Design aspects of focal beams from high-intensity arrays

IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2011 Aug;58(8):1590-602. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2011.1986.


As the applications of ultrasonic thermal therapies expand, the design of the high-intensity array must address both the energy delivery of the main beam and the character and relevance of off-target beam energy. We simulate the acoustic field performance of a selected set of circular arrays organized by array format, including flat versus curved arrays, periodic versus random arrays, and center void diameter variations. Performance metrics are based on the -3-dB focal main lobe (FML) positioning range, axial grating lobe (AGL) temperatures, and side lobe levels. Using finite-element analysis, we evaluate the relative heating of the FML and the AGLs. All arrays have a maximum diameter of 100λ, with element count ranging from 64 to 1024 and continuous wave frequency of 1.5 MHz. First, we show that a 50% spherical annulus produces focus beam side lobes which decay as a function of lateral distance at nearly 87% of the exponential rate of a full aperture. Second, for the arrays studied, the efficiency of power delivery over the -3-dB focus positioning range for spherical arrays is at least 2-fold greater than for flat arrays; the 256-element case shows a 5-fold advantage for the spherical array. Third, AGL heating can be significant as the focal target is moved to its distal half-intensity depth from the natural focus. Increasing the element count of a randomized array to 256 elements decreases the AGL-to-FML heating ratio to 0.12 at the distal half-intensity depth. Further increases in element count yield modest improvements. A 49% improvement in the AGL-to-peak heating ratio is predicted by using the Sumanaweera spiral element pattern with randomization.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Equipment Design
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Hot Temperature
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / instrumentation*