Robust and Accurate Ultrasound 3-D Imaging Algorithm Incorporating Adaptive Smoothing Techniques

Kenshi SAHO
Tomoki KIMURA
Shouhei KIDERA
Hirofumi TAKI
Takuya SAKAMOTO
Toru SATO

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E95-B    No.2    pp.572-580
Publication Date: 2012/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E95.B.572
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Sensing
Keyword: 
ultrasound 3-D imaging,  accurate imaging,  robust imaging,  adaptive smoothing,  

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Summary: 
Many researchers have proposed ultrasound imaging techniques for product inspection; however, most of these techniques are aimed at detecting the existence of flaws in products. The acquisition of an accurate three-dimensional image using ultrasound has the potential to be a useful product inspection tool. In this paper we apply the Envelope algorithm, which was originally proposed for accurate UWB (Ultra Wide-Band) radar imaging systems, to ultrasound imaging. We show that the Envelope algorithm results in image deterioration, because it is difficult for ultrasound measurements to achieve high signal to noise (S/N) ratio values as a result of a high level of noise and interference from the environment. To reduce errors, we propose two adaptive smoothing techniques that effectively stabilize the estimated image produced by the Envelope algorithm. An experimental study verifies that the proposed imaging algorithm has accurate 3-D imaging capability with a mean error of 6.1 µm, where the transmit center frequency is 2.0 MHz and the S/N ratio is 23 dB. These results demonstrate the robustness of the proposed imaging algorithm compared with a conventional Envelope algorithm.