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20 March 2014 Simulation study of real time 3D synthetic aperture sequential beamforming for ultrasound imaging
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This paper presents a new beamforming method for real-time three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound imaging using a 2-D matrix transducer. To obtain images with sufficient resolution and contrast, several thousand elements are needed. The proposed method reduces the required channel count from the transducer to the main imaging system, by including electronics in the transducer handle. The reduction of element channel count is achieved using a sequential beamforming scheme. The beamforming scheme is a combination of a fixed focus beamformer in the transducer and a second dynamic focus beamformer in the main system. The real-time imaging capability is achieved using a synthetic aperture beamforming technique, utilizing the transmit events to generate a set of virtual elements that in combination can generate an image. The two core capabilities in combination is named Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming (SASB). Simulations are performed to evaluate the image quality of the presented method in comparison to Parallel beamforming utilizing 16 receive beamformers. As indicators for image quality the detail resolution and Cystic resolution are determined for a set of scatterers at a depth of 90mm for elevation and azimuth angles from 0° to 25°. Simulations show that the acoustic performance of the Proposed method is less angle dependent than Parallel beamforming. The Cystic resolution is shown to be more than 50% improved, with a detail resolution on the same order as Parallel Beamforming.
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Martin Christian Hemmsen, Morten Fischer Rasmussen, Matthias Bo Stuart, and Jørgen Arendt Jensen "Simulation study of real time 3D synthetic aperture sequential beamforming for ultrasound imaging", Proc. SPIE 9040, Medical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 90401K (20 March 2014);

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