Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Ultrasound Goes Underground

Ultrafast, ultraclear subterranean imaging
February 1, 2019

A new collimated sound source helps scientists produce images of underground structures.

It’s also much faster, imaging in less than a day what used to take a week.

Ultrasonic imagers use high-frequency sound waves to produce high-resolution images, but they can’t “see” very far. In contrast, imagers operating at lower frequencies can see farther, but they produce only low-resolution images containing limited information. Scientists at Los Alamos have recently invented a new kind of ultrasonic imaging tool that is the best of both worlds, having the penetration power of lower-frequency probes and producing high-quality images like higher-frequency probes.


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