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Pulse design is investigated for time-reversal (TR) imaging as applied to ultrawideband (UWB) breast cancer detection. Earlier it has been shown that a suitably-designed UWB pulse may help to improve imaging performance for a single-tumor breast phantom with predetermined lesion properties. The current work considers the following more general and practical situations: presence of multiple malignancies with unknown tumor size and dielectric properties. Four pulse selection criteria are proposed with each focusing on one of the following aspects: eliminating signal clutter generated by tissue inhomogeneities, canceling mutual interference among tumors, improving image resolution, and suppressing artifacts created by sidelobe of the target response. By applying the proposed criteria, the shape parameters of UWB waveforms with desirable characteristics are identified through search of all the possible pulses. Simulation example using a numerical breast phantom, comprised of two tumors and structured clutter distribution, demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Specifically, a tradeoff between the image resolution and signal-to-clutter contrast (SCC) is observed in terms of selection of the excitation waveforms.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2008