Impact of Aperture, Depth, and Acoustic Clutter on the Performance of Coherent Multi-Transducer Ultrasound Imaging

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Abstract

Transducers with a larger aperture size are desirable in ultrasound imaging to improve resolution and image quality. A coherent multi-transducer ultrasound imaging system (CoMTUS) enables an extended effective aperture through the coherent combination of multiple transducers. In this study, the discontinuous extended aperture created by CoMTUS and its performance for deep imaging and through layered media are investigated by both simulations and experiments.
Typical image quality metrics—resolution, contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio—are evaluated and compared with a standard single probe imaging system. Results suggest that the image performance of CoMTUS depends on the relative spatial location of the arrays. The resulting effective aperture significantly improves resolution, while the separation between the arrays may degrade contrast. For a limited gap in the effective aperture (less than a few centimetres), CoMTUS provides benefits to image quality compared to the standard single probe imaging system. Overall, CoMTUS shows higher sensitivity and reduced loss of resolution with imaging depth. In general, CoMTUS imaging performance was unaffected when imaging through a layered medium with different speed of sound values and resolution improved up to 80% at large imaging depths.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7655
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Acoustic clutter
  • Large aperture
  • Multi-probe
  • Ultrasound imaging

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