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Estimation and correction of ultrasonic wavefront distortion using pulse-echo data received in a two-dimensional aperture

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2 Author(s)
Liu, D.-L.D. ; Ultrasound Group, Siemens Med. Syst., WA, USA ; Waag, R.C.

Pulse-echo measurements from random scattering and from a point target have been used to quantify transmitter beam size effects and isoplanatic patch size as well as to evaluate the performance of different aberration compensation techniques. Measurements were made using a single-element transmitter with a diameter of 1/2 in., 1 in., or 2 in., each focused at 3 in. A tissue-mimicking scattering phantom or a point target was used to produce echoes that were received in a two-dimensional aperture synthesized by scanning a linear array. A specimen of abdominal wall was placed in the reception path to produce aberration. B-scan images were formed with no compensation, with time-shift compensation in the receiving aperture, and with backpropagation followed by time-shift compensation. The isoplanatic patch size was estimated by compensating the focus of a test point target with the parameters estimated for an original point target position, and observing the deterioration of compensation effects with increasing distance between the test and the original point targets. The results of the measurements using different transmitter diameters quantify the improvement of time-delay estimation with the increase in wavefront coherence that accompanies decreased transmitter beam size. For seven specimens, the average isoplanatic patch size determined from a 10% increase in the -10 dB effective diameter was 16.7 mm in the azimuthal direction and 39.0 mm in the range direction. These sizes increased after backpropagation to 19.0 mm and 41.4 mm, respectively. For the 1/2 in., 1 in., and 2 in. diameter transmitters, the average contrast ratio improvement was 2.0 dB, 2.1 dB, and 2.8 dB, respectively, with time-shift compensation, and 2.3 dB, 2.7 dB, and 3.5 dB, respectively, with backpropagation of 20 mm followed by time-delay estimation and compensation. The investigation indicates that a tightly focused transmitter beam is necessary to create a scattered wavefront satisfactory for t- me-shift estimation, the isoplanatic patch is about twice as long in the range direction as in the azimuthal direction, and backpropagation followed by time-shift compensation provides better compensation of distortion than time-shift compensation alone.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 2 )