For linear arrays with fixed steering and an inter-element spacing smaller than one half of the wavelength, end-fire steering of a data-independent beamformer offers better directivity than broadside steering. The introduction of a lower bound on the white noise gain ensures the necessary robustness against random array errors and sensor mismatches. However, the optimum broadside performance can be obtained using a simple processing architecture, whereas the optimum end-fire performance requires a more complicated system (because complex weight coefficients are needed). In this paper, we reconsider the oversteering technique as a possible way to simplify the processing architecture of equally spaced end-fire arrays. We propose a method for computing the amount of oversteering and the related real-valued weight vector that allows the constrained directivity to be maximized for a given inter-element spacing. Moreover, we verify that the maximized oversteering performance is very close to the optimum end-fire performance. We conclude that optimized oversteering is a viable method for designing end-fire arrays that have better constrained directivity than broadside arrays but with a similar implementation complexity. A numerical simulation is used to perform a statistical analysis, which confirms that the maximized oversteering performance is robust against sensor mismatches.
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