Feeds

Sonic 'hyperlens' offers hi-res ultrasound scans, naval sonar

No it's not a submarine, it's a whale - do not torpedo

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Boffins in California say they have developed a cunning "acoustic hyperlens" which will allow naval sonars and medical ultrasound scanners to increase the resolution of their images eightfold - accurately picturing details much smaller than the wavelength of the sound used to scan them.

The hi-res acoustic hyperlens built by Berkeley Lab scientists. Credit: Berkeley Lab

Absolutely no chance they're wrong about the sex of your baby anymore.

This might seem to be impossible, but according to Xiang Zhang of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory it's reality. The key, apparently, is the use of "evanescent" sound waves - undetectable to normal sonic equipment, which instead relies on propagating waves.

"We have successfully carried out an experimental demonstration of an acoustic hyperlens that magnifies sub-wavelength objects by gradually converting evanescent waves into propagating waves," says Zhang. "Our acoustic hyperlens relies on straightforward cutoff-free propagation and achieves deep subwavelength resolution with low loss over a broad frequency bandwidth."

The lens, made of brass, works by funnelling the normally undetectable evanescent sound waves into a small area and so concentrating them into propagating waves. According to the Berkeley lab, it has already produced two-dimensional sonic images of objects 6.7 times smaller than the wavelength of the sound used. Zhang and his crew are now working on a model which can work with the pulse-echo imaging used in both naval sonars and medical ultrasound scanners, and on upgrading to 3-D imaging.

"Directly applied to current ultrasound pulse-echo technology, the hyperlens would allow the use of lower input frequency, which in turn would increase the penetration depth and allow physicians to see, for example, smaller tumors or finer features of larger objects that could help them identify other abnormalities," Zhang says.

In undersea warfare, sonars don't normally need to detect very small objects - one is normally seeking to spot a submarine or at worst a large mine. But hyperlens sonars would seem able to maintain the same resolution at much lower frequency, which would mean being able to detect any given target from further away. It's certainly no surprise to note that the Office of Naval Research contributed funds to the hyperlens project.

Zhang and Co's letter in Nature Materials, Experimental Demonstration of an Acoustic Magnifying Hyperlens, can be read here by subscribers. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.