Cybernetics and Information Technologies
Volume 5, No 2. Sofia, 2005, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Analysis and Optimization of Medical Ultrasound Imaging Using the Effective Aperture Approach

Milen Nikolov, Vera Behar

Institute for Parallel Processing, Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1113 Sofia

Abstract: An effective aperture approach is used as a tool for analysis and parameter optimization of mostly known ultrasound imaging systems - phased array systems, compounding systems and synthetic aperture imaging systems. Both characteristics of an imaging system, the effective aperture function and the corresponding two-way radiation pattern, provide information about two the most important parameters of images produced by an ultrasound system - lateral resolution and contrast. Therefore, in the design, optimization of the effective aperture function leads to optimal choice of such parameters of an imaging systems that influence on lateral resolution and contrast of images produced by this imaging system. The numerical results show that Hamming apodization gives the best compromise between the contrast of images and the lateral resolution produced by a conventional phased array imaging system. In compound imaging, the number of transducers and its spatial separation should be chosen in result of optimization of the effective aperture function of a system. It is shown that the effective aperture approach can be also used for optimization of a sparse synthetic transmit aperture (STA) imaging system. A new two-stage algorithm is proposed for optimization of both the positions of the transmit elements and the weights of the receive elements. The proposed system employs a 64-element array with only four active elements used during transmit.

Keywords: ultrasound imaging, synthetic aperture, stochastic optimization.