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This paper treats time-domain model-based Bayesian image reconstruction for ultrasonic array imaging and, in particular, two reconstruction methods are presented. These two methods arc based on a linear model of the array imaging system and they perform compensation in both the spatial and temporal domains using a minimum mean squared error (MMSE) criterion and a maximum a posteriori MAP) estimation approach, respectively. The presented estimators perform compensation for both the electrical and acoustical wave propagation effects for the ultrasonic array system at hand. The estimators also take uncertainties into account, and, by the incorporation of proper prior knowledge, high-contrast superresolution reconstruction results are obtained. The novel nonlinear MAP estimator constrains the scattering amplitudes to be positive, which applies in applications where the scatterers have higher acoustic impedance than the surrounding medium. The linear MMSE and nonlinear MAP estimators are compared to the traditional delay-and-sum (DAS) beamformer with respect to both resolution and signal-to-noise ratio. The algorithms are compared using both simulated and measured data. The results show that the model-based methods can successfully compensate for both side-lobes and grating lobes, and they have a superior temporal and lateral resolution compared to DAS beamforming. The ability of the nonlinear MAP estimator to suppress noise is also superior compared to both the linear MMSE estimator and the DAS beamformer.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:54 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: August 2007