In many ultrasonic imaging systems, data acquisition and image formation are performed on separate computing devices. Data transmission is becoming a bottleneck, thus, efficient data compression is essential. Compression rates can be improved by considering the fact that many image formation methods rely on approximations of wave-matter interactions, and only use the corresponding part of the data. Tailored data compression could exploit this, but extracting the useful part of the data efficiently is not always trivial. In this work, we tackle this problem using deep neural networks, optimized to preserve the image quality of a particular image formation method. The Delay-And-Sum (DAS) algorithm is examined which is used in reflectivity-based ultrasonic imaging. We propose a novel encoder-decoder architecture with vector quantization and formulate image formation as a network layer for end-to-end training. Experiments demonstrate that our proposed data compression tailored for a specific image formation method obtains significantly better results as opposed to compression agnostic to subsequent imaging. We maintain high image quality at much higher compression rates than the theoretical lossless compression rate derived from the rank of the linear imaging operator. This demonstrates the great potential of deep ultrasonic data compression tailored for a specific image formation method.

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Applus+ E&I Technology Centre, Rotterdam, NL
Deep learning and compressed sensing for ultrasonic nondestructive testing
IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium
Computational Imaging

Pilikos, G, Horchens, L, Batenburg, K.J, van Leeuwen, T, & Lucka, F. (2020). Deep data compression for approximate ultrasonic image formation. In 2020 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium. doi:10.1109/IUS46767.2020.9251753