We consider recovering the amplitudes and locations of spikes in a point source signal from its low-pass spectrum that may suffer from missing data and arbitrary outliers. We first review and provide a unified view of several recently proposed convex relaxations that characterize and capitalize the spectral sparsity of the point source signal without discretization under the framework of atomic norms. Next we propose a new algorithm when the spikes are known a priori to be positive, motivated by applications such as neural spike sorting and fluorescence microscopy imaging. Numerical experiments are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
We study the performance of modal analysis using sparse linear arrays (SLAs) such as nested and co-prime arrays, in both first-order and second-order measurement models. We treat SLAs as constructed from a subset of sensors in a dense uniform linear array (ULA), and characterize the performance loss of SLAs with respect to the ULA due to using much fewer sensors. In particular, we claim that, provided the same aperture, in order to achieve comparable performance in terms of Cramér-Rao bound (CRB) for modal analysis, SLAs require more snapshots, of which the number is about the number of snapshots used by ULA times the compression ratio in the number of sensors. This is shown analytically for the case with one undamped mode, as well as empirically via extensive numerical experiments for more complex scenarios. Moreover, the misspecified CRB proposed by Richmond and Horowitz is also studied, where SLAs suffer more performance loss than their ULA counterpart.