IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL, vol.52, no.1, pp.37-50, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
The front-end hardware complexity of a coherent array imaging system scales with the number of active array elements that are simultaneously used for transmission or reception of signals. Different imaging methods use different numbers of active channels and data collection strategies. Conventional full phased array (EPA) imaging produces the best image quality using all elements for both transmission and reception, and it has high front-end hardware complexity. In contrast, classical synthetic aperture (CSA) imaging only transmits on and receives from a single element at a time, minimizing the hardware complexity but achieving poor image quality. We propose a new coherent array imaging method-phased subarray (PSA) imagine-that performs partial transmit and receive beam-forming using a subset of adjacent elements at each firing step. This method reduces the number of active channels to the number of subarray elements; these channels are multiplexed across the full array and a reduced number of beams are acquired from each subarray. The low-resolution subarray images are laterally upsampled, interpolated, weighted, and coherently summed to form the final high-resolution PSA image. The PSA imaging reduces the complexity of the front-end hardware while achieving image quality approaching that of FPA imaging.