Abstract—Space-time coding (STC) has been shown to play a key role in the design ofMIMOradars with widely spaced antennas: In particular, rank-one coding amounts to using the multiple transmit antennas as power multiplexers, while full-rank coding maximizes the transmit diversity, compromises between the two being possible through rank-deficient coding. In detecting a target at known distance and Doppler frequency, no uniformly optimum transmit policy exists, and diversity maximization turns out to be the way to go only in a (still unspecified) large signal-to-noise ratio region. The aim of this paper is to shed some light on the optimum transmit policy as the radar is to detect a target at an unknown location: To this end, at first the Cramér–Rao bounds as a function of the STC matrix are computed, and then waveform design is stated as a constrained optimization problem, where now the constraint concerns also the accuracy in target ranging, encapsulated in the Fisher Information on the range estimate. Results indicate that such accuracy constraints may visibly modify the required transmit policy and lead to rank-deficient STC also in regions where pure detection would require pursuing full transmit diversity.
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