Virtual ultrasound sources in high-resolution ultrasound imaging

Svetoslav Nikolov, Jørgen Arendt Jensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper investigates the concept of virtual source elements. It suggests a common framework for increasing the resolution, and penetration depth of several imaging modalities by applying synthetic aperture focusing (SAF). SAF is used either as a post focusing procedure on the beamformed data, or directly on the raw signals from the transducer elements. Both approaches increase the resolution. The paper shows that in one imaging situation, there can co-exist dierent virtual sources for the same scan line - one in the azimuth plane, and another in the elevation. This property is used in a two stage beamforming procedure for 3D ultrasound imaging. The position of the virtual source, and the created waveform are investigated with simulation, and with pulse-echo measurements. There is good agreement between the estimated wavefront and the theoretically tted one. Several examples of the use of virtual source elements are considered. Using SAF on data acquired for a conventional linear array imaging improves the penetration depth for the particular imaging situation from 80 to 110 mm. The independent use of virtual source elements in the elevation plane decreases the respective size of the point spread function at 100 mm below the transducer from 7mm to 2 mm
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - Progress in biomedical optics and imaging
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2002
ISBN (Print)0819444324
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventSPIE Medical Imaging 2002: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing - San Diego, United States
Duration: 23 Feb 200228 Feb 2002
Conference number: 4687


ConferenceSPIE Medical Imaging 2002
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
OtherProgress in biomedical optics and imaging

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