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Microwave radar-based breast cancer detection: imaging in inhomogeneous breast phantoms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349 - 1352
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters
StatePublished - Nov 2009


This letter presents, for the first time, experimental work on microwave breast cancer imaging using inhomogeneous breast phantoms. A recently designed 31-antenna array is used in imaging experiments. The imaging system operates in the full ultrawideband frequency range, between 3 and 10 GHz. To verify imaging performance of our system, new breast phantoms with inhomogeneous interior were developed. For three different breast phantoms presented in this work, the contrast between spherical phantom tumors and surrounding materials ranges from 5:1 to 1.6:1. Our results show that the biggest challenge in radar microwave imaging is the inhomogeneity of the volume being sensed, and not the contrast itself. In addition to experimental results, we also present the new image formation algorithm, which is a modified version of the delay-and-sum (DAS) algorithm. The new algorithm makes use of a new weighting factor, the coherence factor. The new algorithm is effective in reducing clutter, providing better images. For the most demanding imaging example presented herein, the new algorithm improves the peak clutter-to-target energy ratio by 3.1 dB.

Additional information

Publisher: IEEE Rose publication type: Journal article Terms of use: Copyright © 2009 IEEE. Reprinted from IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters. This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of the University of Bristol's products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.

Research areas

  • antenna array, biomedical electromagnetic imaging, medical imaging, microwave imaging, radar imaging

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