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Real-time full matrix capture + total focusing and other novel imaging options using general purpose PC-based array instrumentation

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Data acquisition using full matrix capture (FMC) and image reconstruction by the total focusing method (TFM) offers many benefits over conventional ultrasonic array beamforming techniques. These include dynamic focus on both transmit and receive for enhanced resolution and the ability to alter the focus and steer angle without re-scanning. However, the technique has remained in the laboratory because of the costs associated with acquiring many channels in parallel and the absence of a real-time reconstruction capability. This paper describes a solution to these constraints. The paper reviews the issues limiting the current implementations and describes how they were overcome by using flexible and scalable PC-based hardware modules. This new architecture already achieves acquisition and processing at 20 Hz and higher, meeting the requirements for interactive scanning and so enabling these techniques to transfer from the laboratory into the field. Results from the first phase of a continuing investigation are presented. New application approaches, where these techniques offer particular benefits over conventional techniques, are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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