The ultrasonix 500RP: A commercial ultrasound research interface

Thaddeus Wilson, James Zagzebski, Tomy Varghese, Quan Chen, Min Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Unlike researchers in magnetic resonance imaging who have considerable access to high level tools and to data at a very basic level on their scanners, those involved with ultrasound have found little in the way of meaningful and widespread access to even the most basic echo signals in their clinical systems. Interest has emerged, however, in ultrasound research interfaces on commercial scanners to provide access to raw ultrasound data and control of basic research functions. This paper describes initial experience gained on one such ultrasound system. The Ultrasonix 500RP system provides research access to the data at multiple points in the signal processing chain and allows control over most imaging parameters. The Ultrasonix system allows for three methods of research control. One is implemented along with the standard clinical imaging software using "mouseover" screens on the periphery of the application window. These screens are configured by the user to display various signal processing variables, which can be modified in real time. Second, the system can be controlled via a user-written remote control client application interacting through the clinical exam software. Lastly, the user can write a complete application which initializes the basic ultrasound module but need not use the Ultrasonix clinical exam software. All of the modes can be done locally on the scanner itself or via a network, and are based on software developed in C++ with libraries supplied with the scanner. Two examples are presented in this paper from the evaluation of the system in "real world" applications. Measurements of absolute backscatter coefficients and attenuation coefficients versus frequency are shown and elastograms utilizing spatial compounding are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1772-1781
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 31, 2005; accepted November 5, 2005. This work is supported in part by NIH grants R21-CA100989, R21-EB002722, and R21 EB003853. T. Wilson is with the Department of Radiology, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN 38163 (e-mail: J. Zagzebski, T. Varghese, Q. Chen, and M. Rao are with the Department of Medical Physics, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TUFFC.2006.110

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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