Cramer-Rao bounds for target parameters in space-based radar applications

Unnikrishna S. Pillai, Ke Yong Li, Braham Himed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Cramer-Rao (CR) bounds for target Doppler and power are presented when detecting targets using a space-based radar (SBR) platform. The target in noise-only case is considered first and the results are compared with those obtained for a centro-symmetric uniform linear pulse array. When clutter is also present, the effect of the Earth's rotation and range foldover becomes significant; and they must be taken into consideration. The CR bounds are computed for target Doppler and power, and compared with their variance estimates obtained from simulation results corresponding to various airborne and SBR situations. From the simulation results, the Earth's rotation together with range foldover significantly increase the CR bounds for both target Doppler and power. This is in agreement with other results that show the Earth's rotation and range foldover together degrade the clutter suppression performance of adaptive processing algorithms. It is shown that when both the Earth's rotation effect and range foldover effect are present in the data, target detection is difficult, and it is necessary to introduce waveform diversity into the transmit design to minimize the effect of clutter and other interference. In this context, using waveform diversity on transmit, it is possible to compensate the degradation in terms of the CR bounds and achieve performance close to the ideal case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1356-1370
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Clutter
  • Covariance matrix
  • Cramer-Rao bounds
  • Doppler effect
  • Doppler radar
  • Object detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Cramer-Rao bounds for target parameters in space-based radar applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this