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Orthogonal quadratic chirp signals for simultaneous multi-zone focusing in medical ultrasound imaging

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4 Author(s)
Changhan Yoon ; Department of Electronic Engineering, Sogang University, Seoul, Korea ; Yangmo Yoo ; Tai-Kyong Song ; Jin Ho Chang

In medical ultrasound imaging, multi-zone focusing on transmission is used to enhance the lateral resolution at the expense of frame rate. As an alternative, this paper proposes a simultaneous multi-zone focusing method using orthogonal quadratic chirp signals to improve lateral resolution without sacrificing frame rate. In the proposed method, two weighted quadratic chirp signals with different spectra are simultaneously transmitted with different transmit time delays for multi-zone focusing. Because the two weighted quadratic chirps can be designed to have a desired level of cross-correlation after compression, the degradation of axial resolution resulting from the division of a spectrum is minimized. Through simulation, the performances of the proposed method were evaluated and compared with those of two-cycle pulsed excitation as a gold standard and two sub-band weighted linear chirps. In the simulation, the proposed method improved -6-dB and -20-dB lateral beam widths by factors of 1.67 and 1.84, respectively, compared with the pulsed excitation. The degradation of axial resolution in the proposed method was maximally 43% less than that in the linear chirp case. The results demonstrate that the proposed method is useful in the improvement of overall ultrasound image quality because the axial resolution of conventional ultrasound images is generally a few times higher than the lateral resolution.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 5 )