Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


First Advisor

Andrew Harms

Date of this Version

Summer 7-2022


E. Triplett, "One-Bit Algorithm Considerations for Sparse PMCW Radar," 2022


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Telecommunications Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Andrew Harms. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Ethan Triplett


Phase Modulated Continuous Wave (PMCW) radar an emerging technology for autonomous cars. It is more flexible than the current frequency modulated systems, offering better detection resolution, interference mitigation, and future development opportunities. The issue preventing PMCW adoption is the need for high sample-rate analog to digital converters (ADCs). Due to device limits, a large increase in cost and power consumption occurs for every added resolution bit for a given sampling rate. This thesis explores radar detection techniques for few-bit and 1-bit ADC measurements. 1-bit quantization typically results in poor amplitude estimation, which can limit detections if the target signals are weak. Time Varying quantization Thresholds (TVTs) are a way to preserve that amplitude information.

An existing few-bit Fast Iterative Shrinkage Thresholding Algorithm (FISTA) was adapted to use 1-bit TVT quantization. Three test scenarios compared the original FISTA using 1 and 2-bit quantization to the TVT approach. Tests included widely spaced targets, adjacent targets, and high dynamic range targets. Performance metrics included normalized mean squared error (NMSE) of target amplitude estimation and Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for detection accuracy. Results showed the TVT implementation operated over the widest range of SNR values, had the lowest amplitude estimate NMSE at high SNR, and comparable NMSE with 2-bit FISTA at low SNR. There was an $84-93\%$ reduction in NMSE compared to 1-bit FISTA without TVTs. Few-bit FISTA had the best detection rates at specific SNR values, but was more sensitive to noise. AUC values averaged across the full SNR range for TVT FISTA were the most robust, measuring $13-46\%$ higher than 1-bit FISTA and $48-74\%$ higher than 2-bit FISTA.

Advisor: Andrew Harms