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2007, 3

Jean Martial Mari, Christian Cachard

Acquire real-time RF digital ultrasound data from a commercial scanner

language: English

received 06.12.2006, published 24.01.2007

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Although new ultrasound signal processing can be designed from simulation data or recorded data, the development and prototyping of new medical ultrasound imaging tools is essentially based on processing the radio frequency (RF) data, which is the signal generated by the ultrasound probe. Unfortunately, the diversity and technological level of knowledge required for implementing a whole ultrasound scanner from scratches are usually found in the companies that manufacture such engines. The implementation of the new methods in the laboratories is then tributary to the interest and good will of those companies, and the lack of such experience makes technological transfers even more difficult. But another approach of the problem can be chosen: the direct acquisition of the real time RF data in a commercial scanner. This approach takes advantage of the high technological level of the transceiver of the commercial ultrasound scanners and frees the researcher from the post processing applied by each company. The side effects of such approach are resumed to the difficulty of interfering with the scanner’s electronic systems, but this problem is simplified by the high technological level of the modern engines. Indeed, their digital conception makes the electronic signals easier to understand and the manual operations safer, and the impact of an unfortunate manipulation is essentially reduced to a distortion of the scanner’s display. In this paper, the general approach of RF derivation in a commercial digital scanner is exposed. Then it is demonstrated on a commercial scanner, the Kretztechnic 530D, equipped with a volumic probe. This system allowed us to implement one of our current subjects of research, that is the Parallel Integral Projection for the localization of a micro needle in soft tissues, and to conclude on its performances on real data, including a minimum gain of 5.

Keywords: digital ultrasound scanner, radio frequency, real time radio frequency signal, auto synchronized bypass board

16 pages, 11 figures

Сitation: Jean Martial Mari, Christian Cachard. Acquire real-time RF digital ultrasound data from a commercial scanner. Electronic Journal “Technical Acoustics”,, 2007, 3.


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Jean Martial Mari was born in 1976 in Saint Denis of the Reunion Island (France). He received the Electrical Engineering Diploma of the INSA Lyon, France, in 2000 with a specialisation in Signal Processing, and a PhD in Acoustics at the Université Lyon 1, France, in 2004. He joined the Medical Vision Laboratory, University of Oxford, in 2005 on Ultrasound Contrast Agent and imaging artefacts correction. His general research interests include ultrasonic observation of surgical micro instruments, linear and non linear imaging and technical acoustics.

e-mail: mari(at)


Christian Cachard was born in Saint Etienne (France) in 1956. He received a Diploma of Electronic Engineering in 1979 from the ENSAI Strasbourg, a Masters in Acoustics from the LMA Marseille in 1980 and a Ph. D. in Acoustics from the INSA Lyon in 1988. He was successively Assistant Professor and Professor at the Electrical Engineering department of the Technical Institute of the Université Lyon 1. Until 1990 he was working on the interaction of acoustic waves with bubbles in underwater applications. In 1992, when the Center for Research and Applications in Image and Signal Processing (CREATIS) oriented its research towards medical applications, Christian Cachard joined the ultrasound group and worked on IVUS artefacts and ultrasound contrast agents. He is interested in processing ultrasound radio frequency signals in 3D for micro tools detection.

e-mail: christian.cachard(at)