Tensor algebra and multidimensional harmonic retrieval in signal processing for MIMO radar

Dimitri Nion, Nicholas D. Sidiropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Detection and estimation problems in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar have recently drawn considerable interest in the signal processing community. Radar has long been a staple of signal processing, and MIMO radar presents challenges and opportunities in adapting classical radar imaging tools and developing new ones. Our aim in this article is to showcase the potential of tensor algebra and multidimensional harmonic retrieval (HR) in signal processing for MIMO radar. Tensor algebra and multidimensional HR are relatively mature topics, albeit still on the fringes of signal processing research. We show they are in fact central for target localization in a variety of pertinent MIMO radar scenarios. Tensor algebra naturally comes into play when the coherent processing interval comprises multiple pulses, or multiple transmit and receive subarrays are used (multistatic configuration). Multidimensional harmonic structure emerges for far-field uniform linear transmit/receive array configurations, also taking into account Doppler shift; and hybrid models arise in-between. This viewpoint opens the door for the application and further development of powerful algorithms and identifiability results for MIMO radar. Compared to the classical radar-imaging-based methods such as Capon or MUSIC, these algebraic techniques yield improved performance, especially for closely spaced targets, at modest complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5510180
Pages (from-to)5693-5705
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received April 20, 2010; accepted July 05, 2010. Date of publication July 15, 2010; date of current version October 13, 2010. The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Dr. Kainam Thomas Wong. The work of D. Nion was supported by the French Délégation Générale pour l’Armement (DGA) by a Postdoctoral Grant. The material in this paper was presented in part at the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2009.


  • DoA-DoD estimation
  • harmonic retrieval
  • localization
  • multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar
  • tensor decomposition


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