Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ball, John E.

Committee Member

Gurbuz, Ali

Committee Member

Kurum, Mehmet

Committee Member

Luo, Chaomin

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Direction of Arrival estimation using unsteered antenna arrays, unlike mechanically scanned or phased arrays, requires complex algorithms which perform poorly with small aperture arrays or without a large number of observations, or snapshots. In general, these algorithms compute a sample covriance matrix to obtain the direction of arrival and some require a prior estimate of the number of signal sources. Herein, artificial neural network architectures are proposed which demonstrate improved estimation of the number of signal sources, the true signal covariance matrix, and the direction of arrival. The proposed number of source estimation network demonstrates robust performance in the case of coherent signals where conventional methods fail. For covariance matrix estimation, four different network architectures are assessed and the best performing architecture achieves a 20 times improvement in performance over the sample covariance matrix. Additionally, this network can achieve comparable performance to the sample covariance matrix with 1/8-th the amount of snapshots. For direction of arrival estimation, preliminary results are provided comparing six architectures which all demonstrate high levels of accuracy and demonstrate the benefits of progressively training artificial neural networks by training on a sequence of sub- problems and extending to the network to encapsulate the entire process.