Multiple Chirps With Different Chirp Rates Consider two chirp sources with different parameters arriving and , respectively. The two chirps can be expressed from as

(47) (48) where the propagation vector

Let and , with and being the time of arrivals of the two source signals at the th sensor. The th sensor output is

(41) The ambiguity function of is

for 1, 2 and is an noise vector. As these expressions are the same as that of the single signal case in (24), the BCD-I and BCD-C methods can be applied to them separately. Since the chirp rates are assumed to be known, the two sources are identied in space by their DOAs. The energies of the cross terms are concentrated along the and . Their bandwidths lines . Part of the cross terms may are proportional to overlap with the autoterms. However, the contributions of the cross terms along the primary axis of the autoterms do not have any special patterns, and thus, they can be treated as noise in the autoterms. If the two sources have different chirp parameters, but are located in the same bearing, their DOAs can still be estimated as the two autoterms are separated in the ambiguity function plane. Therefore, there is no spatial resolution limitation for our proposed BCD-I and BCD-C methods. For more than two chirps, the same method can be applied directly. E. Multiple Chirps With Same Chirp Rate For two chirps with the same chirp rate located at and , the ambiguity function of the th sensor output is given by

(42) where the rst and second terms are the signals autoterms of the same form as (16) and the last term is a noise component,

(49)

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where all the terms are the same as (42) but with The cross terms between the two signals can be rewritten as

where

and are noise components in each model. has the following form:

(62) (50) can be similarly dened. and depend on the DOAs of the Although sources and time lag , they affect only the amplitudes of and . After performing the amplitude normalization, we have

(51) with (52) (53) (54) (55) Since the two autoterms are overlapped in the ambiguity function, the proposed BCD-C methods cannot be applied to it. However, the two cross terms in the ambiguity functions are separable. They are located at different frequency and time lags, symmetric about the autoterms and concentrated along the two straight lines as given below: (56) (57) The 1-D cross terms along these two lines can be expressed as

(63)

(64) where and have (65) (66) where the propagation vectors and are for be the normalized for 1, 2. Let vectors, and we

correlation matrices of given by

1, 2. The autoare respectively

(58)

(67)

(68) (59) and . is related to the DOAs of the two sources, the cross As terms (58) and (59) cannot be used for BCD-I. Considering the BCD-C method given by (31), we dene where and are the noise powers of and . Now all where narrowband DOA estimation methods can be applied to them. To implement this DOA estimation method, the correlation matrices are estimated by (69)

(70) The above development shows that the DOAs of the two sources can be estimated using the cross terms of the ambiguity function. In order to use the cross terms, it is necessary to rst detect them. The autoterms pass through the origin of the ambiguity function plane and the cross terms are symmetrically located at the two sides of the autoterms and parallel to the autoterms. A simple way to detect the cross terms is to nd the peaks along the time lag axis in the ambiguity function , which is simply the autocorrelation of the

(60) and

(61)

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th sensor output. The cross terms should pass through these peaks with the known chirp rate. When there are more than two chirps, the same method can be applied. The proposed BCD-I and BCD-C methods require that the autoterms or the cross terms of the multiple chirps be separable in the ambiguity function. The separability of the auto/cross terms depends on the time and frequency difference between the signals and their time durations, as the mainlobe width of the auto-/cross-ambiguity function is inversely proportional to the product of the signal time duration and the . frequency bandwidth F. Algorithmic Implementation Below we summarize the implementation procedures for the various methods. 1) BCD-I Method for Single or Multiple Sources With Different Chirp Rates: auto-ambiguity functions for each sensor a) Compute different segments of the sensor output signal using (segments may partially overlap). b) Select the autoterms in the ambiguity function plane , , where is the number of along sources. c) Estimate the location of the signal portion by applying a threshold to the ambiguity functions. The choice of the threshold is briey discussed in the paragraph after (25). d) Evaluate the correlation matrix in (30) for each source at each . e) Compute the narrowband spatial spectrum for each source at each using the obtained correlation matrix and the steering vectors given by (25). f) Average the spatial spectra over different time lags to obtain the BCD-I result for each source. 2) BCD-C Method for Single or Multiple Sources With Different Chirp Rates: a) Compute the auto-ambiguity function for each sensor using the entire signal data length . b) Select the autoterms along , . c) Estimate the location of the signal portion by applying a threshold to the ambiguity functions. The choice of the threshold is briey discussed in the paragraph after (25). and evaluate (31) for each source and each d) Choose sensor. e) Compute the correlation matrix using (38) for each source. f) Compute the narrowband spatial spectrum for each source based on the steering vector in (35) 3) BCD-C Method for Multiple Sources With the Same Chirp Rate: a) Compute the auto-ambiguity function for each sensor using the entire signal data length . of auto-ambiguity b) Detect the peak locations function along the axis (the cross terms pass through these peak locations). to obtain c) Select the cross terms along and . and compute for each cross term. d) Choose

010 dB).

Fig. 1. Case 1: Spectra of BCD-I-, BCD-C-, and DFT-based CBF ( SNR =

e) Estimate the correlation matrix for each cross term based on (69) and (70). f) Perform narrowband DOA estimation for each cross term using the obtained correlation matrix and the steering vector given by (35). III. NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS In this section, we conduct a number of experiments to illustrate various aspects of the proposed algorithms. Unless otherwise stated, we assume a linear array of eight sensors with an interelement spacing of 0.5 m to receive underwater acoustic waves whose propagation speed is 1500 m/s. The conventional array design frequency is thus 1500 Hz in order to avoid the spatial aliasing. Assume the amplitude of a chirp signal being and the noise power being . The SNR at each sensor output . is dened as SNR Case 1Comparison of Spatial Spectrum: Consider a chirp signal with frequencies sweeping from 0.5 to 1.5 kHz over an 8192 Hz. The interval of 0.2 s. The sampling frequency is source is located at 0 and has an SNR of 10 dB. The spatial spectra obtained by DFT-based incoherent broadband CBF and our proposed BCD-I- and BCD-C-based CBF are shown in Fig. 1. It is observed that the output SNRs of the BCD-Iand BCD-C-based CBF are higher than that of the traditional incoherent broadband CBF. BCD-I provides lower sidelobe but broader mainlobe than BCD-C does. The true DOAs are marked with as reference. Case 2Two Sources With Different Chirp Rates: This case assumes two sources with the same SNR of 0 dB located at 25 and 10 . Their chirp rates are different, with the frequencies sweeping from 0.5 to 1.5 kHz and from 1.5 to 0.5 kHz, respec8192 Hz. Fig. 2 presents the tively, over 0.2 s, and DFT-, BCD-C-, and BCD-I-based MVDR results while Fig. 3 compares the results with MUSIC. It is evident that the proposed BCD-C and BCD-I exhibit better spatial resolution than the DFT-based results.

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Fig. 2. Case 2: Spectra of DFT-, BCD-C-, and BCD-I-based MVDR.

Fig. 4. Case 3: DFT-based MVDR and BCD-C MVDR.

Fig. 3. Case 2: Spectra of DFT-, BCD-C-, and BCD-I-based MUSIC.

Fig. 5. Case 3: DFT-based MUSIC and BCD-C MUSIC.

Case 3Two Sources With the Same Chirp Rate: In this case, we consider two chirps with the same chirp rate. Both chirps have an SNR of 0 dB. The two sources are located at 10 and 30 . The frequencies of the two sources are, respectively [0.1, 1.1 kHz] and [0.5, 1.5 kHz]. Their time durations Hz. Figs. 4 and 5 show that the are 0.2 s with proposed BCD-C method achieves better spatial separation. As discussed in the Section II-D, BCD-I cannot be applied to this scenario. Case 4Source Frequency Higher Than Array Design Frequency: In order to show that the signal frequency can be higher than the conventional array design frequency, we consider a case of two sources with frequencies given by [2, 3 kHz] and [3, 2 kHz] and sweeping over an interval of 0.2 s. These sources are located at 10 and 30 with an equal SNR of 5 dB. The sampling frequency is 8192 Hz. The results in Figs. 6 and 7 show that the BCD-C and BCD-I methods perform

signicantly better than the conventional method which suffers extensively from the effect of grating lobes. : In this case, we demonCase 5Impact of Parameter, strate the possibility for achieving higher resolution by tuning of BCD-C. Assume that a chirp source is lothe parameter cated at 0 with SNR 0 dB, and its frequency sweeps from 50 s. The sampling frequency to 950 Hz over an interval of , , and is 8192 Hz. For this simulation, we selected . The effective frequency for BCD-C with is 1350 Hz, which is higher than the highest frequency of the signal. It is evident from Fig. 8 that the BCD-C based method . As a reference, the achieves higher resolution with larger DOA estimated by DFT-based CBF are presented, in which the signal frequency used ranges from 50 to 950 Hz. Case 6Number of Sources Larger Than the Number of Sensors: In this example, we assume a linear array of four sensors with an interelement distance of 0.5-m receiving signals from

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Fig. 8. Fig. 6. Case 4: Spectra of DFT-, BCD-C-, and BCD-I-based MVDR.

Case 5: Higher resolution obtained by BCD-C by setting TABLE I CASE 6: TABLE OF KEY CHIRP PARAMETERS

1 =15
u

: T

Fig. 7.

Case 4: Spectra of DFT-, BCD-C-, and BCD-I-based MUSIC.

ve sources. The sampling frequency is Hz. All the sources have an SNR of 5 dB and a time duration of 0.2 s. The key parameters of the sources are listed in Table I. The ambiguity function of one sensor output given in Fig. 9 clearly shows the ve signals. For showing the chirps, the amis reduced in Fig. 9. The conventional plitude at broadband DOA estimation results are presented in Fig. 10. We have assumed three sources when applying MUSIC. Figs. 11 and 12 show the spectra based on the proposed BCD-C and BCD-I MUSIC, which demonstrate better results in resolving the various sources. The spectra of BCD-I based MUSIC has broader mainlobes than the BCD-C based MUSIC, because half data length is used for multiple ambiguity function computation in BCD-I. Case 7Comparison With the Iterative Algorithm in [7]: In this example, we compare our proposed BCD-C and BCD-I methods with the iterative algorithm developed in [7]. Assume

Fig. 9.

Case 6: Ambiguity function of one sensor output.

a chirp source located at 30 with frequency varying from 300 to 1500 Hz over 0.2 s and an SNR of 10 dB. The chirp parameters are provided to the iterative algorithm for a fair compar0.2 s. The obtained results with ison. In BCD-C, the DFT based MUSIC, the iterative MUSIC and our proposed BCD-C- and BCD-I-based MUSIC are presented in Fig. 13. Four iterations are used for the iterative approach. The BCD-C and BCD-I methods provide more accurate estimation than the iterative algorithm. BCD-C has the highest resolution. This is

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Fig. 10.

Case 6: DFT-based broadband MVDR and MUSIC. Fig. 12. Case 6: DOA estimation by BCD-I based MUSIC.

Fig. 11.

Case 6: DOA estimation by BCD-C based MUSIC.

Fig. 13.

Case 7: Comparison with iterative algorithm.

mainly because the iterative algorithm can only use the signal starting frequency for DOA estimation and BCD-I uses half data length for ambiguity function computation, while BCD-C uses 1200 Hz for DOA estimation. The bias in the iterative algorithm may be caused by the initial DOA estimation bias based on the traditional broadband MUSIC. From the above simulations, our proposed BCD-C and BCD-I methods outperform the DFT-based methods. BCD-C provides higher resolution with lower computation load than BCD-I-based methods. The low resolution of BCD-I-based methods is because only part of the signal is used for ambiguity function computation. An estimation bias has been observed in some results. The bias is caused mainly by the chirp rate digitization. By using a higher sampling rate, the bias can be reduced. When there are multiple chirps, the bias is partly caused by the sidelobes of the other auto/cross terms. By using

larger timebandwidth product signals, the bias can be reduced as well. IV. PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS A. SNR in BCD-I and BCD-C In this section, we analyze the performances of the BCD-I and BCD-C methods for DOA estimation with respect to SNR. It is known that the asymptotic performance of DOA estimation depends on the SNR according to the CramerRao bound [15], [16]. As our proposed methods are based on the ambiguity function and the product of the ambiguity function at two different time lags, the SNR is changed after these operations. Assume a chirp signal with a time duration of , with the SNR at each sensor output being SNR . In the following analand . ysis, the discrete time is used with The signal power of the 1-D ambiguity function can be obtained

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from (21) (with slight modication for the discrete form). The noise component is given in (88). It is straightforward to obtain the SNR for the ambiguity function as follows: SNR SNR SNR (71)

It depends on the input SNR and the time lag. By selecting , the average SNR in the 1-D ambiguity function is approximately given by SNR SNR SNR (72)

, SNR SNR , and when When SNR SNR , SNR SNR . This shows that the BCD-I methods can improve the SNR when the original SNR is larger than a certain value, and the SNR in BCD-I will decrease rapidly when the original SNR is below a certain value. For the BCD-C method, the correlation matrix used for DOA estimation is based on the product of the ambiguity function at two different time lags. From (32), the signal power in BCD-C is (73) According to (93), the SNR in the BCD-C input can be expressed as SNR

Fig. 14.

SNR of BCD-I and BCD-C versus input SNR.

B. Output SNR in the Spatial Spectrum To simplify the analysis, we assume there is only one source. The output SNR in the spatial spectrum is dened as SNR where (76)

SNR SNR SNR SNR

(74)

is the spatial spectrum, is the signals DOA, is the height of the th sidelobe, and is the number of sidelobes in the spectrum. For an array of sensors and using the ideal correlation matrix in (2), the spatial spectrum obtained by CBF can be expressed as

By selecting and has the following form: SNR SNR SNR SNR

, the average SNR The output power in the signal direction is given by

(77)

(78) SNR According to (76), we need to evaluate the average noise power from all the sidelobes. However, in our theoretical development, we simply use the noise power of the second sidelobe as a representative average value for a linear array. Since the second sidelobe of a uniform linear array with uniform weighting has a level of about 15 dB below the mainlobe, we have (79) The CBF output SNR is therefore approximated by SNR SNR SNR (80)

SNR

SNR SNR

SNR

(75)

Thus, the SNR in the BCD-C is proportional to the , original SNR and the chirp duration. When SNR SNR SNR , and whenSNR , SNR SNR . It indicates that when the original SNR is high, BCD-C provides a higher SNR than the original SNR. However, when input SNR is lower than a certain value, the SNR from BCD-C will decrease very quickly. Fig. 14 plots the SNR for BCD-C and BCD-I versus the input 0.2 s, 8192 Hz, . It shows the SNR, where SNR improvement and degradation for BCD-C and BCD-I.

, the spatial spectrum will be If SNR is much less than dominated by noise, and the output SNR is 0 dB. Consequently,

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the DOA cannot be estimated. When SNR is much higher than , the output SNR approaches a constant 15 dB. When using the MVDR, the inverse of one source correlation matrix can be expressed as (81) The MVDR spectrum then has the following form:

(82)

The output power in the signal direction is given by (83) Evaluating the noise power at the second sidelobe, the output noise power of the MVDR is approximately given by

Fig. 15.

CBF output SNR versus input SNR.

(84)

The MVDR output SNR is thus equal to SNR SNR (85)

When SNR , the output SNR will be 0 dB. If SNR , the output SNR is proportional to the input SNR. Thus, the narrowband MVDR output SNR has no saturation phenomenon as in narrowband CBF. For MUSIC, though the output is not a power spectrum, its performance is regardless proportional to SNR [17]. As the quality of the subspace estimation depends on the input SNR and the orthogonality between the signal and noise subspace, the output peak value is therefore related to SNR. However, we do not have an explicit expression to relate the input and output SNR. C. Output SNR Testing by Monte Carlo Experiment From the theoretical analysis, the BCD-I and BCD-C methods should provide higher output SNR than the conventional incoherent broadband methods when the input SNR exceeds certain value. In this section, Monte Carlo experiments are conducted to compare the output SNR of BCD-I, BCD-C, and the conventional incoherent broadband methods. The predicted output SNRs for CBF and MVDR are based on (80) and (85), where the input SNRs for BCD-I and BCD-C are computed by (72) and (75), respectively. We consider the case of a uniform linear array of 8 sensors with an interelement spacing of 0.5 m and with one source located at 0 . The performances of the proposed algorithms are

Fig. 16. MVDR output SNR versus input SNR.

evaluated by varying the power of the source while the noise level is maintained constant. The signal frequency sweeps from 500 to 2000 Hz over an interval of 0.2 s. For each input SNR, 100 output spectra using independent data are calculated. The output versus input SNR using our proposed methods and DFT based CBF, MVDR, and MUSIC are presented in Figs. 1517. These results show that the conventional broadband methods obtain similar output SNR as predicted, while our proposed methods produced higher output SNR. The simulation results have lower output SNR than predicted values for BCD-I and BCD-C. This may be caused by the assumptions made in noise estimation. In most cases, BCD-I methods have better performances than BCD-C methods, albeit at a higher computational cost. The predicted output SNR for BCD-I and BCD-C are higher than that of DFT-based methods.

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SIGNAL PROCESSING, VOL. 54, NO. 5, MAY 2006

is the received signal by the th sensor. The diswhere is not exactly Gaussian since it contains tribution of is the product of two Gaussian variables. However, a summation of random variables. According is approximately a to the central limit theorem [18], is sufciently large. Gaussian when , and are independent for , Since the mean value of is (87) The chirp signal is broadband, hence, the autocorrelation of the chirp signal is approximated by . The variance of can be expressed as

Fig. 17.

MUSIC output SNR versus input SNR.

(88) V. CONCLUSION In this paper, we have proposed two novel methods for estimating broadband chirp DOA, namely the incoherent broadband chirp DOA estimation (BCD-I) and coherent broadband chirp DOA estimation (BCD-C). The methods make use of the time-frequency structure of the chirp signal based on the ambiguity function. As the ambiguity function converts the absolute time and frequency of the chirp signal into time lag and frequency lag, the broadband time delay is converted into a phase shift. This makes it possible to apply the existing DOA estimation methods to broadband chirp signals. The exact time-frequencyspace structure of the chirp signal has been used; thus, these two methods can be applied to any aperture array and any chirp rate signals. Our proposed methods can deal with multiple chirps with the same or different chirp rates. The signal frequency can be higher than the array design frequency without causing the spatial aliasing. The number of sources can also be larger than the number of sensors if the signals are separable in the ambiguity function. Both theoretical analysis and simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed methods. APPENDIX I NOISE IN BCD-I DATA MODEL In the Appendix, we analyze the noise performance in BCD-I caused by the time-limited integration. The BCD-I method uses the ambiguity function to form the correlation matrix for DOA estimation. In discrete format, the signal power in 1D ambiguity . function depends on the time lag (21) The noise in (18) can be expressed as The autocorrelation function of is given by

(89) is a white noise sequence This result indicates that . with zero mean and variance is a white noise Till now, we have proved that sequence in the time domain. The usual spatial processing to be white noise in space as well. methods require is white in time and space, the noises As the sensor noise and , are therefore not from the th and th sensors, correlated. The cross-correlation function between the th and th sensors noise in ambiguity function is given by

(90) This proves that the noise in the ambiguity function is white in space. APPENDIX II NOISE IN BCD-C DATA MODEL For BCD-C, the product of two instantaneous values of the ambiguity function is used as the input for DOA estimation. The noise in BCD-C can be expressed as

(91) As the chirp signal autocorrelation is approximately a delta function and is white noise with zero mean, the mean value of is

(86)

(92)

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and its variance is

(93) The auto correlation function of is (94) since the autocorrelation is a delta function, is a zero-mean . is white in time and white noise with power space; thus, the cross correlation between the noise from the th and th sensor is given by (95) This result shows that the noise is white in space. As contains a product of two Gaussian variables, it is not Gaussian. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors would like to thank the Associate Editor Dr. C. D. Richmond and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and Prof. C. R. Wan for the proof that the noise is Gaussian distributed in BCD-I as well as valuable comments and review of the manuscript. REFERENCES
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Ning Ma (S94M99SM05) received the B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in electronic engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU), Xian, China, in 1983 and 1986, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquees de Lyon (INSA Lyon), France, in 1996. From 1986 to 1992, she was a Lecturer at the Northwestern Polytechnical University. In 1997, she joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong as a Research Associate. From 1998, she has been with the Centre of Underwater Systems and Signal Processing at DSO National Laboratories, Singapore Science Park, Singapore, where she is currently a Senior Member of Technical Staff. Her current research interests include array signal processing and its application in sonar, time-frequency signal analysis, and signal detection.

Joo Thiam Goh (M96) was born in Singapore in 1961. He received the B.Eng. degree in electronics and control engineering from the University of Birmingham, U.K., in 1987 and the Ph.D. degree in acoustics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1996. From 1987 to 1991, he was an Engineer with DSO National Laboratories, Singapore Science Park, Singapore, where he worked on real-time data acquisition systems and software for embedded computer systems. He is currently Head of the Centre for Underwater Systems and Signal Processing at DSO National Laboratories. His primary research interest is in modeling the complex acoustic elds in ocean waveguides. Other interests include computational acoustics and signal processing. Dr. Goh is a member of the Acoustical Society of America.