Optimal apodization design for medical ultrasound using constrained least squares part II: simulation results.
In the first part of this work, we introduced a novel general ultrasound apodization design method using constrained least squares (CLS). The technique allows for the design of system spatial impulse responses with narrow mainlobes and low sidelobes. In the linear constrained least squares (LCLS) formulation, the energy of the point spread function (PSF) outside a certain mainlobe boundary was minimized while maintaining a peak gain at the focus. In the quadratic constrained least squares (QCLS) formulation, the energy of the PSF outside a certain boundary was minimized, and the energy of the PSF inside the boundary was held constant. In this paper, we present simulation results that demonstrate the application of the CLS methods to obtain optimal system responses. We investigate the stability of the CLS apodization design methods with respect to errors in the assumed wave propagation speed. We also present simulation results that implement the CLS design techniques to improve cystic resolution. According to novel performance metrics, our apodization profiles improve cystic resolution by 3 dB to 10 dB over conventional apodizations such as the flat, Hamming, and Nuttall windows. We also show results using the CLS techniques to improve conventional depth of field (DOF).
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