An experimental system for early screening of a breast tumor is presented in this article. The proposed microwave imaging (MI) system consists of a moveable array of nine improved negative-index metamaterial (MTM)-loaded ultrawideband (UWB) antenna sensor with incorporation of a corresponding SRR (split-ring resonator) and CLS (capacitively loaded strip) structure, in a circular array, the stepper motor-based array-mounting stand, the adjustable phantom hanging platform, an RF switching system to control the receivers, and a personal computer-based signal processing and image reconstruction unit using MATLAB. The improved antenna comprises of four-unit cells along one axis, where an individual unit cell integrates a balancing SRR and CLS pair, which makes the antenna radiation omnidirectional over the operating frequencies. The electrical dimensions of this proposed antenna are 0.28λ
, measured at the lowest operating frequency of 2.97 GHz as the operating bandwidth of this is in between 2.97–15 GHz (134.82% bandwidth), with stable directional radiation pattern. SP8T 8 port switch is used to enable the eight receiver antennas to sequentially send a 3–8.0 GHz microwave signal to capture the backscattered signal by MATLAB software. A low-cost realistic homogeneous breast phantom with tumor material is developed and measured to test the capability of the imaging system to detect the breast tumors. A post-processing delay-multiply-and-sum (DMAS) algorithm is used to process the recorded backscatter signal to get an image of the breast phantom, and to accurately identify the existence and located area of multiple breast tumor tissues.
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