Coherent array imaging using phased subarmys. Part II: Simulations and experimental results


IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL, vol.52, no.1, pp.51-64, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The basic principles and theory of phased subarray (PSA) imaging imaging provides the flexibility of reducing I he number of front-end hardware channels between that of classical synthetic aperture (CSA) imaging-which uses only one element per firing event-and full-phased array (FPA,) imaging-which uses all elements for each firing. The performance of PSA generally ranges between that obtained by CSA and FPA using the same array, and depends on the amount of hardware complexity reduction. For the work described in this paper, we performed FPA, CSA, and PSA imaging of a resolution phantom using both simulated and experimental data from a 3-MHz, 3.2-cm, 128-element capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducer (CMUT) array. The simulated system point responses in the spatial and frequency domains are presented as a means of studying the effects of signal bandwidth, reconstruction filter size, and subsampling rate on the PSA system performance. The PSA and FPA sector-scanned images were reconstructed using the wideband experimental data with 80% fractional bandwidth, with seven 32-element subarrays used for PSA imaging. The measurements on the experimental sector images indicate that, at the transmit focal zone, the PSA method provides a 10% improvement in the 6-dB lateral resolution, and the axial point resolution of PSA imaging is identical to that of FPA imaging. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of PSA image was 58.3 dB, 4.9 dB below that of the FPA image, and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) is reduced by 10%. The simulated and experimental test results presented in this paper validate theoretical expectations and illustrate the flexibility of PSA imaging as a way to exchange SNR and frame rate for simplified front-end hardware.