Phase-difference ambiguity resolution for a single-frequency signal in the near-field using a receiver triplet

Tarig Ballal*, C. J. Bleakley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The problem of ambiguity in the phase-difference of a signal received by widely spaced receivers is considered. It is shown that a collinear receiver triplet with a specific configuration combined with a proposed algorithm can be utilized for phase-difference disambiguation. The identifiability condition is that the difference of the two smaller inter-receiver spacings is not greater than a half-wavelength of the impinging signal and is greater than zero. The effect of the emitter location relative to the receiver array and the effect of noise are studied. Analytic formulae for the mean-square error (MSE) under Gaussian white noise are obtained and are used to directly determine performance versus signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) given the emitter location and the receiver configuration. Performance is found to exhibit an SNR threshold effect that depends on the emitter location and the sensor configuration. The analytic performance predictions are found to be close to the performance obtained in simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5535148
Pages (from-to)5920-5926
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • DOA
  • Direction-of-arrival
  • TDOA
  • phase-difference ambiguity
  • time-delayestimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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