In addition to industrial NDE, UCNDE also conducts research into medical applications. In particular for anomaly detection using ultrasound tomography.
Tomography attempts to reconstruct the spatial distribution of one or more physical parameters of an object by studying the perturbation induced by the object's structure on the free propagation of either mechanical or electromagnetic waves. The wave-matter interaction can be modeled according to classical ray theory or under the more general framework of diffraction theory, which includes the former in the short wavelength limit. Thus, while a ray is, in general, sufficient to describe the propagation of high-energy photons in X-ray tomography of biological materials, diffraction, refraction and multiple scattering can become dominant when imaging the same material with ultrasound or microwave. The presence of these effects poses a number of fundamental challenges to the development of tomography technology. We have shown that ultrasound tomography can be engineered to achieve the same resolution as X-ray CT but without the risks associated with ionizing radiation.
Combining time of flight and diffraction tomography for high resolution breast imaging: Initial invivo results (L)
P Huthwaite, F Simonetti and N Duric, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 132 (3), 1249-1252, 2012
High-resolution imaging without iteration: A fast and robust method for breast ultrasound tomography
P Huthwaite and F Simonetti, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 130 (3), 1721-1734, 2011
Diffraction and coherence in breast ultrasound tomography: A study with a toroidal array
F Simonetti, L Huang, N Duric and P Littrup, Medical physics 36 (7), 2955-2965, 2009
The possibility of imaging the structure of a medium with mechanical or electromagnetic waves has been limited by the tradeoff between resolution and imaging depth due to the diffraction limit. While long wavelengths can penetrate deep into a medium, diffraction effects preclude the possibility of observing subwavelength structures. On the other hand, short wavelengths, which would lead to high resolution, are rapidly attenuated with penetration depth so becoming insensitive to deep features. Our aim is to overcome the diffraction limit to obtain super resolved images by combining recent advances in array technology for ultrasonic sensing with novel inversion algorithms that better describe the interaction of waves with matter.
Multiple scattering: The key to unravel the subwavelength world from the far-field pattern of a scattered wave
F Simonetti, Physical Review E, 73 (3), 2006