On the Effectiveness of OTFS for Joint Radar Parameter Estimation and Communication

Lorenzo Gaudio, Mari Kobayashi, Giuseppe Caire, Giulio Colavolpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


We consider a joint radar parameter estimation and communication system using orthogonal time frequency space (OTFS) modulation. The scenario is motivated by vehicular applications where a vehicle (or the infrastructure) equipped with a mono-static radar wishes to communicate data to its target receiver, while estimating parameters of interest related to this receiver. Provided that the radar-equipped transmitter is ready to send data to its target receiver, this setting naturally assumes that the receiver has been already detected. In a point-to-point communication setting over multipath time-frequency selective channels, we study the joint radar and communication system from two perspectives, i.e., the radar parameter estimation at the transmitter as well as the data detection at the receiver. For the radar parameter estimation part, we derive an efficient approximated Maximum Likelihood algorithm and the corresponding Cramér-Rao lower bound for range and velocity estimation. Numerical examples demonstrate that multi-carrier digital formats such as OTFS can achieve as accurate radar estimation as state-of-the-art radar waveforms such as frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW). For the data detection part, we focus on separate detection and decoding and consider a soft-output detector that exploits efficiently the channel sparsity in the Doppler-delay domain. We quantify the detector performance in terms of its pragmatic capacity, i.e., the achievable rate of the channel induced by the signal constellation and the detector soft-output. Simulations show that the proposed scheme outperforms concurrent state-of-the-art solutions. Overall, our work shows that a suitable digitally modulated waveform enables to efficiently operate joint radar parameter estimation and communication by achieving full information rate of the modulation and near-optimal radar estimation performance. Furthermore, OTFS appears to be particularly suited to the scope.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9109735
Pages (from-to)5951-5965
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • OTFS
  • achievable rate
  • joint radar parameter estimation and communication
  • maximum likelihood detection
  • message-passing


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