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Ultrawideband (UWB) radar is one of the most promising alternatives to X-ray mammography as an imaging modality for the early detection of breast cancer. Several beamforming algorithms have been developed which exploit the dielectric contrast between normal and cancerous tissue at microwave frequencies in order to detect tumors. Dielectric heterogeneity within the breast greatly effects the ability of a beamformer to detect very small tumors, therefore the design of an effective beamformer for this application represents a significant challenge. This paper analyzes and compares 3 data-independent beamforming algorithms, testing each system on an anatomically correct, MRI derived breast model which incorporates recently-published data on dielectric properties.
Date of Conference: 3-6 Sept. 2009