Senior Capstone Project '17

Ultrasound Imaging System for Educational Purposes

Takashi Buma

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ph.D. (2002), Applied Physics, University of Michigan M.S. (1999), Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan B.S. (1995), Electrical Engineering, Princeton University.

Yazan Barhoush


B.S. (2017), Computer Engineering, Union College

An alternative to increase the effectiveness of in-class delivery methods can be hands-on educational tools. This senior project is an upgrade of an older version of an Ultrasound imaging system that will be used for educational purposes by college students. The system will allow students to gain access to a tool that can produce better understanding of ultrasound technology, the process of capturing images and electronics involved. Certain parts of the older system were replaced to achieve improved flexibility, modularity, and better control. Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and Microcontroller (MCU) were considered as valid options for improving the system. Various aspects between MCU’s and the FPGA’s were compared, but results were close and preliminary testing was required to make the final decision.  Altera DE0-naon FPGA was chosen to produce high precision synchronous signals and replace the older Timing Electronics.

While the balance between theory and practice of engineering curriculum has dramatically changed over time [7] , the effectiveness of delivery methods in many engineering schools today is relatively the same: different methods try to find an efficient technique for delivering large quantities of analytical information.[14] Limits of such an approach have been indicated by studies in behavioral psychology [13] and cognitive research [15]. An alternative to increase the viii effectiveness of these delivery methods can be hands-on educational tools. However, these tools have to be visual, engaging and encourage active and cooperative learning [10] In this thesis report, we construct an ultrasound imaging system that would serve as an example topic for such a tool. The system should be interesting to many students and cover certain engineering concepts that include the nature of ultrasound and its physics, ultrasonic echo imaging technique and its features, different image modes, transducers and reallife applications. The project can be integrated to augment a practice-based curriculum. This can provide a new engineering educational experience: a combination of visual curriculum with opportunities for application and hands-on experience, thereby erasing the traditional boundaries between theory and practice of engineering curriculum.