Real-time, Software-based Ultrasound Image Formation for Array Transducer Systems

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2013

Author's Department

Computer Science & Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Noninvasive and multi-purposed, with uses ranging from fetal monitoring to cancer detection, medical ultrasound is one of the most widely utilized diagnostic tools in medicine today. Recent trends to proliferate its use and improve patient care require that ultrasound systems become more portable and less expensive. However, high resolution images needed in medical ultrasound rely on multichannel ultrasonic transducers requiring expensive, dedicated hardware to perform beamforming. This dissertation explores the reduction of hardware requirements for multi-channel ultrasound image formation through the use of software-based beamforming.

First, the requirements and computational complexity of software-based ultrasound image formation are investigated. Then, a new beamforming algorithm is presented, introducing sparse upsampling as a means to reduce computational complexity. Performance and noise implications of this new algorithm are also investigated. Finally, a framework for parallelizing beamforming and other image processing functions is introduced. This framework is used to implement real-time, software-based ultrasound image formation for an annular array use case. This new beamforming algorithm, used in conjunction with the parallel processing framework eliminates the need for hardware-based beamforming, reducing the overall cost and complexity of multichannel ultrasound probes.


English (en)


William D Richard

Committee Members

Roger D Chamberlain, Robert E Morley, David E Taylor


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K70R9MB5

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