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Short-lag spatial coherence imaging on matrix arrays, Part 1: Beamforming methods and simulation studies

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4 Author(s)
Dongwoon Hyun ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Duke Univ., Durham, NC, USA ; Trahey, G.E. ; Jakovljevic, M. ; Dahl, J.J.

Short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging is a beamforming technique that has demonstrated improved imaging performance compared with conventional B-mode imaging in previous studies. Thus far, the use of 1-D arrays has limited coherence measurements and SLSC imaging to a single dimension. Here, the SLSC algorithm is extended for use on 2-D matrix array transducers and applied in a simulation study examining imaging performance as a function of subaperture configuration and of incoherent channel noise. SLSC images generated with a 2-D array yielded superior contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and texture SNR measurements over SLSC images made on a corresponding 1-D array and over B-mode imaging. SLSC images generated with square subapertures were found to be superior to SLSC images generated with subapertures of equal surface area that spanned the whole array in one dimension. Subaperture beamforming was found to have little effect on SLSC imaging performance for subapertures up to 8 × 8 elements in size on a 64 × 64 element transducer. Additionally, the use of 8 × 8, 4 × 4, and 2 × 2 element subapertures provided 8, 4, and 2 times improvement in channel SNR along with 2640-, 328-, and 25-fold reduction in computation time, respectively. These results indicate that volumetric SLSC imaging is readily applicable to existing 2-D arrays that employ subaperture beamforming.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:61 ,  Issue: 7 )