20 March 2014 Hard real-time beam scheduler enables adaptive images in multi-probe systems
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Abstract
Real-time embedded-system concepts were adapted to allow an imaging system to responsively control the firing of multiple probes. Large-volume, operator-independent (LVOI) imaging would increase the diagnostic utility of ultrasound. An obstacle to this innovation is the inability of current systems to drive multiple transducers dynamically. Commercial systems schedule scanning with static lists of beams to be fired and processed; here we allow an imager to adapt to changing beam schedule demands, as an intelligent response to incoming image data. An example of scheduling changes is demonstrated with a flexible duplex mode two-transducer application mimicking LVOI imaging. Embedded-system concepts allow an imager to responsively control the firing of multiple probes. Operating systems use powerful dynamic scheduling algorithms, such as fixed priority preemptive scheduling. Even real-time operating systems lack the timing constraints required for ultrasound. Particularly for Doppler modes, events must be scheduled with sub-nanosecond precision, and acquired data is useless without this requirement. A successful scheduler needs unique characteristics. To get close to what would be needed in LVOI imaging, we show two transducers scanning different parts of a subjects leg. When one transducer notices flow in a region where their scans overlap, the system reschedules the other transducer to start flow mode and alter its beams to get a view of the observed vessel and produce a flow measurement. The second transducer does this in a focused region only. This demonstrates key attributes of a successful LVOI system, such as robustness against obstructions and adaptive self-correction.
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Richard J. Tobias, Richard J. Tobias, Judy G. Kahn, Judy G. Kahn, } "Hard real-time beam scheduler enables adaptive images in multi-probe systems", Proc. SPIE 9040, Medical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 904010 (20 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2043125; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2043125
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