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Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Ultrasound Beamforming and


Image Formation

Jeremy J. Dahl
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Overview
Ultrasound Concepts
Beamforming
Image Formation
Absorption and TGC
Advanced Beamforming Techniques
Synthetic Receive Aperture
Parallel Beamforming
Spatial Compounding
Adaptive Beamforming
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Ultrasonic Imaging
Use acoustic (pressure) waves to form images
Frequency range: 1-20 MHz
Tomographic view: imaging plane is orthogonal to the surface
Pulse-echo imaging
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Ultrasound System

Beamformer
TGC
Transducer A/D Conversion
Geometric Focal Delays
Summation

Signal Processing
IQ Computation
Magnitude Calculation Scan Conversion
Compression and Display
Filtering
Flow Processing
Image Mode Processing
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Coordinate System
Elevation (y)

Azimuthal (x)

Transducer
Elements

Axial (z)
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Ultrasound Concepts
BEAMFORMING
Image Formation
Absorption and TGC
Advanced Beamforming Techniques
Synthetic Receive Aperture
Parallel Beamforming
Spatial Compounding
Adaptive Beamforming
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Transmit Beamforming

System Time
Delays Scattering Medium
1

5
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Receive Beamforming

Signal
Alignment Scattering
Medium
1

4
Summed RF Data
(RF Line out) 5
System Time
Delays
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Transducer Array

Beams






Linear Phased
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Fixed Focus Beamforming

10 10

15 15
Depth (mm)

Depth (mm)
20 20

25 25

30 30

35 35
1 0 1 1 0 1
Azimuthal Span (mm) Azimuthal Span (mm)
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Fixed Focus Beamforming

12 12

14 14

16 16
18 18
Depth (mm)

Depth (mm)
20
20
22
22
24
24
26
26
28
28
30
5 0 5 5 0 5
(mm) (mm)
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Dynamic-Receive Beamforming

System Time Delays

Propagation Direction

Transducer
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Dynamic-Receive Beamforming

10 10

15 15
Depth (mm)

Depth (mm)
20 20

25 25

30 30

35 35
1 0 1 1 0 1
Azimuthal Span (mm) Azimuthal Span (mm)
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Dynamic-Receive Beamforming

12 12

14 14

16 16
18 18
Depth (mm)

Depth (mm)
20
20
22
22
24
24
26
26
28
28
30
5 0 5 5 0 5
(mm) (mm)
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Aperture Growth and Apodization

Time: t1 t2 t3
1 1 1
Apodization
Weight:
0 0 0
Aperture
Growth:
Depth

Unused Transducer
Elements
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Aperture Growth and Apodization

10 10

15 15
Depth (mm)

Depth (mm)
20 20

25 25

30 30

35 35
1 0 1 1 0 1
Azimuthal Span (mm) Azimuthal Span (mm)
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Aperture Growth and Apodization


12 12

14 14

16 16
18 18
Depth (mm)

Depth (mm)
20
20
22
22
24
24
26
26
28
28
30
5 0 5 5 0 5
(mm) (mm)
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Ultrasound Concepts
Beamforming
IMAGE FORMATION
Absorption and TGC
Advanced Beamforming Techniques
Synthetic Receive Aperture
Parallel Beamforming
Spatial Compounding
Adaptive Beamforming
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Radio-Frequency (RF) Image


Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Envelope Detection

Envelope

Signal with Carrier


Frequency
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Envelope Detection

Filter

To other post
RF Line in Compression processing filters
cos 2 f0 I2 + Q2 and
Mapping

Filter

sin 2 f0
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Compression and Gray Scale Mapping

The dynamic range of the envelope detected signals is still to large to provide
useful images. Bright targets can drown out the low signals of important
structures.

Compression and gray scale mapping techniques are used to reduce the
dynamic range.
1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Ultrasound Concepts
Beamforming
Image Formation
ABSORPTION AND TGC
Advanced Beamforming Techniques
Synthetic Receive Aperture
Parallel Beamforming
Spatial Compounding
Adaptive Beamforming
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Absorption
Not all of the transmitted ultrasonic energy is reflected. In fact, most of the
transmitted energy is absorbed by the tissue. The typical rate of absorption
of ultrasonic energy is 0.5 decibels per centimeter per Megahertz.

For example, an acoustical pulse at 5 MHz that travels 10 cm into tissue loses
25 dB of its signal strength (in other words, is about 1/18th of the original
amplitude).

Absorption is frequency dependent: The higher the frequency, the greater


the absorption. Although resolution is better at the higher frequencies, the
penetration of the ultrasound signal is not as good as the low frequencies.
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

5.7 MHz 8.0 MHz 10.0 MHz


Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Time-Gain Compensation (TGC)

Time-gain compensation is used to counteract the effects of absorption. Gain


is applied to the signal as a function of time (or distance).

Manufacturers apply pre-determined TGC to the ultrasonic signals, however


still allow the user some control of the gain with depth.

Gain can be applied down to reasonable depths depending on the frequency.


At some point, however, the SNR of the signal is so low that applying any
TGC only serves to amplify noise.
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Without TGC With TGC


Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Advanced Beamforming Techniques

Synthetic Receive Aperture


Parallel Beamforming
Spatial Compounding
Adaptive Beamforming
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Synthetic Receive Aperture

Synthetic receive aperture imaging emulates a larger transducer when a sys-


tems available beamforming channel count is smaller than the number of
elements in the transducer.

The beamforming is considered synthetic because multiple transmits are


used to construct the beam as if it were received on the entire transducer
at once.
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

First Transmit Second Transmit

Transmitting

Receiving

Transmitting and Receiving


Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Parallel Receive Beamforming

Parallel receive beamforming, also known as Explososcanning, is a method


of beamforming that forms multiple receive beams from a single transmit
event.

In parallel receive beamforming, a broad transmit beam is fired, and multiple


receive beams are formed within the bounds of the transmit beam.

Parallel receive beamforming is used to increase frame rate. This is most


useful when the imaging deep within tissue, or real-time 3-D imaging is de-
sired.
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Transducer

Transmit
Beam

Receive Beams
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Spatial Compounding

All ultrasound images suffer from coherent noise, called speckle. Speckle
results from the constructive and destructive wave interference of reflections
from sub-resolution scatterers, and gives the image a grainy appearance.

Speckle reduces the visible resolution by a factor of 10.


Spatial compounding is a means by which the effects of speckle can be re-
duced.
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Spatial Compounding

In spatial compounding, multiple images of the same target are averaged in


order to reduce the coherent noise.

Each image must contain uncorrelated speckle patterns.


Many ways to obtain uncorrelated speckle patterns:
Divide the transducer into small sub-apertures
Change the steering angle of the beams
Physically translate the transducer
Change the transmit frequency
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

pNormalp Spatial Compounding


Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Adaptive Beamforming

Up to this point, weve assumed that the sound speed in human tissue is a
constant (1540 m/s).

This is just an average of the soft tissue sound speed.


Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Adaptive Beamforming

Because the sound speed can change from tissue to tissue, AND because
the thickness of these tissues vary from location to location, the sound wave
used for ultrasonic imaging can become distorted.

The distortion in the sound wave is called ABERRATION in adaptive beam-


forming.

In adaptive beamforming (also called adaptive imaging) we attempt to com-


pensate the beamformer for the aberration.
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Adaptive Beamforming

Some of the effects of aberration


Reduced image brightness
Loss in resolution
Obscured targets
Image artifacts
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Control Aberrated
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Adaptive Beamforming

Many methods have been created to compensate for aberration.


They generally fall into two classes, based on the model of aberration used:
Near-field phase-screen models
Distributed aberration models
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

The Near-Field Phase Screen Model


Signal Misalignment Near Field
Phase Error PhaseScreen
1

4
Summed RF
Data 5
System Time Scattering Medium
Delays
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

A Distributed Aberration Model


MidRange
PhaseScreen

Scattering
1
Medium
2

4
Summed RF
Data 5
System Time
Delays Propagation of Distorted
Wavefronts
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Aberrated Corrected
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Challenges in Adaptive Beamforming

Requires access to the channel signals. Most manufacturers do not provide


access to these signals. In addition, the volume of data created by the chan-
nel signals is extremely large.

Significant computational effort.


Low frame rates - relatively few have attempted to make adaptive beamform-
ing work with real-time imaging.
Ultrasound Beamforming and Image Formation

Thank You

Questions?