1-D and 2-D Direction of Arrival Estimation in a Conical Conformal Array: Design and Implementation


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Direction of arrival (DOA) estimation for conformal arrays is challenging due to non-omnidirectional element patterns and shadow effects. Conical conformal array (CCA) can avoid the shadow effect at small elevation angles. So CCA is suitable for DOA estimation on both azimuth and elevation angles at small elevation angles. However, the element pattern in CCA cannot be obtained by conventional directional element coordinate transformation. Its local element pattern also has connection with the cone angle. The paper establishes the CCA radiation pattern in local coordinate system using 2-D coordinate transformation. In addition, in the case of large elevation angle, only half elements of the CCA can receive signal due to the shadow effect. The array degrees of freedom (DOF) are reduced by halves. We introduce the difference coarray method, which increases the DOF. Moreover, we propose a more accurate propagator method for 2-D cases. This method constructs a new propagation matrix and reduces the estimation error. In addition, this method reduces computational complexity by using linear computations instead of eigenvalue decomposition (EVD) and avoids spectral search. Simulation and experiment verify the estimation performance of the CCA. Both demonstrate the CCA model established in this paper is corresponding to the designed CCA antenna, and the proposed algorithms meet the needs of CCA angle detection. When the number of array elements is 12, the estimation accuracy is about 5 degrees.
DOA estimation,conical conformal array,propagator method,manifold separation technique (MST),difference coarray
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