A comparison between temporal and subband minimum variance adaptive beamforming

Konstantinos Diamantis, Iben Holfort Voxen, Alan H. Greenaway, Tom Anderson, Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Vassilis Sboros

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This paper compares the performance between temporal and subband Minimum Variance (MV) beamformers for medical ultrasound imaging. Both adaptive methods provide an optimized set of apodization weights but are implemented in the time and frequency domains respectively. Their performance is evaluated with simulated synthetic aperture data obtained from Field II and is quantified by the Full-Width-Half-Maximum (FWHM), the Peak-Side-Lobe level (PSL) and the contrast level. From a point phantom, a full sequence of 128 emissions with one transducer element transmitting and all 128 elements receiving each time, provides a FWHM of 0.03 mm (0.14λ) for both implementations at a depth of 40 mm. This value is more than 20 times lower than the one achieved by conventional beamforming. The corresponding values of PSL are -58 dB and -63 dB for time and frequency domain MV beamformers, while a value no lower than -50 dB can be obtained from either Boxcar or Hanning weights. Interestingly, a single emission with central element #64 as the transmitting aperture provides results comparable to the full sequence. The values of FWHM are 0.04 mm and 0.03 mm and those of PSL are -42 dB and -46 dB for temporal and subband approaches. From a cyst phantom and for 128 emissions, the contrast level is calculated at -54 dB and -63 dB respectively at the same depth, with the initial shape of the cyst being preserved in contrast to conventional beamforming. The difference between the two adaptive beamformers is less significant in the case of a single emission, with the contrast level being estimated at -42 dB for the time domain and -43 dB for the frequency domain implementation. For the estimation of a single MV weight of a low resolution image formed by a single emission, 0.44 109 calculations per second are required for the temporal approach. The same numbers for the subband approach are 0.62 109 for the point and 1.33 109 for the cystphantom. The comparison demonstrates similar resolution but slightly lower side-lobes and higher contrast for the subband approach at the expense of increased computation time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SPIE - Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging
Number of pages11
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2014
Article number90400L
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventSPIE Medical Imaging 2014 - Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, California, United States
Duration: 15 Feb 201420 Feb 2014


ConferenceSPIE Medical Imaging 2014
LocationTown & Country Resort and Convention Center
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, California
Internet address


  • Adaptive Beamforming
  • Minimum variance
  • Covariance matrix
  • Medical ultrasound

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