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Estimating the Breast Surface Using UWB Microwave Monostatic Backscatter Measurements

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6 Author(s)

This paper presents an algorithm for estimating the location of the breast surface from scattered ultrawideband (UWB) microwave signals recorded across an antenna array. Knowing the location of the breast surface can improve imaging performance if incorporated as a priori information into recently proposed microwave imaging algorithms. These techniques transmit low-power microwaves into the breast using an antenna array, which in turn measures the scattered microwave signals for the purpose of detecting anomalies or changes in the dielectric properties of breast tissue. Our proposed surface identification algorithm consists of three procedures, the first of which estimates points on the breast surface given channels of measured microwave backscatter data. The second procedure applies interpolation and extrapolation to these points to generate points that are approximately uniformly distributed over the breast surface, while the third procedure uses these points to generate a 3-D estimated breast surface. Numerical as well as experimental tests indicate that the maximum absolute error in the estimated surface generated by the algorithm is on the order of several millimeters. An error analysis conducted for a basic microwave radar imaging algorithm (least-squares narrowband beamforming) indicates that this level of error is acceptable. A key advantage of the algorithm is that it uses the same measured signals that are used for UWB microwave imaging, thereby minimizing patient scan time and avoiding the need for additional hardware.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 1 )