Estimation of structured covariance matrices for radar STAP under practical constraints

Bosung Kang, Vishal Monga, Muralidhar Rangaswamy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Estimation of the disturbance or interference covariance matrix plays a central role in radar target detection. Traditional maximum likelihood (ML) estimators lead to degraded false alarm and detection performance in the realistic regime of limited training. For this reason, structured covariance estimators have been actively researched. This paper reviews as well as proposes new structured covariance estimation methods which exploit physically motivated practical constraints. We first review the rank constrained maximum likelihood (RCML) estimator which explicitly incorporates the rank of the clutter subspace as a constraint in the ML problem. Next, we introduce an efficient approximation of structured covariance under joint Toeplitz and rank constraint (EASTR). In particular, we propose new quadratic optimization problems that enforce Toeplitz structure while preserving rank. Crucially, both the RCML estimator and the EASTR admit closed form solutions and hence facilitate real time implementation. We perform experimental evaluation in the form of normalized SINR, probability of detection, and whiteness tests. In each case, we compare against widely used existing estimators and show that exploiting the practical constraints has significant merits in covariance estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 IEEE Radar Conference
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Sensing to Information, RadarCon 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479920341
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 IEEE Radar Conference, RadarCon 2014 - Cincinnati, OH, United States
Duration: May 19 2014May 23 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE National Radar Conference - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1097-5659


Other2014 IEEE Radar Conference, RadarCon 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCincinnati, OH

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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