This paper deals with the problem of censoring outliers in a class of complex multivariate elliptically contoured distributed radar data, which is a vital issue in radar signal processing applications, such as adaptive radar detection and space-time adaptive processing. The maximum likelihood (ML) estimate of the outlier subset is derived resorting to the generalized likelihood function (GLF) criterion. Since the ML estimate involves the solution of a combinatorial problem, a reduced complexity but approximate ML (AML) procedure is also considered. At the analysis stage, the performance of the AML method is evaluated in the presence of both simulated and real radar data, also in comparison with the conventional generalized inner product (GIP) and the reiterative censored GIP (RCGIP) algorithms. The results highlight that the AML technique achieves a satisfactory performance level and can outperform both GIP and RCGIP in some situations.
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