Experimental ultrasound system for real-time synthetic imaging

Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Ole Holm, Lars Joost Jensen, Henrik Bendsen, Henrik Møller Pedersen, Kent Salomonsen, Johnny Hansen, Svetoslav Nikolov

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Digital signal processing is being employed more and more in modern ultrasound scanners. This has made it possible to do dynamic receive focusing for each sample and implement other advanced imaging methods. The processing, however, has to be very fast and cost-effective at the same time. Dedicated chips are used in order to do real time processing. This often makes it difficult to implement radically different imaging strategies on one platform and makes the scanners less accessible for research purposes. Here flexibility is the prime concern, and the storage of data from all transducer elements over 5 to 10 seconds is needed to perform clinical evaluation of synthetic and 3D imaging. This paper describes a real-time system specifically designed for research purposes.

The purpose of the system is to make it possible to acquire multi-channel data in real-time from clinical multi-element ultrasound transducers, and to enable real-time or near realtime processing of the acquired data. The system will be capable of performing the processing for the currently available imaging methods, and will make it possible to perform initial trials in a clinical environment with new imaging modalities for synthetic aperture imaging, 2D and 3D B-mode and velocity imaging.

The system can be used with 128 element transducers and can excite 128 channels and receive and sample data from 64 channels simultaneously at 40 MHz with 12 bits precision. Data can be processed in real time using the system's 80 signal processing units or it can be stored directly in RAM. The system has 24 GBytes RAM and can thus store 8 seconds of multi-channel data. It is fully software programmable and its signal processing units can also be reconfigured under software control. The control of the system is done over an Ethernet using C and Matlab. Programs for doing e.g. B-mode imaging can directly be written in Matlab and executed on the system over the net from any workstation running Matlab. The overall system concept is presented and an example of a 20 lines script for doing phased array B-mode imaging is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication1999 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium Proceedings
Publication date1999
ISBN (Print)0-7803-5722-1, 0-7803-5723-X
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Event1999 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium - Lake Tahoe, NV, United States
Duration: 17 Oct 199920 Oct 1999


Conference1999 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Tahoe, NV
Internet address
SeriesI E E E International Ultrasonics Symposium. Proceedings

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