Space-time encoding for high frame rate ultrasound imaging

Thanssis Misaridis, Jørgen Arendt Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Frame rate in ultrasound imaging can be dramatically increased by using sparse synthetic transmit aperture (STA) beamforming techniques. The two main drawbacks of the method are the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the motion artifacts, that degrade the image quality. In this paper we propose a spatio-temporal encoding for STA imaging based on simultaneous transmission of two quasi-orthogonal tapered linear FM signals. The excitation signals are an up- and a down-chirp with frequency division and a cross-talk of −55 dB. The received signals are first cross-correlated with the appropriate code, then spatially decoded and finally beamformed for each code, yielding two images per emission. The spatial encoding is a Hadamard encoding previously suggested by Chiao et al. [in: Proceedings of the IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, 1997, p. 1679]. The Hadamard matrix has half the size of the transmit element groups, due to the orthogonality of the temporal encoded wavefronts. Thus, with this method, the frame rate is doubled compared to previous systems. Another advantage is the utilization of temporal codes which are more robust to attenuation. With the proposed technique it is possible to obtain images dynamically focused in both transmit and receive with only two firings. This reduces the problem of motion artifacts. The method has been tested with extensive simulations using Field II. Resolution and SNR are compared with uncoded STA imaging and conventional phased-array imaging. The range resolution remains the same for coded STA imaging with four emissions and is slightly degraded for STA imaging with two emissions due to the −55 dB cross-talk between the signals. The additional proposed temporal encoding adds more than 15 dB on the SNR gain, yielding a SNR at the same order as in phased-array imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1-8
Pages (from-to)593-597
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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