Is there a definition of "Direction of Arrival"?


This is a beamforming problem, but since the people who do this work are typically EEs, I thought I'd give this ng a try. I am a mathematician working on some interferometric problems, and I find myself having trouble getting an actual definition of "direction of arrival" (or DOA).

Some older analyses using linear antenna arrays seem to use the inclination angle, theta, (i.e. the angle with the +z-axis or "azimuthal angle") for the DOA, but for a source that is not coplanar with the array, there is a factor of Cos(phi) in the phase portion of the steering vector (where phi is the angle with the +x-axis or polar angle).

Some analyses seem to define a generic phase angle from the inner product of the source orientation with the array position vector. This definition is consistent for a linear array, but it is not for a planar array.

Is there a rigorous definition of what is meant for "direction of arrival" (or angle of arrival) that holds for a general array and source? You can respond directly to this post or via my e-mail address.



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Although I have not worked on antennas for a long long time the term "direction of arrival" seems virtually useless. Probably, the information of interest is in what is called the "antenna pattern" or some term like that. This pattern is expresed as a function of angle (phi and theta in spherical coordinates) and indicates the relative strength of a signal received from a point source at infinity in that direction. Because of reciprocity, it also indicates the transmission pattern.


-- Ferme le Bush

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Salmon Egg

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