Super-Resolution Ultrasonic Imaging (SUI)

Student of Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Kiran Kumar Amireddy won the award for the research project Super-Resolution Ultrasonic Imaging (SUI). He carried his research work under guidance of Dr. Krishnan Balasubramaniam and Dr. Prabhu Rajagopal.

Ultrasonic Imaging (UI) is widely used for characterization of materials in industry and biomedical applications because it is affordable and does not have risk of radiation. However conventional UI systems suffer from poor resolution in the range of millimeters, due to the Rayleigh limit to half the operating wavelength. Electromagnetic (EM) methods such as X-ray computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) etc., can yield resolution ranging to micrometers or nanometers, but these are expensive and carry a risk of radiation. 

Due to the limitations of UI, EM-based methods are often the only solution, which in parts of the world, are beyond the reach of healthcare providers and industrial inspectors. Improving the resolution of UI systems will make it possible to complement or replace X-ray CT systems used in medical diagnostics and characterization of industrial components. The proposed project seeks to overcome the limitation of UI by addressing the classical diffraction limit in imaging using custom designed holey meta material lenses. Using the principle of Fabry-Perot resonance, this meta material amplifies the evanescent waves in the structure (being imaged) to the far field. The project demonstrated SUI applications to sub wavelength resolution, imaging down to a feature size of λ/25 and characterization of defects in components. The results have yielded some of the highest resolution capabilities achieved experimentally in the ultrasonic regime. This project also yielded a cost-effective method of making meta-lenses using plastic straw tubes sourced off-the shelf.

The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (BIRAC – GYTI) Award to Kiran Kumar Amireddy, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.

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