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Overdetermined least-squares aberration estimates using common-midpoint signals

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3 Author(s)

As medical ultrasound imaging moves to larger apertures and higher frequencies, tissue sound-speed variations continue to limit resolution. In geophysical imaging, a standard approach for estimating near-surface aberrating delays is to analyze the time shifts between common-midpoint signals. This requires complete data-echoes from every source/receiver pair in the array. Unfocused common-midpoint signals remain highly correlated in the presence of delay aberrations; there is also tremendous redundancy in the data. In medical ultrasound, this technique has been impaired by the wide-angle, random-scattering nature of tissue. This has made it difficult to estimate azimuth-dependent aberration profiles or to harness the full redundancy in the complete data. Prefiltering the data with two-dimensional fan filters mitigates these problems, permitting highly overdetermined, least-squares solutions for the aberration profiles at many steering angles. In experiments with a tissue-mimicking phantom target and silicone rubber aberrators at nonzero stand-off distances from a one-dimensional phased array, this overdetermined, fan-filtering algorithm significantly outperformed other phase-screen algorithms based on nearest-neighbor cross-correlation, speckle brightness maximization, and common-midpoint signal analysis. Our results imply that there is still progress to be made in imaging with single-valued focusing operators. It also appears that the signal-to-noise penalty for using complete data sets is partially compensated by the overdetermined nature of the problem.

Published in:

Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2004

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