Currently synthetic aperture flow methods can find the correct velocity magnitude, when the flow direction is known. To make a fully automatic system, the direction should also be estimated. Such an approach has been suggested by Jensen (2004) based on a search of the highest cross-correlation as a function of velocity and angle. This paper presents an experimental investigation of this velocity angle estimation method based on a set of synthetic aperture flow data measured using our RASMUS experimental ultrasound system. The measurements are performed for flow angles of 60, 75, and 90 deg. with respect to the axial direction, and for constant velocities with a peak of 0.1 m/s and 0.2 m/s. The implemented synthetic aperture imaging method uses virtual point sources in front of the transducer, and recursive imaging is used to increase the data rate. A 128 element linear array transducer is used for the experiments, and the emitted pulse is a 20 micro sec. chirp, linearly sweeping frequencies from approximately 3.5 to 10.5 MHz. The flow angle could be estimated with an average bias up to 5.0 deg., and a average standard deviation between 0.2 deg. and 5.2 deg. Using the angle estimates, the velocity magnitudes were estimated with average standard deviations no higher than 6.5% relative to the peak velocity.
Proceedings of Spie Medical Imaging Meeting: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, 2005, p. 417-426