The following paper presents an idea of minimising the number of connections of individual piezoelectric transducers in a row-column multielement passive matrix system used for imaging of biological media structure by means of ultrasonic projection. It allows to achieve significant directivity with acceptable input impedance decrease. This concept was verified by designing a model of a passive ultrasonic matrix consisting of 16 elementary piezoceramic transducers, with electrode attachments optimised by means of electronic switches in rows and columns. Distributions of acoustic field generated by the constructed matrix model in water and results of the calculations conformed well.
The following work presents the idea of constructing a digitally controlled active piezoceramic transducer matrix for ultrasonic projection imaging of biological media in a similar way as in case of roentgenography (RTG). Multielement ultrasonic probes in the form of flat matrices of elementary piezoceramic transducers require attaching a large number of electrodes in order to activate the individual transducers. This paper presents the idea of minimising the number of transducer connections in an active row-column matrix system. This idea was verified by designing a model of a matrix consisting of 16 ultrasonic transducers with electrode attachments optimised by means of electronic switches in rows and columns and miniature transistor switches in the nodes of the matrix allowing to activate selected transducers. The results of measurements and simulations of parameters of the designed matrix show that it is suitable to be used in projection imaging of biological media as a sending probe. In to use the matrix as a universal sending or receiving probe, it was suggested to add further switches that would eliminate the undesired effect of crosstalks in case of switches used for toggling the transducers in the nodes of the matrix.
Ultrasonic projection imaging is similar to X-ray radiography. Nowadays, ultrasonic projection methods have been developed in the set-up of multi-element flat arrays with miniature transducers, where one of the array acts as a transmitter and the other one is a receiver. In the paper, a new method of the projection imaging using a 1024-element circular ultrasonic transducer array is presented. It allows the choice of a projection scanning plane for any angle around a studied object submerged in water. Fast acquisition of measurement data is achieved as a result of parallel switching of opposite transmitting and receiving transducers in the circular array and vertical movement of the array. The algorithm equalizing the length of measurement rays and the distances between them was elaborated for the reconstruction of projection images. Projection research results of breast phantom obtained by means of the elaborated measurement set-up and compared with mammography simulations (acquired through overlapping of X-ray tomographic images) show that ultrasonic projection method presented in this paper (so-called ultrasonic mammogra-phy) can be applied to the woman's breast and be used as a diagnosis for an early detection of cancerous lesions. It can, most of all, be used as an alternative or complementary method to standard mammography, which is harmful because of ionizing radiation and invasive due to the mechanical compression of tissue.