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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 204; doi:10.3390/app8020204

Adaptive Beamformer Combined with Phase Coherence Weighting Applied to Ultrafast Ultrasound

Faculty of Engineering, University of Toyama, Toyama 930-8555, Japan
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, University of Toyama, Toyama 930-8555, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafast Ultrasound Imaging)
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Ultrafast ultrasound imaging is a promising technique for measurement of fast moving objects. In ultrafast ultrasound imaging, the high temporal resolution is realized at the expense of the lateral spatial resolution and image contrast. The lateral resolution and image contrast are important factors determining the quality of a B-mode image, and methods for improvements of the lateral resolution and contrast have been developed. In the present study, we focused on two signal processing techniques; one is an adaptive beamformer, and the other is the phase coherence factor (PCF). By weighting the output of the modified amplitude and phase estimation (mAPES) beamformer by the phase coherence factor, image quality was expected to be improved. In the present study, we investigated how to implement the PCF into the mAPES beamformer. In one of the two examined strategies, the PCF is estimated using element echo signals before application of the weight vector determined by the adaptive beamformer. In the other strategy, the PCF was evaluated from the element signals subjected to the mAPES beamformer weights. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated by the experiments using an ultrasonic imaging phantom. Using the proposed strategies, the lateral full widths at half maximum (FWHM) were both 0.288 mm, which was better than that of 0.348 mm obtained by the mAPES beamformer only. Also, the image contrasts realized by the mAPES beamformer with the PCFs estimated before and after application of the mAPES beamformer weights to the element signals were 5.61 dB and 5.32 dB, respectively, which were better than that of 5.14 dB obtained by the mAPES beamformer only. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptive beamformer; coherence factor; lateral spatial resolution; image contrast adaptive beamformer; coherence factor; lateral spatial resolution; image contrast

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mozumi, M.; Hasegawa, H. Adaptive Beamformer Combined with Phase Coherence Weighting Applied to Ultrafast Ultrasound. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 204.

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