Time-domain optimized near-field estimator for ultrasound imaging: initial development and results.
For nearly four decades, adaptive beamforming (ABF) algorithms have been applied in RADAR and SONAR signal processing. These algorithms reduce the contribution of undesired off-axis signals while maintaining a desired response along a specific look direction. Typically, higher resolution and contrast is attainable using adaptive beamforming at the price of an increased computational load. In this paper, we describe a novel ABF designed for medical ultrasound, named the Time-domain Optimized Near-field Estimator (TONE). We performed a series of simulations using synthetic ultrasound data to test the performance of this algorithm and compared it to conventional, data independent, delay and sum beamforming (CBF) method. We also performed experiments using a Philips SONOS 5500 phased array imaging system. CBF was applied using the default parameters of the Philips scanner, whereas TONE was applied on per channel, unfocused data using an unfocused transmit beam. TONE images were reconstructed at a sampling of 67 microm laterally and 19 microm axially. The results obtained for a series of five 20-microm wires in a water tank show a significant improvement in spatial resolution when compared to CBF. We also analyzed the performance of TONE as a function of speed of sound errors and array sparsity, finding it robust to both.
Viola, F; Ellis, MA; Walker, WF
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