Asymptotically Optimal Blind Calibration of Uniform Linear Sensor Arrays for Narrowband Gaussian Signals

Amir Weiss*, Arie Yeredor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An asymptotically optimal blind calibration scheme of uniform linear arrays for narrowband Gaussian signals is proposed. Rather than taking the direct Maximum Likelihood (ML) approach for joint estimation of all the unknown model parameters, which leads to a multi-dimensional optimization problem with no closed-form solution, we revisit Paulraj and Kailath's (P-K's) classical approach in exploiting the special (Toeplitz) structure of the observations' covariance. However, we offer a substantial improvement over P-K's ordinary Least Squares (LS) estimates by using asymptotic approximations in order to obtain simple, non-iterative, (quasi-)linear Optimally-Weighted LS (OWLS) estimates of the sensors gains and phases offsets with asymptotically optimal weighting, based only on the empirical covariance matrix of the measurements. Moreover, we prove that our resulting estimates are also asymptotically optimal w.r.t. the raw data, and can therefore be deemed equivalent to the ML Estimates (MLE), which are otherwise obtained by joint ML estimation of all the unknown model parameters. After deriving computationally convenient expressions of the respective Cramér-Rao lower bounds, we also show that our estimates offer improved performance when applied to non-Gaussian signals (and/or noise) as quasi-MLE in a similar setting. The optimal performance of our estimates is demonstrated in simulation experiments, with a considerable improvement (reaching an order of magnitude and more) in the resulting mean squared errors w.r.t. P-K's ordinary LS estimates. We also demonstrate the improved accuracy in a multiple-sources directions-of-arrivals estimation task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9161287
Pages (from-to)5322-5333
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
StatePublished - 2020


  • Cramér-Rao lower bound
  • Sensor array processing
  • direction-of-arrival
  • gain estimation
  • maximum likelihood
  • phase estimation
  • self calibration
  • weighted least squares


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