Real-time three-dimensional acoustic imaging is difficult in water or tissue because of the slow speed of sound in these media. Conventional pulse-echo data collection, which uses at least one transmit pulse per line in the image, does not allow for the real-time update of a volume of data at practical ranges. Recently, a linear amplitude-steered array was presented that allows the collection of a plane of data with a single transmit pulse by spatially separating frequencies in the lateral direction. Later, by using a linear array with frequency separation in the vertical direction and rotating the array in the horizontal direction, volumetric data were collected with a small number of transmit pulses. By expanding the linear array to a two-dimensional array, data can now be collected for volumetric imaging in real time. In this study, the amplitude-steered array at the heart of a real-time volumetric sonar imaging system is described, giving the design of the array and describing how data are collected and processed to form images. An analysis of lateral resolution in the vertical and horizontal directions shows that resolution is improved in the direction of frequency separation over systems that use a broad transmit beam. Images from simulated data are presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics