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In this work, we present a numerical study of the use of reconfigurable arrays (RCA) for vibro-acoustography (VA) beam formation. A parametric study of the aperture selection, number of channels, number of elements, focal distance, and steering parameters is presented to show the feasibility and evaluate the performance of VA imaging based on RCA. The transducer aperture was based on two concentric arrays driven by two continuous-wave or toneburst signals at slightly different frequencies. The mathematical model considers a homogeneous, isotropic, inviscid medium. The point spread function of the system is calculated based on angular spectrum methods using the Fresnel approximation for rectangular sources. Simulations considering arrays with 50 × 50 to 200 × 200 elements with number of channels varying in the range of 32 to 128 are evaluated to identify the best configuration for VA. Advantages of two-dimensional and RCA arrays and aspects related to clinical importance of the RCA implementation in VA, such as spatial resolution, image frame rate, and commercial machine implementation, are discussed. It is concluded that RCA transducers can produce spatial resolution similar to confocal transducers and steering is possible in the elevational and azimuthal planes. Optimal settings for number of elements, number of channels, maximum steering, and focal distance are suggested for VA clinical applications. Furthermore, an optimization for beam steering based on the channel assignment is proposed for balancing the contribution of the two waves in the steered focus.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:59 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: July 2012