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Sensor array element delay estimator


The ElementDelay object calculates the signal delay for elements in an array.

To compute the signal delay across the array elements:

  1. Define and set up your element delay estimator. See Construction.

  2. Call step to estimate the delay according to the properties of phased.ElementDelay. The behavior of step is specific to each object in the toolbox.


Starting in R2016b, instead of using the step method to perform the operation defined by the System object™, you can call the object with arguments, as if it were a function. For example, y = step(obj,x) and y = obj(x) perform equivalent operations.


H = phased.ElementDelay creates an element delay estimator System object, H. The object calculates the signal delay for elements in an array when the signal arrives the array from specified directions. By default, a 2-element uniform linear array (ULA) is used.

H = phased.ElementDelay(Name,Value) creates object, H, with each specified property Name set to the specified Value. You can specify additional name-value pair arguments in any order as (Name1,Value1,...,NameN,ValueN).



Handle to sensor array used to calculate the delay

Specify the sensor array as a handle. The sensor array must be an array object in the phased package. The array cannot contain subarrays.

Default: phased.ULA with default property values


Signal propagation speed

Specify the propagation speed of the signal, in meters per second, as a positive scalar. You can specify this property as single or double precision.

Default: Speed of light


stepCalculate delay for elements
Common to All System Objects

Allow System object property value changes


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Calculate the element delay for a uniform linear array when the input is impinging on the array from 30° azimuth and 20° elevation.

array = phased.ULA('NumElements',4);
delay = phased.ElementDelay('SensorArray',array);
tau = delay([30;20])
tau = 4×1
10-8 ×



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[1] Van Trees, H. Optimum Array Processing. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 2002.

Extended Capabilities

Version History

Introduced in R2011a