ABSTRACT: A full-wave Helmholtz model of continuous-wave (CW) ultrasound fields may offer several attractive features over widely used partial-wave approximations. For example, many full-wave techniques can be easily adjusted for complex geometries, and multiple reflections of sound are automatically taken into account in the model. To date, however, the full-wave modeling of CW fields in general 3D geometries has been avoided due to the large computational cost associated with the numerical approximation of the Helmholtz equation. Recent developments in computing capacity together with improvements in finite element type modeling techniques are making possible wave simulations in 3D geometries which reach over tens of wavelengths. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of a full-wave solution of the 3D Helmholtz equation for modeling of continuous-wave ultrasound fields in an inhomogeneous medium. The numerical approximation of the Helmholtz equation is computed using the ultraweak variational formulation (UWVF) method. In addition, an inverse problem technique is utilized to reconstruct the velocity distribution on the transducer which is used to model the sound source in the UWVF scheme. The modeling method is verified by comparing simulated and measured fields in the case of transmission of 531 kHz CW fields through layered plastic plates. The comparison shows a reasonable agreement between simulations and measurements at low angles of incidence but, due to mode conversion, the Helmholtz model becomes insufficient for simulating ultrasound fields in plates at large angles of incidence.
IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control 04/2005; · 1.69 Impact Factor