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Space-time adaptive processing (STAP) algorithms with coprime arrays can provide good clutter suppression potential with low cost in airborne radar systems as compared with their uniform linear arrays counterparts. However, the performance of these algorithms is limited by the training samples support in practical applications. To address this issue, a robust two-stage reduced dimension (RD) sparsity-aware STAP algorithm is proposed in this work. In the first stage, an RD virtual snapshot is constructed using all spatial channels but only m adjacent Doppler channels around the target Doppler frequency to reduce the slow-time dimension of the signal. In the second stage, an RD sparse measurement modeling is formulated based on the constructed RD virtual snapshot, where the sparsity of clutter and the prior knowledge of the clutter ridge are exploited to formulate an RD overcomplete dictionary. Moreover, an orthogonal matching pursuit (OMP)-like method is proposed to recover the clutter subspace. In order to set the stopping parameter of the OMP-like method, a robust clutter rank estimation approach is developed. Compared with recently developed sparsity-aware STAP algorithms, the size of the proposed sparse representation dictionary is much smaller, resulting in low complexity. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is robust to prior knowledge errors and can provide good clutter suppression performance in low sample support.
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