RADIO SCIENCE, vol.44, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
Direction of arrival estimation (DOA) is an important problem in ionospheric research and electromagnetics as well as many other fields. When superresolution techniques are used, a computationally expensive search should be performed in general. In this paper, a no-search algorithm is presented. The idea is to separate the source signals in the time-frequency plane by using the Short-Time Fourier Transform. The direction vector for each source is found by coherent summation over the instantaneous frequency (IF) tracks of the individual sources which are found automatically by employing morphological image processing. Both overlapping and nonoverlapping source IF tracks can be processed and identified by the proposed approach. The CLEAN algorithm is adopted in order to isolate the IF tracks of the overlapping sources with different powers. The proposed method is very effective in finding the IF tracks and can be applied for signals with arbitrary IF characteristics. While the proposed method can be applied to any sensor geometry, planar uniform circular arrays (UCA) bring additional advantages. Different properties of the UCA are presented, and it is shown that the DOA angles can be found as the mean-square error optimum solution of a linear matrix equation. Several simulations are done, and it is shown that the proposed approach performs significantly better than the conventional methods.