Switched Patents (Class 73/626)
  • Patent number: 8079263
    Abstract: The disclosed embodiments include a method, system, and device for conducting ultrasound interrogation of a medium. The novel method includes transmitting a non-beamformed or beamformed ultrasound wave into the medium, receiving more than one echoed ultrasound wave from the medium, and converting the received echoed ultrasound wave into digital data. The novel method may further transmit the digital data. In some embodiments, the transmitting may be wireless. The novel device may include transducer elements, an analog-to-digital converter in communication with the transducer elements, and a transmitter in communication with the analog-to-digital converter. The transducers may operate to convert a first electrical energy into an ultrasound wave. The first electrical energy may or may not be beamformed. The transducers also may convert an echoed ultrasound wave into a second electrical energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignee: Penrith Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin S. Randall, Jodi Schwartz Klessel, Anthony P. Lannutti, Joseph A. Urbano, Raymond F. Weymer, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8033172
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a flaw detector imaging apparatus for detecting and visualizing a flaw in a target material to be investigated, comprising an ultrasonic phase-array probe comprising an array of ultrasonic transducers and a flaw detector. The flaw detector includes at least one trigger channel to trigger ultrasonic emitting transducers of the array at respective time delays to produce an ultrasonic beam propagating through the target material, and a single receiver channel to receive echo signals produced by ultrasonic receiving transducers of the array in response to ultrasonic wave echoes reflected from a flaw in the target material. The single receiver channel comprises a delay circuit imparting to the received echo signals the respective time delays as used in the triggering of the ultrasonic emitting transducers and a combiner of the delayed echo signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Olympus NDT
    Inventors: Pierre Langlois, Agostino Abatte, Josefina R. Quiles, legal representative
  • Patent number: 8006558
    Abstract: A sample 10 is measured by generating ultrasound at 12, for example by using a laser 22 and spatial light modulator 26. The ultrasound is detected at 16, for example by optical beam deflection techniques. A characteristic of the generation at 12 is swept across a range of values to vary the efficiency of generation of ultrasound. The value of the characteristic, which corresponds with the peak amplitude detected at 16, is identified to provide a measure of the acoustic velocity at the region 12. The method is executed at a plurality of sites 12, 20 to provide a set of spatially resolved measurements of the sample 10. This allows an image of the sample to be created.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: The University of Nottingham
    Inventors: Matthew Clark, Stephen Sharples
  • Patent number: 7975549
    Abstract: A non-destructive inspection method, apparatus and system are provided for inspecting a workpiece having a curved surface with at least one predefined radius of curvature. The apparatus, such as an inspection probe, includes a plurality of transducer elements positioned in an arcuate configuration having a predefined radius of curvature and a curved delay line. The curved delay line has an outer arcuate surface having a predefined radius of curvature that matches the predefined radius of curvature of the transducer elements. The curved delay line also has an inner arcuate surface that has at least one predefined radius of curvature that matches the at least one predefined radius of curvature of the curved surface of the workpiece. In addition to the inspection probe, the system includes an excitative source for triggering the transducer elements to emit signals into the workpiece and a computing device to receive the return signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Barry A. Fetzer, Hien T. Bui
  • Patent number: 7966884
    Abstract: A two-dimensional array ultrasonic probe has an ultrasonic transducer. The transducer has transducer elements that are arranged in a first direction and a second direction, forming a lattice. Acoustic-emission electrodes are provided on the acoustic-emission surfaces of the transducer elements. Back electrodes are provided on the backs of the transducer elements. A transmitting-circuit unit is connected to the acoustic-emission electrodes. A receiving-circuit unit is connected to the back electrodes. Of the acoustic-emission electrodes, two electrodes are short-circuited to the transmitting circuits of the transmitting-circuit unit. The remaining two acoustic-emission electrodes are short-circuited to the receiving circuits of the receiving-circuit unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation
    Inventor: Hiroyuki Shikata
  • Patent number: 7950284
    Abstract: Device for ultrasonic inspection of a wall of a pipeline that encloses a fluidum. The device is arranged to be moveable along a device axis through the pipeline along a longitudinal direction of the pipeline. The device is provided with electronic means, a body, a transmitting transducer and at least two receiving transducers, mutually spaced apart in a first transducer array along an array direction that is directed substantially parallel to the device axis. The electronic means are arranged to operate the transmitting transducer for transmitting a first ultrasonic signal to propagate through the fluidum to reach the wall, and to operate the at least two receiving transducers for receiving a second ultrasonic signal, which originates from the first ultrasonic signal after it is modified by the wall, according to a tandem method. The at least two receiving transducers are operated for receiving substantially simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Röntgen Technische Dienst B.V.
    Inventors: Frederik Hendrik Dijkstra, Paul André De Jong, Herman Jozef Moolenaar, Thomas Theodorus A. Van Overbeek
  • Patent number: 7946986
    Abstract: A medical ultrasound system. A base unit is included having system electronics, a user interface and ultrasound control electronics. An ultrasound therapy head is in electronic communication with the base unit. The therapy head includes a replaceable, sealed transducer cartridge with a coupling fluid therein. A cooling system is provided for cooling the coupling fluid. A plurality of guide indicators are positioned around the therapy head to align with crossed lines on a patient so as to properly align the therapy head prior to use. The therapy head can provide variable treatments to an area while the therapy head is in contact with a patient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignee: Medicis Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Craig R. Bockenstedt, Jeffrey R. Crunkilton, Gregory T. Wing, Frederick J. Bennett, Blake W. Little
  • Patent number: 7914457
    Abstract: An ultrasonic probe of a radial scan type mountable on an ultrasonic observation apparatus, which inputs and outputs M numbers of signals in parallel, comprises the following: N (N>M) numbers of ultrasonic transducers disposed on an outer periphery of a tip, and grouped into plural sensor element groups activated in sequence, each of which has M numbers of ultrasonic transducers; N numbers of first signal lines respectively connected to the N numbers of ultrasonic transducers for transmitting a drive signal for driving the ultrasonic transducers and an echo signal from within a living organism; M numbers of second signal lines connected to the ultrasonic observation apparatus; and a multiplexer disposed between the first signal lines and the second signal lines, which selectively switches M numbers of the first signal lines for respectively connecting to the second signal lines according to the sensor element group to be activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2011
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshiaki Satou, Tomoo Sato, Hiroyuki Karasawa, Kazuhiro Tsujita
  • Patent number: 7887486
    Abstract: Adaptive grating lobe suppression is provided. Received ultrasound data is measured, compared or otherwise processed to determine the presence of grating lobe energy. A further process is then altered as a function of the level of grating lobe energy. In one embodiment, the adaptive grating lobe suppression is implemented in the receive beamformer. Data representing a virtual element is formed as a normalized sum of data from adjacent sparse elements. The data from the adjacent elements is correlated to determine the presence of grating lobe energy as a function of the amount of shift associated with the peak correlation. A phase shift is applied to the data representing the virtual element where sufficient grating lobe energy is determined. In another embodiment, an amount of grating lobe energy is measured by comparing data from prior to a filter with filtered data. The filter is selected to isolate main lobe energy from grating lobe energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Kutay F. Ustuner, Albert Gee
  • Patent number: 7850625
    Abstract: A method for early detection of a pregnancy complication, including touching a position sensor to a point on a fetal presenting part of a fetus in a mother, and capturing a position of the position sensor, touching the position sensor to a set of points on the mother and capturing the position of the position sensor at each point, and detecting a pregnancy complication sign based upon a predefined criterion for said pregnancy complication. Methods and apparatus are provided for identifying the BPD pattern in an ultrasound image, for determining characteristics of body parts outside of a pelvic region, for BPD reconstruction and for an adapter for a position sensor are also described among other embodiments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: Trig Medical Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoav Paltieli, Octavian Soldea, Ran Bar-Sella, Gal Ben-David
  • Patent number: 7823453
    Abstract: An ultrasonic imaging device, comprising: a receiver, for receiving ultrasonic signals which carry information about human body; a processor, for analyzing and processing the received ultrasonic signals in order to get image and/or sound signals; a controller, for issuing at least one instruction; and a recorder, for recording the image and/or sound signals on recording medium in digital form in accordance with the instruction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Liguo Zhang, Zhiyong Guan, Xujin He
  • Patent number: 7819806
    Abstract: Systems and methods are described for acquiring, processing, and presenting boundaries of a cavity-tissue interface within a region-of-interest in an ultrasound image based upon the strength of signals of ultrasound echoes returning from structures within the region-of-interest. The segmentation of boundaries of cavity shapes occupying the region-of-interest utilizes cost function analysis of pixel sets occupying the cavity-tissue interface. The segmented shapes are further image processed to determine areas and volumes of the organ or structure containing the cavity within the region-of-interest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Verathon Inc.
    Inventors: Fuxing Yang, Stephen Dudycha, Gerald McMorrow
  • Patent number: 7779696
    Abstract: A capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (cMUT) system has two cMUTs connected to each other. The first cMUT is adapted for operation in a transmission mode, and the second cMUT is adapted for operation in the reception mode. The first cMUT and the second cMUT share a common signal line and are connected in a manner to allow the first cMUT and the second cMUT to have bias voltages that can be independently set. In one embodiment, one of the cMUTs is connected to a voltage controller to regulator the voltage applied there on. Various connection configurations, including connections in series and connections in parallel, are disclosed. The cMUT system configurations allow separate optimization for transmission and reception and better flexibility in operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Kolo Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Yongli Huang
  • Patent number: 7780602
    Abstract: Methods and system for controlling an ultrasound system are described. One method includes acquiring ultrasound data relating to an object and iteratively adjusting acoustic power output of the ultrasound system based on the acquired ultrasound data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Xiaohui Hao, Kirstin Nora LaConte
  • Patent number: 7762954
    Abstract: An intravascular ultrasonic imaging catheter is provided with a flexible circuit electrically coupled to a transducer array mounted on the distal end of the catheter, a portion of the flexible circuit being helically wound about the catheter in order to enhance the flexibility of the circuit. The catheter may be a balloon catheter which is also provided with a stent mounted on the balloon, the stent carrying one or more drugs designed to be eluted or washed into a patient's blood stream after the stent has been delivered, by a the balloon catheter, into a target area within the patient's vascular system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Volcano Corporation
    Inventors: Elvin Nix, William Howes, Robert Dickinson, Stephan Wnendt
  • Patent number: 7751989
    Abstract: A system for inspecting a pipeline having at least two transducers divided into segments, the segments each containing a number of sensors, wherein a maximum number of segments is equal to a number of transducers, an arrangement configured to send, receive and store signals, wherein the arrangement has a number of pulser channels and a number of receiver channels, wherein the arrangement has at least one multiplexing arrangement for multiplexing signals from the arrangement; and a time delay arrangement connected to the arrangement configured to send, receive and store signals. The system may also provide for focal point skewing, near real time coating compensation for proper excitation mode, adjusted time delay capability and the ability to focus beyond changes in geometry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: FBS, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven E. Owens, Joseph L. Rose, Jason K. Van Velsor, Li Zhang, Michael J. Avioli
  • Patent number: 7739913
    Abstract: A head of an ultrasonic probe is formed by joining a flexible sheet holding a plurality of ultrasonic transducers to a curved surface of a support. Concave-convex shapes (concave-convex surfaces) are provided on the curved surface of the support and a joining surface of the flexible sheet. The concave-convex surfaces correspond to each other, and are engaged with each other to determine relative positions of the flexible sheet and the support when they are joined. Each of grooves on the concave-convex surface is positioned between adjacent ultrasonic transducers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2010
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventor: Atsushi Oosawa
  • Patent number: 7736312
    Abstract: An acoustic monitoring system that is able to verify the success or failure of the positional adjustment of a valve without the need for additional energy during non-invasive reprogramming is provided. The acoustic monitoring system includes a programmer for generating a sequence of commands to adjust the valve mechanism, and for receiving acoustic signals for analysis, a transmitter to implement the command and adjust the valve, and a sensor for detecting an acoustic signal generated from the valve during execution of the commands. A method for using the acoustic monitoring system is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Codman & Shurtleff, Inc.
    Inventors: Terri K. Taylor, Meir Rosenberg, Rainuka Gupta, Stephen Ferrer Wilson, Pierre S. Ostiguy, Bertil Romner, Alan J. Dextradeur
  • Patent number: 7698944
    Abstract: Even in measurement in which the measurement time is limited to a short time, soundness of a spot weld zone can be evaluated with high reliability without being influenced by a positional deviation between an ultrasonic probe and the spot weld zone and the coupling condition between an ultrasonic probe and a metal sheet. Specifically, ultrasonic waves propagating along the surface of a test object are transmitted in a plurality of directions from a plurality of wave sending positions outside the spot weld zone in metal sheets (1a, 1b), and ultrasonic waves propagating along the surface of the test object with propagation paths not including the spot weld zone and ultrasonic waves propagating along the surface of the test object with propagation paths including the spot weld zone are received at a plurality of wave receiving positions outside the spot weld zone to evaluate the soundness of the spot weld zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: JFE Steel Corporation
    Inventor: Hajime Takada
  • Patent number: 7695438
    Abstract: Unipolar, bipolar or sinusoidal transmitters may leave the transmitter in any of various states at the end of one pulse. Undesired acoustic energy may be generated to change states prior to beginning another transmit sequence or pulse. For example, phase inversion for tissue harmonic imaging is performed where two sequential pulses are transmitted with different phases. The first waveform starts at a low state and ends at the low state of a unipolar transmitter. The next waveform starts at the high state. Transmit apodization or spectrum control techniques may require a pattern of waveform starting states different than a current state. Acoustic disruption due to a change of state of the transmitter between transmissions for imaging is minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: John C. Lazenby, Robert N. Phelps
  • Patent number: 7690261
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnosis system includes an ultrasonic probe, which has an array of plural ultrasonic transducer elements, for transmitting an ultrasonic wave to an object, and for receiving an echo signal thereof to output a detection signal. A testing unit sets a testing mode, and operates in test operation of the plural ultrasonic transducer elements while the testing mode is set, so as to acquire a testing detection signal. There is a display panel. A display control unit controls the display panel to display information of the testing detection signal obtained for each of the ultrasonic transducer elements. Furthermore, the testing unit, when in a first inspection, drives the ultrasonic transducer elements together to obtain the testing detection signal, and when in a second inspection, drives the ultrasonic transducer elements by at least one element to obtain the testing detection signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Fujinon Corporation
    Inventor: Toshizumi Tanaka
  • Patent number: 7678048
    Abstract: A medical diagnostic ultrasound system comprises several subsystems, such as a transmit beamformer, a receive beamformer, a B-mode processor, a Doppler processor and a scan converter. These subsystems are within the ultrasound data processing path for processing ultrasound data. One or more of these subsystems are implemented with one or more re-programmable logic devices. For example, one or two field programmable gate arrays are used is each subsystem to perform most or almost all of the subsystems essential functionality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2010
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph A. Urbano, Christopher B. Knell, Kevin S. Randall, Andrew J. Wood
  • Patent number: 7658110
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnostic system includes electroacoustic conversion means in which a plurality of sub-arrays, each composed of a plurality of electroacoustic transducers, are arranged at least two-dimensionally, sub-beam formers that are provided on the sub-array basis, and a main beam former for subjecting signals output from the sub-beam formers to delay addition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2010
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventor: Hiroshi Fukukita
  • Patent number: 7654959
    Abstract: The same analytic data is combined in response to different relative phases. The resulting combinations are detected. The combination associated with the maximum magnitude is then selected for further processing. As a result, the complex data is processed across a variety of possible temporal discontinuities using candidate or possible phase shifts. The phase shift with the least cancellation and the associated combination is selected to minimize motion artifact cancellation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Ismayil M. Guracar
  • Patent number: 7594439
    Abstract: A method and a device for the ultrasonic testing of a workpiece having an uneven surface is provided. An ultrasonic test head containing a multiplicity of transducer elements arranged rigidly in a linear array, is acoustically coupled to a workpiece. The ultrasonic test head can be driven in a time-delayed manner with a delay time predetermined for each transducer element. The propagation time of an ultrasonic signal transmitted by an individual transducer element and reflected from the surface and received by this transducer element is measured for a number of the transducer elements and is used for correcting the delay times. The transducer elements are subsequently driven with these corrected delay times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2009
    Assignee: intelligeNDT Systems & Servises GmbH
    Inventors: Eberhard Fischer, Rainer Meier, Friedrich Mohr
  • Publication number: 20090171213
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnostic imaging system has a two dimensional array arranged in multiple patches of multiple transducer elements. Each patch of transducer elements is coupled to a group of microbeamformer delay lines having outputs which can be coupled to a selected channel of a system beamformer, which beamforms the partially summed beams of each patch into a final beamformed signal. The ability to direct a delayed signal from a transducer element to a selected beamformer channel enables the patch boundaries to be changed as the aperture is translated across the array.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2007
    Publication date: July 2, 2009
    Inventor: Bernard Savord
  • Patent number: 7549964
    Abstract: A method of measuring blood flow through a blood vessel is provided using a single quasi-continuous mode probe that can support multiple frequencies without increasing the probe tip size. A plurality of elements are provided in the probe tip. Each element emits ultrasound waves using a long pulsed signal with each element having a different resonant frequency. Each element also receives ultrasound energy in a continuous mode. A selector is manually controlled by a practitioner to select the active element. The output may take a variety of forms. For example, the output may be printed, displayed, recorded to a memory, and/or played through a speaker or headset.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Viasys Healthcare, Inc.
    Inventors: William Kolasa, Ryan W. Jennings, Evan K. Davis
  • Patent number: 7544165
    Abstract: A dynamically configurable ultrasound transducer element and related circuits and methods. The transducer may comprise an array of capacitive transducer elements, a row decoder coupled to said array of capacitive transducer elements, a column decoder coupled to said array of capacitive transducer elements, a bias voltage source coupled to said row decoder, and a driving signal source coupled to said column decoder. Preferably, a master clock also is provided to allow for a synchronization of signals between the row decoder and column decoder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Boston Scientific SciMed, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald S. Mamayek
  • Patent number: 7541923
    Abstract: A method for and system of intrusion detection by using ultrasonic signals are provided. The method includes a training phase and a detection phase. The training phase includes capturing multi-echo signals when no intrusion is present under surveillance. The captured ultrasonic multi-echo signals are analyzed and features are extracted, learned and modularized. The detection phase includes a continuous collection of ultrasonic multi-echo signals. The captured signals are analyzed and features are extracted to compare with the features learned during the training phase. When intrusion is present, the features will be substantially different from the features learned in the training phase. Thus, an intruder can be detected. Experimental results indicate that when MDR is less than 0.1%, the FAR would be less than 2.5% for the invention. Therefore, this invention is applicable to intrusion detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventor: Yi-Tsung Chien
  • Publication number: 20090054780
    Abstract: A method for real-time computation of point-by-point apodization coefficients used for beam-forming includes storing apodization coefficients of receiving focus points in memory, and computing at least one of an included angle between a vector from a transducer element to a receiving point and a normal vector of the transducer element, and a trigonometric function value of the included angle. The method also includes addressing the memory storing the apodization coefficients according to the quantized included angle or trigonometric function value, and reading the apodization coefficients. In one embodiment, the method may include computing in advance apodization coefficients of a receiving focus point as the starting point for the subsequent interpolation operation and another receiving focus point as the ending point, and deriving, for each receiving channel, apodization coefficients of the points situated between these two receiving focus points through an interpolation operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2007
    Publication date: February 26, 2009
    Applicant: Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Bo Yang, Pengfei Yang, Qinjun Hu
  • Patent number: 7479110
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnostic equipment capable of reducing cost by reducing the number of transmission drive circuits for generating transmission pulse is disclosed. High voltage switches for determining an aperture by selecting eight pieces from among transducer elements to which transmission pulses are applied, and low voltage switches for selecting 16 pieces from among the transducer elements to receive ultrasonic echo are provided individually. Regarding the high voltage switches for transmission, four inputs are integrated into one, and a distribution circuit of 1:4 is constructed. Regarding the low voltage switches for reception, two outputs are integrated into one, and a multiplexer of 2:1 is constructed. Linear scanning is performed by only eight pulsers (transmission drive circuits). The high voltage switches for transmitting ultrasonic waves and the low voltage switches for receiving ultrasonic waves are separated from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Morio Nishigaki, Takao Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7472597
    Abstract: An ultrasonic imaging device, comprising: a receiver, for receiving ultrasonic signals which carry information about human body; a processor, for analyzing and processing the received ultrasonic signals in order to get image and/or sound signals; a controller, for issuing at least one instruction; and a recorder, for recording the image and/or sound signals on recording medium in digital form in accordance with the instruction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2009
    Assignee: Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Liguo Zhang, Zhiyong Guan, Xujin He
  • Patent number: 7428842
    Abstract: A phased array ultrasonic testing system is for examining turbine disc bores and blade attachments for discontinuities, such as stress corrosion cracking. The system is particularly suited to perform an accurate and efficient inspection of components despite their having a relatively complex geometry, such as axial entry blade attachments and bores of associated discs. The system includes a control system with a computer and a controller for programming, emitting, and steering an ultrasonic beam via at least one two-dimensional phased array probe, thereby precisely inspecting the area of interest while simultaneously accommodating the aforementioned complex geometry of the disc or blade attachment. Computer control of the beam permits the number of inspection locations and the number of different probe wedges to be reduced providing for an efficient, timely inspection. Methods of profiling and examining turbine components of known and unknown geometries, are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2008
    Assignee: Siemens Power Generation, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Fair, Waheed A. Abbasi, Michael J. Metala, Walter Matulewicz
  • Publication number: 20070234810
    Abstract: A digital reordering unit, an ultrasonic front-end device and operating method thereof are provided. The ultrasonic front-end device for use in an ultrasonic system, compatible with P types of reception channels, where P is an integer larger than or equal to 1; the ultrasonic front-end device being connected between a probe and a detector of the ultrasonic system and controlled by a primary controller of the ultrasonic system; the probe having M array elements, where M is an integer larger than or equal to 1, the ultrasonic front-end device having an ultrasonic transmission part and an ultrasonic reception part, wherein the ultrasonic transmission part comprises a transmission beamformer and M transmission driving units, and has M transmission channels; the ultrasonic reception part comprises M high-voltage isolation circuits, RC amplifiers, RC ADCs and a beamformer electrically connected in said order and has RC reception channels, where RC=[N,2N,3N . . .
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2006
    Publication date: October 11, 2007
    Inventors: Bo Yang, Qinjun Hu
  • Patent number: 7252004
    Abstract: An imaging method for observing the propagation of a shear wave simultaneously at a multitude of points in a diffusing viscoelastic medium. The shear wave is caused to be generated by firing at least one focused ultrasound compression wave into the viscoelastic medium by means of an array of transducers, and then emitting at a fast rate and using the same array of transducers, unfocused ultrasound compression waves serving to obtain a succession of images of the medium, and processing the images obtained in this way in deferred time in order to determine the movements of the medium during the propagation of the shear wave.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2007
    Assignees: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-CNRS, Universite Paris 7
    Inventors: Mathias A. Fink, Mickael Tanter
  • Patent number: 7197932
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a failure detecting system that enables the detection of a break in a rail and the like by a simple network configuration. Detecting units (20 and 50), relay units (30A, 30B, 60A through 60C) and terminal units (40 and 70) are arranged along rails (11, 11A and 11B). Using the rails (11, 11A and 11B) as transmission media, ultrasonic waves transmitted from the detecting units (20 and 50) are transmitted to the terminal units (40 and 70) by the relay units (30A, 30B, 60A through 60C), and when the terminal units (40 and 70) receive the ultrasonic waves, the ultrasonic waves are returned from the terminal units (40 and 70), relayed by the relay units (30A, 30B, 60A through 60C), and transmitted to the detecting units (20 and 50). Thus, it is judged whether there is a break in the rails (11, 11A and 11B), based on the ultrasonic wave reception state in the detecting units (20 and 50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: The Nippon Signal Co, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masayoshi Sakai, Toshihito Shirai, Akira Morisada
  • Patent number: 7135806
    Abstract: A sensor system including a plurality of transducer groups, with each transducer group having a plurality of transducers. The transducers of each group are adapted to be placed in operative proximity with a sample material. Within each transducer group, each transducer is actuable via application of a different phase-shifted variant of a local oscillator signal to the transducer. The sensor system is also configured so that, for each transducer group, the phase-shifted variants of the local oscillator signal are selectively employed during output processing to inhibit cross-transducer interference occurring between simultaneously active transducers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2006
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventor: Daniel Robert Blakley
  • Patent number: 7125384
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus is disclosed which can reduce the device amount of a receiving circuit, while obtaining the shape of an excellent received beam. In this ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus, a plurality of transducer elements are arrayed and used as an ultrasonic probe, and the transducer elements are driven by a plurality of transmission driving circuit. The signal received by the transducer element is distributed to any of a plurality of input terminals of a cross point switch beam former. The received signals of the three transducer elements near the center of the aperture of the ultrasonic probe are added and inputted to one terminal of a beam former. The second, fourth and sixth transducer elements at the end of the aperture are not connected to the beam former. The signals received by the transducer elements are delay-added by the beam former. The delay precision can be improved, and the beam shape can be made sharper, thereby improving the image quality of the ultrasonic image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Morio Nishigaki, Yoshihiko Ito, Takao Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7101337
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method for focusing acoustic waves useful for obtaining an image of a field to be observed in a dissipative heterogeneous medium (2, 3) around which acoustic transducers (T1–Tn, T?1–T?m) forming an imaging network and a target network. The method consists in following a training step during which pulse responses from the medium are measured between each transducer (Ti) of the imaging network (5) and several transducers (Tj) of the target network (6); deducing therefrom reference signals to be emitted by the transducers of the imaging network to produce a focused acoustic pulse in each transducer of the target network, then cumulatively, in determining reference signals to be emitted to focus an acoustic pulse on predetermined points in the medium. Said reference signals are stored and used subsequently to generate an acoustic image of the medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: Centre National de la Rechercher Scientifique - CNRS
    Inventors: Jean-Francois Aubry, Mathias A. Fink, Mickaël Tanter, Jean-Louis Thomas
  • Patent number: 7093490
    Abstract: In order to make it possible in ultrasonic flaw detection to generate ultrasonic waves containing a main beam only by use of an array probe and clearly identify a defect in a specimen by use of images, an element pitch P (the distance between centers of adjacent ultrasonic transducer elements in the array probe) is set longer than ¼ of the wavelength of longitudinal waves generated by the ultrasonic transducer elements and shorter than ½ of the wavelength and reception signals up to time corresponding to the sum of wall thickness round-trip propagation time for longitudinal waves and wall thickness round-trip propagation time for shear waves in the specimen are displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2006
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoyuki Kono, Tetsuya Matsui, Masahiro Koike, Masahiro Tooma, Yoshinori Musha, Masahiro Miki
  • Patent number: 6926671
    Abstract: An ultrasonic imaging apparatus and method combines dynamically focused reception and coded transmission/reception technologies by inexpensive circuitry. A receive aperture is divided into smaller apertures. Correspondingly, a receive beam former is divided into receive sub-beam formers 36a to 36n by which a phase alignment and summing process is performed. Thereafter, coded signals are compressed in decoders 37a to 37n in a time axis direction. Output signals from the decoders are once again subjected to a phase alignment and summing process in a second beam former.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: Hitachi Medical Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Azuma, Shin-ichiro Umemura, Yuichi Miwa
  • Patent number: 6923066
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transmitting and receiving apparatus capable of scanning an object to be inspected in high density and in a short time by using nondiffracting beams. The ultrasonic transmitting and receiving apparatus includes: an ultrasonic transducer array including ultrasonic transducers arranged in a matrix form; a waveform information setting unit for setting waveform information to be used for transmitting a plurality of ultrasonic beams, each of which is synthesized by ultrasonic signals having amplitude and phase characteristics represented by Bessel function, within a predetermined period; and a drive signal generating unit for respectively generating drive signals for driving the ultrasonic transducers included in the ultrasonic transducer array on the basis of the waveform information set by the waveform information setting unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Eiji Ogawa
  • Patent number: 6915696
    Abstract: A method is provided for manufacturing crossing/intersecting transducer arrays including first and second ultrasonic transducer arrays which intersect centrally of one another. Each transducer operates independently without any decrease in acoustic performance. The first and second arrays have their own independent signal electrodes, respectively disposed on the front and rear surfaces of the device. Because the arrays are built on a unique piezoelectric member, a portion of signal electrode of each array is adapted to be connected to ground in a manner permitting proper operation of the entire array. A method of forming matching layer sets incorporating electrical interconnections is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: Vermon
    Inventors: Rémi Dufait, An Nguyen-Dinh, Philippe Auclair, Christophe Notard, Aimé Flesch
  • Patent number: 6868729
    Abstract: For the purpose of reducing the load on hardware for driving a two-dimensional array ultrasonic probe having a multiplicity of transducers, an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus includes programmable gain amplifiers a00-a99 for amplifying signal voltages e00-e99 from transducers in a two-dimensional array ultrasonic probe, voltage-to-current converters h00-h99 for converting the voltages into current signals i00-i99, a matrix switch M for outputting additive current signals I0-I9 obtained by dividing the current signals i00-i99 into groups and adding current signals in respective groups, current-to-voltage converters H0-H9 for converting the currents into voltage signals, programmable gain amplifiers A0-A9, A-D converters C0-C9, and a digital beamformer unit B for conducting reception beamforming using digital signals D0-D9 and outputting an acoustic line signal W.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: GE Medical Systems Global Technology Company, LLC
    Inventor: Shinichi Amemiya
  • Patent number: 6848313
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method and a device for inspecting pipelines, in particular for detecting defects in pipelines by means of ultrasound. Towards this end, measuring sensors transmit ultrasound signals during passage through a pipeline. The signals reflected on boundary regions of a pipeline wall, e.g. surfaces or defects, are then measured and evaluated. The invention is characterized in that partial regions of the measuring sensors (virtual sensors) formed of a plurality of neighboring sensor elements irradiate ultrasound signals into the pipe wall at at least one radiation angle which is inclined with respect to the normal to the pipe wall and the signals reflected at boundary regions of the pipe wall are received by same and/or other partial regions of the respective measuring sensors, wherein defects in the pipe wall are determined by evaluation of the acoustical signals reflected by different boundary regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: PII Pipetronix GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Krieg, Achim Hugger
  • Patent number: 6817255
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for testing a thin film material. A chip is fabricated that includes the specimen to be tested, held by a force sensor beam at a first longitudinal end and by a support structure at a second longitudinal end. The chip is configured to be placed into a testing environment for quantitative and qualitative material property testing of the specimen. Methods are also provided for fabricating a testing chip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
    Inventors: Amanul Haque, Muhammed Taher Abu Saif
  • Patent number: 6786097
    Abstract: An ultrasound imaging system and method for making a harmonic image of a good SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) by effectively removing fundamental frequency components through a pulse-compressing using weighted chirp signals, is provided. The ultrasound imaging system includes: a transducer array for converting weighted chirp signals to ultrasound signals, and transmitting the ultrasound signals to a target object; a receiver for receiving signals reflected from the target object; a pulse-compressor for selectively pulse-compressing fundamental frequency components or harmonic frequency components in the reflected signals; and a producer for producing receive-focused signals from the pulse-compressed signals. Therefore, the ultrasound imaging system can form ultrasound image using the fundamental frequency components, and can form ultrasound harmonic image using the harmonic frequency components according to 2fo-correlation method or 2fo-correlation (PI) method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: Medison Co. LTD
    Inventors: Tai Kyong Song, Dong Yeul Kim
  • Publication number: 20040168517
    Abstract: A method is provided for manufacturing crossing/intersecting transducer arrays including first and second ultrasonic transducer arrays which intersect centrally of one another. Each transducer operates independently without any decrease in acoustic performance. The first and second arrays have their own independent signal electrodes, respectively disposed on the front and rear surfaces of the device. Because the arrays are built on a unique piezoelectric member, a portion of signal electrode of each array is adapted to be connected to ground in a manner permitting proper operation of the entire array. A method of forming matching layer sets incorporating electrical interconnections is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2003
    Publication date: September 2, 2004
    Inventors: Remi Dufait, An Nguyen-Dinh, Philippe Auclair, Christophe Notard, Aime Flesch
  • Patent number: 6780157
    Abstract: An ultrasound transducer array (408) includes at least one transducer element (412) having a first (604) and second (606) portions separated by an acoustical discontinuity (520). The first portion (604) has the desired length to form a half-wave k31 resonance, while the second portion (606) has a resonant length for an undesired very low frequency out-of-band k31 resonance. The thickness of the transducer element (412) is designed for k33 half-resonance. Given the design, the transducer element (412) can operate and provide for both forward-looking (514) and side looking (512) elevation apertures. A method is also disclosed for using the disclosed ultrasound transducer (412) in ultrasound imaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Assignee: Volcano Therapeutics, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas N. Stephens, Matthew O'Donnell
  • Patent number: RE40456
    Abstract: An acoustic imaging apparatus and method that achieves desired delays with coded signals. Linear, curved linear and sector scanning is provided in 1-D arrays and planar, curved planar and sector scanning is provided in 2-D arrays. Composite and non-linear implementations are presented. Dynamic and discrete dynamic focusing is disclosed for the relevant arrays. The 2-D array makes possible 3-D imaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2008
    Inventor: Kenneth N. Bates