Synthetic receive aperture imaging with phase correction for motion and for tissue inhomogeneities. I. Basic principles.
The use of a synthetic receive aperture (SRA) system to increase the resolution, of a phased-array imaging system severalfold, by utilizing the available number of parallel receiver channels to address a larger number of transducer elements through a multiplexer system, is considered. Recent studies indicate that transducers with a very large number of elements will improve the detectability of small or low contrast targets when adaptive focusing is used to compensate for the effects of acoustic velocity inhomogeneities in tissue. With the effectively increased transducer element count afforded by an SRA system, a 1-by-N phased array could be split into an M-by-N array in order to improve resolution in the elevation dimension. Simulation results illustrate the lateral resolution achievable with several types of imaging systems: SRA, synthetic focus, and conventional phased array. Simulated images demonstrate the improvement in contrast resolution achievable using SRA. Experimental results show the improvement in beam width achieved by an experimental SRA system.
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