IPE 17-19 Internship, Bachelorthesis or Masterthesis: Fast and efficient automatic controlled aperture movement for USCT 3.0

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Karlsruhe, Germany

Work group:

Institute for Data Processing and Electronics (IPE)

Area of research:

Work placement

Job description:

At KIT a novel imaging method and prototype, called 3D-USCT 3.0, is under development. In this method ultrasound signals are used (A-Scans, ultrasound pressure over time) to reconstruct 3D image volumes of the female breast for early breast cancer diagnosis. A demonstrator with hundreds of ultrasound transducer array systems is designed and build up currently. The transducers act as receiver or emitter and are positioned around a measurement container (see Fig.1, centre in the patient bed of the similar previous generation USCT II system). The USCT method uses water as contact medium as the used transducers have typically a centre frequency of approx. 2.5 MHz.

Motivation and challenges

The USCT system is capable of translating and moving the aperture of transducers which is embedded in the semi-spherical measurement container. The dynamic of these movements are +/- 20° and approximate 3cm lift range. Driven is this system by stepping motors with high resolution & an included driver regulation system, currently controlled by a dedicated card with a µC (MSP430) connected via a serial connection to a PC. To achieve the required position accuracy two additional high precision linear potentiometers were included into the system to measure the current position. These are digitized and with ADCs which completes the feedback loop.


This work should implement a more efficient and fast positioning solution, fully integrated and based on the existing software and HW infrastructure utilizing parallel driving and read out capabilities by the system. The existing µC based prototype card can be redesigned (e.g. with a raspberry Pi or similar low power PC) to allow decoupled driving of both movement systems (lift and rotation) in parallel, e.g. having in general continuous slow control task capability: permanent lift and rotation position poti-digitization, on demand inside camera image taking and continuous temperature monitoring while not interfering with other time critical USCT DAQ and communication tasks happening in the system. Also, it is required to calibrate the axis movement by considering the external safety movement switches and the feedback getting from the linear potentiometers already installed on the system. The calibration is needed to be triggered at the initialization of the device. It is important to find the optimal velocity of the axis movement considering the mechanical equipment endurance restriction and IEC 60601 standards section (1-2, 1-6, 1-8, 2-5).

The proposed design should be tested, implementing and integrated as own slow control board and software module in the DAQ PC and evaluated. The module be then integrated into a Linux based DAQ PC library. Parallel to the work documentation should be created which ends in a final presentation and report.

Tools: existing software, TI microcontroller development tools, GIT/SVN, Linux

Supervision: USCT project


Electrical engineering knowledge, programming knowledge ©

Contract Duration

6 months (Master Thesis, Bachelor Thesis or internship);

limited, according to the study regulations

Contact person

Michael Zapf michael.zapf@kit.edu Phone: +49 721 / 608 22406

Dietmar Bormann, Nima Rashvand, Zewei Lu         


Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

IPE 17-19 Internship, Bachelorthesis or Masterthesis: Fast and efficient automatic controlled aperture movement for USCT 3.0