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The performance of many signal-processing applications in ultrasound medical imaging, including elastography, blood flow imaging, tissue velocity imaging, and acoustic radiation force impulse imaging, depends on the performance of their time-delay estimators. In this paper, we present a new time-delay estimator based on the tracking of individual samples using a continuous representation of the echo signal. We also present the use of the same interpolation approach to improve the performance of the zero-crossing tracking delay estimator. Simulation results show that sample tracking algorithms significantly outperform commonly used window-based algorithms in terms of bias and standard deviation. Sample tracking algorithms also have higher sensitivity and resolution compared with traditional delay estimators, including recently introduced spline-based continuous time-delay estimators, because they provide the displacement of individual samples. Experimental results demonstrating the viability of sample tracking delay estimation are also presented.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:55 , Issue: 12 )
Date of Publication: December 2008