Depending on the aperture extension (AE), a high performance three-dimensional (3D) near-field (NF) source localization algorithm is proposed with the nonuniform linear array (NLA). The proposed algorithm first generates some fictitious sensors to extend the array aperture by constructing a new Toeplitz matrix, and then obtains a two-dimensional (2D) covariance matrix which only contains the elevation angle and range parameters, and another 3D covariance matrix which contains the elevation/azimuth angle and range parameters. Then based on the 2D covariance matrix, both the elevation angle and range parameters are estimated by using the NLA along the Z axis. With the estimates of both the elevation angle and range parameters and combining the 3D covariance matrix, the estimates of the azimuth angle parameters are obtained using the NLA along the Y axis. The proposed algorithm has four main merits: i) unlike some classical NF source localization algorithms, the quarter-wavelength sensor spacing constraint is not required and more sources can be located simultaneously by the proposed algorithm; ii) the 3D parameters of the proposed algorithm are paired automatically; iii) the 3D search required in conventional 3D multiple signal classification (MUSIC) algorithm is replaced with only one-dimensional (1D) search, and thus the computational burden is reduced; iv) the proposed algorithm gains superior parameter estimation accuracy and resolution.
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