Beamforming or spatial filtering is a signal processing technique used in sensor arrays for directional signal transmission or reception.This is achieved by combining elements in a phased array in such a way that signals at particular angles experience constructive interference while others experience destructive interference. Beamforming can be used at both the transmitting and receiving ends in order to achieve spatial selectivity. The improvement compared with omnidirectional reception/transmission is known as the directivity of the element.
Beamforming can be used for radio or sound waves. It has found numerous applications in radar, sonar, seismology, wireless communications, radio astronomy, acoustics, and biomedicine. Adaptive beamforming is used to detect and estimate the signal-of-interest at the output of a sensor array by means of optimal (e.g., least-squares) spatial filtering and interference rejection.