Switched Patents (Class 73/626)
  • Patent number: 4387597
    Abstract: A scanner includes a scan head having a linear array of transducers Xn, and a transmitter 106 which excites the transducers in response to transmit signals TRn from a reference generator 110 so that the transducers emit a plurality of successive bursts of ultrasonic energy, each burst producing a transmitted beam which is steered and focused along a radially-extending scan line. To effect received beam steering and focusing, received signals Sn from the transducers are supplied to a processor 112 along with associated in-phase binary reference signals bn(R) and quadrature binary reference signals bn(I). The received signal is multiplied by a reference signal and the product is integrated for a specific time duration whose time occurrence is used to steer and focus the beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1983
    Assignee: Advanced Technology Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventor: Marco A. Brandestini
  • Patent number: 4383447
    Abstract: Focussing sound transducer head comprise at least one focussing sound transducer head for transmitting ultrasonic pulses to form a focussed sound beam having a relatively constricted depth zone, in which the sound beam is narrower than a sound beam that would be transmitted by a nonfocussing sound transducer head that is otherwise comparable to the sound transducer head which transmits said focussed sound beam, and for deriving echo signals from echoes generated in response to the pulses. A scanning mechanism moves the sound beam across a section surface in an object to be examined. Display controls are adapted to receive said echo signals and cause the echo signals to be displayed on a fluorescent screen at locations which are geometrically coordinated with the locations at which the corresponding echoes have originated in the section surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1983
    Assignee: Kretztechnik Gesellschaft m.b.H.
    Inventor: Carl Kretz
  • Patent number: 4368643
    Abstract: An ultrasonic imaging system includes a linear array of transducers of which a group of successively arranged transducers is selected and successively shifted to the next by at least one transducer. The transducers of the selected group are successively activated at respective delay times to transmit a radial scan beam which appears to emanate from a hypothetical point source located behind the transducer array. A scan converter is provided for conversion of analog echo signals in sector scan format to digital echo data in raster format for visual display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1980
    Date of Patent: January 18, 1983
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Limited
    Inventors: Ryobun Tachita, Hiroshi Fukukita, Yoshihiro Hayakawa, Kazuyoshi Irioka
  • Patent number: 4359767
    Abstract: In an exemplary embodiment, the transducer elements are arranged in rows and columns, the transducer elements bein contacted at both sides by oppositely disposed contact surfaces, and switches being associated with the contacts of the one contact surface as well as with the contacts of the other contact surface for the purpose of adjustment of preselectable transmitting and/or receiving surface of transducer elements during a transmitting/receiving cycle, in particular, for the purpose of dynamic focusing. It is an object of the disclosure to construct an ultrasonic array which can function with an optimally low outlay of switches and which if desired also permits a transition to continuously varied apertures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1981
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1982
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Bertram Sachs, Jacques Borburgh, Ingmar Feigt
  • Patent number: 4351038
    Abstract: An ultrasonic imaging device comprises transducers distributed along a line and operable at a frequency f. A generator delivers electrical pulses to time delay means which provide, in response to each electrical pulse, a plurality of low level pulses delayed by increased time delays in a number lower than the number of transducers. The distribution of the time delays between the transducers is stored in memory means and corresponds to focusing at a point located at a predetermined distance from the line. A plurality of amplifiers are each associated with an individual one of the transducers and deliver an energizing pulse to the associated transducer in response to a particular one of the low level pulses appearing on an associated channel of a bus line which is selected by the memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1982
    Assignee: Agence Nationale de Valorisation de la Recherche (ANVAR)
    Inventor: Pierre Alais
  • Patent number: 4348902
    Abstract: A sector scan ultrasonic imaging system comprises a source of a plurality of square wave pulse trains each being delayed by a unit quantization time with respect to adjacent trains, and a plurality of transmitter circuits corresponding to the elements of a transducer array. The duration of each square wave pulse is an integral multiple of the unit quantization time interval. Each transmitter circuit includes a read only memory in which a set of different digital delay time data is stored for the corresponding transducer element and is arranged to be retrieved in response to each angle increment of the ultrasonic beam transmitted from the array. Further included are a data selector for selecting a pulse train in response to a pulse train selection data retrieved from the memory and a programmable counter for counting the pulses of the selected train to generate an output in accordance with a pulse selection data retrieved from the memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1982
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Limited
    Inventors: Ryobun Tachita, Yoshihiro Hayakawa, Kazuyoshi Irioka, Hiroshi Fukukita, Tsutomu Yano, Akira Fukumoto
  • Patent number: 4344327
    Abstract: An electronic scanning ultrasonic diagnostic system comprising a probe having ultrasonic beam emitting surface, in which plural ultrasonic wave transducers are convexly arranged at equal distances, emitting desired sector scanning ultrasonic beams, a transmitting and receiving wave control circuit dividing transducers into optional and plural groups and repeatedly performing of transmitting and receiving action with ultrasonic directivities respectively different to each group, and supplying ultrasonic beam scanning signals to an image display section with an assumption that the respective extension lines of each sector scanning ultrasonic beams coincide with the center of the arc shape of the probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1980
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1982
    Assignee: Aloka Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshihiro Yoshikawa, Takao Katabami, Katsumi Fujinaga, Yoshiaki Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 4332171
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnosis apparatus is provided with a plurality of phased array transducer elements arranged in a row. The number of simultaneously driven transducer elements is changed in response to a rate pulse to increase the ultrasonic scanning line density without increasing the number of the transducer elements, while the position of the focal point is adjusted to maintain the minimum width position of the ultrasonic beam provided by the group of the simultaneously driven transducer elements substantially constant irrespective of the change of the number of the simultaneously driven transducer elements by controlling the phase of transmitted and received ultrasonic waves by means of delay elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1982
    Assignee: Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Taketoshi Iida, Kazuyoshi Saito, Toshio Shrasaka, Yasuhiko Takemura
  • Patent number: 4330875
    Abstract: A focusing circuit for focusing an array of transducers of an ultrasound imaging system includes a variable delay line comprising a plurality of summing amplifiers and a plurality of variable delay elements provided between successive summing amplifiers. A plurality of switches is provided for respectively connecting the transducers to selected summing amplifiers. The amount of delay of each variable delay element is individually controlled so that the corresponding electrical signals derived from the transducers arrive in phase at the output end of the variable delay line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1982
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Limited
    Inventors: Ryobun Tachita, Hiroshi Fukukita
  • Patent number: 4328707
    Abstract: Reconstruction of two-dimensional distribution of attenuation coefficients or sound velocities in a cross-sectional plane of an object is achieved by carrying out a plurality of measurements of absorption or of flight time with ultrasound bursts directed by elementary transmitting probes along several different incidences in the sectional plane. Switching between successive measurements is carried out by electronic scanning, without movement of the individual probes. Focusing of the burst energy transmitted by a group of probes is achieved by applying a same electrical signal to the probes with appropriate delays. The secured signals are stored and, after completion of the scanning, they are combined for computation of the distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1982
    Assignee: Agence Nationale de Valorisation de la Recherche
    Inventors: Michel Clement, Pierre Alais
  • Patent number: 4325257
    Abstract: The invention involves a digital synthetic-focus, acoustic imaging system which is operative in real time and includes one or more electro-acoustic transducers arranged to receive broadband pulses from a pulse generator for excitation of acoustic pulses which are directed into the region under observation. Signals reflected from an object or discontinuity in the region are received by the same transducers, and after inverse filtering and nonlinear amplification are converted to digital signals. These digital signals are stored in separate high speed random access memory units for storage, but are subsequently time-equalized through use of a programmed focus memory unit prior to delivery to a digital adder and thence through a digital-to-analog converter for ultimate intensity modulation on a raster scanned display unit which provides the real time image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1980
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1982
    Inventors: Gordon S. Kino, Paul D. Corl, Peter M. Grant
  • Patent number: 4324142
    Abstract: A processing circuit is connected to the output of a mosaic which consists of n first electrodes on a first principal surface of a TGS plate and 2p second electrodes on the second principal surface thereof. The circuit is constructed so that the output connections of the second electrodes are grouped in p resultant groups which are connected, via p paths which each comprise an amplifier and a variable delay line, to the inputs of a first adder. The output of the first adder is connected, via a network of (q-1) delay lines having a fixed delay time, to the inputs of q parallel variable delay lines which are connected in parallel and which are connected to the inputs of a second adder. The delay times thus realized are controlled so that a first ultrasonic lens and a second ultrasonic lens are successively formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1980
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1982
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Michel J. Auphan, Ludo C. J. Baghuis
  • Patent number: 4324140
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are described for electronically scanning a spherily focused beam in a c-scan mode using a spiral path rather than a traditional raster scan pattern. Essential to the technique is an electronically simulated rotating ultrasonic prism operating according to the general electrical input equation V.sub.IN =V.sub.o exp (i.omega..sub.o t+iA cos .OMEGA.t). The technique allows use of a single delay line with simple connections and no requirements of multiple mixing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1980
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1982
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Bertram A. Auld
  • Patent number: 4320660
    Abstract: An imaging system, particularly useful for acoustic medical diagonsis of a human subject, utilizes an array of radiating elements or sonic transducers located side-by-side and positioned along the subject. Signals received by the transducer are applied to a pair of pattern generation circuits which weight the individual signals by factors of +1, -1 or 0. Graphs of the weighting factors as a function of transducer location have the likeness of cosinusoidal and sinusoidal Fresnel patterns, these patterns being produced by the two circuits. Upon reception of signals, the weighted signals of each pattern are summed together, multiplied by cosinusoidal and sinusoidal reference signals and then summed together to provide a radiation pattern which converges from the array to a focal point in front of the array while eliminating a diverging pattern from a virtual focus behind the array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1980
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1982
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: Roger H. Tancrell
  • Patent number: 4319489
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnostic method and apparatus are provided for probing the condition in a tissue of a living body by projecting an ultrasonic beam onto the living body from a vibrator array transducer probe consisting of a plurality of tiny ultrasonic vibrators. The apparatus executes two scanning actions, of which one is a normal linear scanning that drives the ultrasonic vibrators sequentially in the manner to cause a sequential parallel shift of the ultrasonic beam substantially perpendicular to the vibrator array, and the other of which is an inclined linear scanning that drives the ultrasonic vibrators at individually different timings while sequentially shifting the driven vibrators in the manner to cause sequential parallel shift of the ultrasonic beam having an angle of inclination against the vibrator array. The images obtained through the normal linear scanning and the inclined linear scanning are combined to form a composite high-resolution image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1980
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1982
    Assignee: Yokogawa Electric Works, Ltd.
    Inventors: Keiki Yamaguchi, Yasuhito Takeuchi, Toru Shimazaki, Naoki Seki
  • Patent number: 4310907
    Abstract: A scan converter is disclosed for use in a sector scan type ultrasound imaging system in which ultrasound echo signals return from targets along a plurality of radial scan lines distributed in a sector field with a substantially equal tangential angular increment with respect to a reference line. The scan converter comprises a sampling circuit which samples the echo signals at a speed inversely proportional to the cosine of the angle of deflection of the radial scan lines with respect to the reference line so that the sampled points align themselves in lateral lines perpendicular to the reference line. The sampled echo signals are converted into digital echo data and stored in a random access memory in the direction of its columns. The stored data are retrieved serially in the direction of the rows and fed into an interpolator for making interpolations between the successively retrieved echo data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1979
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1982
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Limited
    Inventors: Ryobun Tachita, Yoshihiro Hayakawa, Hiroshi Fukukita, Tsutomu Yano, Kazuyoshi Irioka, Akira Fukumoto
  • Patent number: 4307613
    Abstract: An array of transducer segments is arranged in columns, each of which has a multiplicity of segments. The segments are wired to permit excitation by one or the other of two opposite phases of high-frequency signal, and groups of segments can be excited with the same phase to approximate the shape of an annular-ring phase-reversal zone plate. By changing the groupings of the elements that are similarly excited, the position of the focal region produced by the zone plate is translated in lateral position. A ferrite-core transformer is conveniently employed for both phase splitting and addition of the echo signals received by the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1979
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1981
    Assignee: University of Connecticut
    Inventor: Martin D. Fox
  • Patent number: 4305296
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for pulsed ultrasonic imaging of a section of the interior of an object from reflections by internal discontinuities of recurrent transmitted pulses of ultrasonic energy, are provided. There is included a transducer array comprising a plurality of adjacent transducer elements for converting echo signals received from discontinuities within the object to equivalent electrical signals. Range gated signal processing means are provided for processing electrical signals from the transducer array reflected from discontinuities within any one of a plurality of range zones within the section to be imaged to provided range gated signals representative of segments of lines within the section to be imaged. The signal processing means includes electronic receiver beam focusing and scanning means for focusing the transducer array at the range zone at which the signals are range gated and for scanning the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1980
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1981
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Philip S. Green, Dilip G. Saraf, James F. Havlice
  • Patent number: 4290310
    Abstract: A real-time ultrasonic imaging system is disclosed which includes an array of transducers adapted for propagating ultrasonic energy into a body to be ultrasonically examined and for receiving reradiated energy from points within the body. A plurality of signal channels each includes a transmitter branch and a receiver branch associated with respective transmit and receive transducers, or both branches may share a single transducer. A transmitter branch activates a transducer to propagate the sonic energy and a receiver branch receives from the transducer electrical signals corresponding to the reradiated energy. Memory means in each receiver branch receive and store data indicative of the signal level passed to the channel by its associated transducer. Display means are provided for receiving the data from the memory means in each of the channels and for combining and processing such data to effect a real-time display of the bodily portion being examined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1979
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1981
    Assignee: Varian Associates, Inc.
    Inventor: Weston A. Anderson
  • Patent number: 4287768
    Abstract: Beam deflection delay time data of (L.times.M) data bits are stored in a read-only memory from which each datum is retrieved successively when the ultrasound beam is deflected to a given angle and repeatedly accumulated in a digital adder through a latching circuit connected between the output and input of the adder, where L is the number of discrete steps of deflection angle and M is a binary number representing the total delay time of piezoelectric transducers. The successively latched data is distributed to respective programmable counters for presetting the count values thereof to store therein respective delay time data. High frequency count pulses are supplied to the counters after the latter has been preset for delivery of carry outputs to the associated piezoelectric transducers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1979
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1981
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Limited
    Inventors: Yoshihiro Hayakawa, Hiroshi Fukukita
  • Patent number: 4285011
    Abstract: Delay controllers are provided to delay pulses supplied to a plurality of electro-acoustic transducers.Each controller comprises a delay line provided with a plurality of taps and a switch for selectively changing the taps. There are further provided a measuring circuit for measuring amounts of delay time defined by the respective taps of the delay controllers; a CPU for controlling the operation of the measuring circuit and delay controllers. The CPU causes the measuring circuit to measure the amounts of delay time defined by the respective taps. Where the electro-acoustic transducers are electrically operated in accordance with the result of measurement, data for selecting any of the taps is stored in the RAM after proper compensation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1979
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1981
    Assignee: Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Ichiro Sato
  • Patent number: 4285010
    Abstract: In order to obviate the necessity for providing a complete channel of electronics for each transducer of an array incorporated into a real-time ultrasonic imaging system, all system transducers are disposed in apparent series with a single inductor as to direct current. Charging resistors permit each transducer to slowly capacitively charge to a predetermined voltage under static conditions. When a switching transistor disposed in series with a given transducer is placed in the conducting state, the transducer rapidly discharges and mechanically deflects to introduce an ultrasonic pulse into an object. While the switching transistor remains conductive, the inductor and transducer are in parallel circuit as to echo signals returning to the transducer. When the switching transistor is rendered non-conductive, the transducer again charges capacitively in anticipation of a succeeding cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1977
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1981
    Assignee: Advanced Diagnostic Research Corporation
    Inventor: Martin H. Wilcox
  • Patent number: 4281549
    Abstract: Equipment is disclosed which serves to trace B-scan section displays of specimens and comprises a sound transducer head, which is oscillated by a scanning mechanism and projects sound beams, which scan the section to be displayed. The echoes which originate in response to these sound beams are displayed on a fluorescent screen at locations which are associated with the locations at which said echoes have originated. The sound transducer head comprises two sound transducers, the axes of which in the plane in which they are oscillated include an angle which is not in excess of the angular range of oscillation. As a result, the pitch with which the section to be displayed is scanned by ultrasonic beams is decreased and/or the angular velocity of the sound transducer head may be decreased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1979
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1981
    Assignee: Kretztechnik Gesellschaft m.b.H.
    Inventor: Carl Kretz
  • Patent number: 4281550
    Abstract: An array of ultrasound transducers for pulsed sector-scan operation includes a plurality of transducer elements disposed on an arc of a circle and oriented to emit and receive ultrasound radiation in the direction of the center of the arc. A group of adjacent transducers within the array is active for each ultrasound pulse. The position of the group in the array is incrementally shifted along the arc, one transducer at a time, to effect scanning. The inherent focussing effect of a curved group of transducers is compensated with time delays or a negative lens to provide a parallel, sector-scanned radiation beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1979
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1981
    Assignee: North American Philips Corporation
    Inventor: Kenneth R. Erikson
  • Patent number: 4279157
    Abstract: A method and device for determining the internal structure of a body by means of acoustic beams. Transit times and intensities of acoustic beams passing through the body in different spatial directions are measured to establish the refractive index distribution and the acoustic absorption coefficient distribution, respectively at the points of a point matrix associated with the body. The non-rectilinear course of the acoustic beams is taken into account in this respect. This results in reconstructed images of higher quality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1979
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1981
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Hermann Schomberg, Manfred Tasto
  • Patent number: 4276779
    Abstract: An array of sonic transducers, useful for medical ultrasonic imaging, has individual sections thereof separately coupled for forming separate beams of sonic energy which converge, respectively, to separate foci along a common axis of the beams. The ratio of the diameter of the radiating aperture of the array relative to a wavelength of the sonic energy is chosen to provide a moderate degree of focusing so that the depth of field at one focus blends with the depth of field of the next focus. Thereby, there is formed a continuous region of substantially uniform intensity of sonic radiation along the common beam axis. Circuitry is provided for selecting one or more specific foci dependent on the bounds of a selected region to be insonified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1979
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1981
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: Luther Davis, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4267584
    Abstract: A dynamically variable electronic delay line for real time ultrasonic imaging systems is disclosed which controllably phases the signals associated with an array of electromechanical transducer elements and thereby enables selective scanning and dynamic focusing of a target. A controllable variable electronic time delay apparatus is coupled to each of the electromechanical transducer elements of the array having separate write-in and read-out addressing capabilities. The signals associated with a respective ultrasonic transducer element are fed in at selected write-in addresses and subsequently read-out and extracted after an initial time delay interval. The write-in and read-out address pointers of the memory system are continuously sequenced during operation of the device and the time delay interval is a function of the difference between the addresses and the clock rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1981
    Assignee: Siemens Gammasonics, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald E. McKeighen, Michael P. Buchin
  • Patent number: 4258575
    Abstract: An exemplary embodiment comprises an ultrasonic applicator for line-by-line ultrasonic scanning and a picture tube, for example, a television monitor for the visible echo image. The echo lines developing from the ultrasonic applicator are alternately stored in alternating memories and read out to the picture tube. The reading-out ensues singly or multiply in such reading-out times as correspond to the line sweep time of the picture tube. An imaging apparatus is desired which, in addition to direct reproduction, also renders possible the reproduction of stored ultrasonic images given the smallest technical outlay while doing without extravagant image memories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1979
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1981
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Klaus Buchner, Rainer Haerten
  • Patent number: 4257271
    Abstract: A selectable delay system for coupling between a plurality of elements and an input/output terminal, the relative delays between the input/output terminal and the individual elements being selectable under operator control. A single delay line is employed to obtain up to three different effective delay configurations that can be used, for example, to obtain three different focuses in an ultrasonic imaging system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1979
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1981
    Assignee: New York Institute of Technology
    Inventor: William E. Glenn
  • Patent number: 4257256
    Abstract: An ultrasonic cross-sectional imaging apparatus comprising an ultrasonic probe, memory means and display means. The probe emits ultrasonic waves in non-interlaced fashion and receives echo data in non-interlaced fashion. The non-interlaced echo data are written into the memory means, read out therefrom in interlaced fashion and displayed by the display means as an image in interlaced fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1979
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1981
    Assignee: Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Noriaki Yoshikawa
  • Patent number: 4254662
    Abstract: In an ultrasonic imaging system including an array of ultrasonic oscillators, ultrasonic beams are electronically scanned by sequentially selecting a plurality of oscillator sets for beam transmission and reception. For one transmission of ultrasonic waves, at least two receiver oscillator sets having at least some oscillators in common are simultaneously selected, and the respective outputs from the oscillators in the at least two receiver oscillator sets are phase-adjusted so that echoes received by the at least two receiver oscillator sets effectively correspond to echoes substantially emanating from at least two respective different points on a depth level distanced from the plane of the oscillator array by a predetermined depth, whereby at least two signals and hence at least two successive scan lines relating to the echoes from those respective different points are produced. As a result, improved line resolution and rapid line acquisition can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1978
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1981
    Assignee: Hitachi Medical Corporation
    Inventors: Masao Kuroda, Sekijyuro Ono, Kageyoshi Katakura, Toshio Kondo
  • Patent number: 4253338
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnostic equipment of linear electric scanning type includes a plurality of pulse generators for supplying electric pulses to a plurality of ultrasonic transducers disposed on a plane, gate circuits for driving the pulse generator, a plurality of analogue switching circuits for selecting the reflected ultrasonic pulse signals received by the ultrasonic transducers, and a control circuit for controlling these pulse generators and switching circuits. The control circuit synchronizingly controls the operations of the gate circuits and analogue switching circuits in order to operate a given number of ultrasonic transducers of the plural of the ultrasonic transducers. The pulse generator and switching circuit are provided corresponding to each transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 1977
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1981
    Assignee: Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Iinuma, Takeshi Kidokoro, Kinya Takamizawa
  • Patent number: 4252024
    Abstract: Echo ranging flaw detecting, characterizing and studying apparatus in which the work is scanned simultaneously by acoustic energy focused at a point from an acoustic-lens transducer and by acoustic energy focused along a line along which it is propagated from a focused-arc transducer. The acoustical echos from the lens transducer are combined with an electrical analog of an acoustical reference wave to produce an acoustical interference pattern which is reconstructed into a holographic display or hologram by a laser beam. The echos from the focused-arc transducer produce a cathode-ray tube display or are stored in a memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1978
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1981
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Michael J. Hurwitz
  • Patent number: 4252025
    Abstract: Apparatus for the ultrasonic examination of an object comprises:means for transmitting pulses of ultrasonic energy along a plurality of beams into the object and receiving echoes of the pulses reflected along the beams by acoustic impedance discontinuities within the object, the means directing the beams from a plurality of spaced positions in a single plane relative to the object and along a plurality of beam directions in the single plane at each spaced position;means for forming a first display of information representative of the position of acoustic impedance discontinuities within the object from the echoes received along the plurality of beams;means for selecting a point or region within the object intersected by at least one beam direction from different ones of the spaced positions; andmeans for determining the shift of echoes from the selected point or region received along the beam in each beam direction caused by divergences of the velocity of propagation of ultrasonic energy through the object in
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1979
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1981
    Assignee: The Commonwealth of Australia
    Inventor: David E. Robinson
  • Patent number: 4252026
    Abstract: An apparatus for pulse-echo ultrasonic examination, particularly in medical diagnostic examination comprised of one or more transducer elements for transmitting divergent pulses of ultrasonic energy into the object under examination and a greater number of transducer elements providing a plurality of received beams for each pulse transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 1979
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1981
    Assignee: The Commonwealth of Australia, C/-The Department of Health
    Inventor: David E. Robinson
  • Patent number: 4250894
    Abstract: An instrument for viscoelastic measurement, particularly for breast palpation, uses a plurality of spaced elongated electret strips which are pressed into the body being examined by a pressure member which applies a given periodic or steady stress to the tissue beneath the electret strips. Electronic measuring means then interrogates the output voltage of each of the strips in turn and the output of each strip is displayed to produce a display characteristic which will show the presence of an inclusion in the breast tissue being examined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1978
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1981
    Assignee: Yeda Research & Development Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ephraim H. Frei, Bruce D. Sollish, Shmuel Yerushalmi, Sidney B. Lang, Mordechai Moshitzky
  • Patent number: 4242913
    Abstract: A lens assembly exhibiting a certain fixed relative aperture is comprised of a physical acoustic lens having a given physical aperture and a fixed relatively short focal length serially spaced from an electronic acoustic lens having any selected one of a plurality of different relatively long focal lengths and simultaneously controlling the physical aperture of the electronic acoustic lens such that the relative aperture of the assembly as a whole remains fixed regardless of the selected one of the long focal lengths. Such a lens assembly is suitable for use in a pulse-echo ultrasonic-imaging system for imaging a deep structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 1980
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1981
    Assignee: RCA Corporation
    Inventors: Reuben S. Mezrich, Wilber C. Stewart
  • Patent number: 4242912
    Abstract: A method for producing cross-sectional images using an ultrasonic imaging unit operating on the pulse-echo principle, which unit includes a transducer system having a stationary elongated array of adjacent transducer elements with transverse electrode segments adjacent one another on one side of the array. Successively and cyclically selected groups of adjacent elements are energized to produce an ultrasonic beam as a result of pulsed signals being applied to the corresponding electrode segments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1979
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1981
    Assignee: Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.
    Inventors: Christoph B. Burckhardt, Pierre-Andre Grandchamp, Heinz Hoffmann, Rainer Fehr
  • Patent number: 4242911
    Abstract: The non-invasive testing of soft body tissue is accomplished with the use of a beam of ultrasonic energy which may be focused at varying depths in a patient. The energy content of the ultrasound beam is varied as a function of depth of focus to thereby employ the minimum energy required for proper resolution at the chosen examination depth. Signals commensurate with echoes received by a transducer having an array of coaxial annular electrodes thereon are combined in a manner which results in a good signal-to-noise ratio and minimum attenuation thereby improving the quality of the information derived from the examination procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1979
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1981
    Assignee: Mediscan, Inc.
    Inventor: Henry E. Martin
  • Patent number: 4241610
    Abstract: A phased array ultrasonic imaging system is disclosed which combines aspects of both dynamic and pseudo-dynamic focusing. The system includes a linearly arranged array of side-by-side transducers adapted for propagating ultrasonic energy into a body to be ultrasonically examined and for receiving reradiated sonic energy from points within the body. A signal channel is connected to each of the transducers for activating same to propagate the sonic energy and for receiving electrical signals from the transducers (which correspond to the reradiated energy). Controllable delay means are provided in each of the channels for introducing linear phase shifts in the electrical signals proceeding in the channels during both transmission and reception to thereby azimuthally steer the transducer array. Means are further provided for processing the received signals proceeding through the channels and for combining same to effect a visual display of the bodily portion being examined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1979
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1980
    Assignee: Varian Associates, Inc.
    Inventor: Weston A. Anderson
  • Patent number: 4241611
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer assembly and system including a disc-shaped transducer element surrounded by ring-shaped transducer elements of different width to permit dynamic focusing and minimum phase cancellation. The elements are switched so that the output signals for various depths have a small dynamic range whereby the dynamic range of associated amplifiers is significantly reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1979
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1980
    Assignee: Smith Kline Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Julian Dow
  • Patent number: 4241608
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer system comprising a transducer array, control circuit and display system wherein the control system is able to actuate the transducer elements in groups of N and N+1 elements, actuate the groups in non-sequential order, actuate groups of selectively different sizes, subject the actuation signals to and the echo signals from the transducers to pre-programmable delay periods, compress the echo signals into a logarithmic representation, transform the echo signals into plural simultaneous visual displays on a standard TV monitor in split screen format, and transform the display of discrete points in the visual display into continuous lines. Further, each transducer element in the array may consist of a split or paired set of transducers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1978
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1980
    Assignee: Unirad Corporation
    Inventors: Raymond K. Dees, Peter J. Van Laanen, Gregory L. Ream
  • Patent number: 4235111
    Abstract: In an illustrated embodiment an array of ultrasonic transducer elements is combined into a first transmitting surface to emit a first transmit signal, and then in alternation with blanking intervals is combined into receiving surfaces of progressively increased size for the reception of echo signals and for constructing a first image line of a first partial image. A second transmitting surface of lesser size then emits a transmit signal and further combinations of transducer elements are activated during time intervals thereafter which correspond to the blanking intervals of the first image line. Such sequential lines may form a composite line on a visual display. A planar array of transducer elements may have its successive receiving surfaces of varying size electronically focused either in the scan direction or in the layer thickness direction, or the array can have mechanical curvature to provide a desired focus in the layer direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1977
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1980
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Dieter Hassler
  • Patent number: 4234940
    Abstract: In an ultrasound transmitting or receiving apparatus, a plurality of ultrasound transducer elements comprising an ultrasound probe are arranged along a line to transmit and receive ultrasonic waves. For the purpose of sequentially transmitting and receiving an ultrasound beam through the transducer elements, variable-delay circuits are provided for applying delay times to the transmitting signals and/or the received signals. The variable-delay circuits include memory control devices, the addresses of which correspond to the respective azimuthal directions of transmitting and receiving the ultrasound beam. The outputs of the memory devices are connected to control terminals of transfer switches, which in turn are connected to tapped delay lines. The memory devices produce control codes such that the tapped delay lines produce predetermined delay times which control the azimuthal directions of transmitting or receiving the ultrasound beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1978
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1980
    Assignee: Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazuhiro Iinuma
  • Patent number: 4232556
    Abstract: In an ultrasonic transducer probe having multiple rotating transducer elements the transducer outputs are switched in response to sine and cosine signals from a resolver. The same signals are used to switch and time the display scan. If the transducers are misaligned a multiple blurred image may result. It is proposed to modify the resolver signals changing the phase of the signals for at least one transducer to bring the display signals into registration. In one example it is achieved by, for at least one transducer element output, mixing a proportion of at least one of the sine and cosine signals with the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 1979
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1980
    Assignee: E M I Limited
    Inventor: Allan Cole
  • Patent number: 4229978
    Abstract: A system for selectably electrically pulsing each of a plurality of ultrasonic transducers in a testing apparatus in rapid sequence to produce a pattern of ultrasonic energy transmitted into and subsequently received from a test piece comprises a plurality of transducer pulsing circuits, each connected to a different associated one of the transducers. Each pulsing circuit includes a silicon control rectifier connected to ground and a capacitor, connected between the rectifier and the associated transducer, that is dischargeable to pulse the associated tranducer. The rectifier is switchable to an "on" condition to rapidly discharge the capacitor to ground. The rectifier maintains the "on" condition until current conducted through it drops below a characteristic holding current and thereafter switches to an "off" condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1978
    Date of Patent: October 28, 1980
    Assignee: Dapco Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Howard A. Sholl, John T. Marshall
  • Patent number: 4228686
    Abstract: An imaging system, particularly useful for acoustic medical diagnosis of a human subject, utilizes an array of radiating elements or sonic transducers located side-by-side and positioned along the subject. Signals received by the transducer are applied to a pair of pattern generation circuits which weight the individual signals by factors of +1, -1 or 0. Graphs of the weighting factors as a function of transducer location have the likeness of cosinusoidal and sinusoidal Fresnel patterns, these patterns being produced by the two circuits. Upon reception of signals, the weighted signals of each pattern are summed together, multiplied by cosinusoidal and sinusoidal reference signals and then summed together to provide a radiation pattern which converges from the array to a focal point in front of the array while eliminating a diverging pattern from a virtual focus behind the array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1978
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1980
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: Roger H. Tancrell
  • Patent number: 4228687
    Abstract: In a rotating probe ultrasonic system the effective PRF may not be sufficiently high for certain purposes, such as examination of the foetal heart. The invention combines fixed transducers looking at a limited region with a rotating probe scanning over a larger region to give a higher effective PRF in the limited region. The two displays are preferably separate although the display of the larger region may conveniently indicate the location of the limited region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1979
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1980
    Assignee: EMI Limited
    Inventor: Brian W. Fraser
  • Patent number: 4224829
    Abstract: An ultrasound diagnostic apparatus includes a linear array of piezoelectric transducers or plates with a width-to-thickness ratio of less than 0.8 and a control circuit which includes a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter comprises a plurality of transmitting channels each including a local oscillator for generating an ultrasonic pulse in response to a clock signal. The plurality of such ultrasonic pulses are applied through a switching network to a selected group of successively arranged piezoelectric transducers to transmit a beam of ultrasonic energy into a human body. Each of the ultrasonic pulses is phase shifted and amplitude modulated with respect to the ultrasonic pulses of the other transmitting channels to provide phase and amplitude taper which results in a narrow width beam through the depth of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1978
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1980
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masami Kawabuchi, Jun-ichi Sato, Kiyotaka Nagai, Hiroshi Fukukita, Akira Fukumoto
  • Patent number: 4223560
    Abstract: A variable delay system in which multistage delay lines are "shared" between different elements (e.g. different transducer elements or segments). A plurality of delay lines are provided, the delay lines having respectively different numbers of stages. The signals from the first and last segments of a segmented transducer are applied to opposing ends of the delay line having the largest number of stages. The signals from the second and next-to-last segments of the transducer are applied to opposing ends of the delay line having the next-to-largest number of stages, and so on. A plurality of coupling circuits are respectively associated with the plurality of delay lines and are operative to sample, as a function of time, the signals at different delay stages of their respective delay lines. The outputs of the coupling circuits are combined to form an image-representative signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1979
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1980
    Assignee: New York Institute of Technology
    Inventor: William E. Glenn