A method for synthetic aperture flow imaging using dual stage beamforming has been developed. The main motivation is to increase the frame rate and still maintain a beamforming quality sufficient for flow estimation that is possible to implement in a commercial scanner. This method can generate continuous high frame rate flow images with lower calculation demands than the full synthetic aperture flow imaging. The performance of the approach was investigated using Field II simulations and measurements with the experimental scanner SARUS. A laminar flow with a parabolic profile was generated by a flow rig system. The flow data were acquired by a commercial 7 MHz linear array transducer. Four emissions were transmitted sequentially and repeated 12 times corresponding to 48 emissions. Flow with a peak velocity of 0.12 m/s was measured, the relative standard deviation was 6.4%, and the bias was 7.6% (2.1% and 3.2% for the simulations). A parameter study revealed that emission spacing, number of cross-correlation functions used for averaging, and the length of the velocity searching range influence the performance. Compared to the full synthetic aperture flow imaging the total number of beamformed samples are reduced by a factor of 64 times, and the frame rate is much higher than the conventional method for the same velocity estimation accuracy.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2013, Vol 133, Issue 4, p. 2014-2024
Acoustic signal processing; Array signal processing,; Flow visualisation; Laminar flow; Ultrasonic measurement; Ultrasonic transducer arrays