Nonlinear Harmonic Distortion of Complementary Golay Codes

Fraser Hamilton (Lead / Corresponding author), Peter Hoskins, George Corner, Zhihong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in electronics miniaturization have led to the development of low-power, low-cost, point-of-care ultrasound scanners. Low-cost systems employing simple bi-level pulse generation devices need only utilize binary phase modulated coded excitations to significantly improve sensitivity; however the performance of complementary codes in the presence of nonlinear harmonic distortion has not been thoroughly investigated. Through simulation, it was found that nonlinear propagation media with little attenuative properties can significantly deteriorate the Peak Sidelobe Level (PSL) performance of complementary Golay coded pulse compression, resulting in PSL levels of -62 dB using nonlinear acoustics theory contrasted with -198 dB in the linear case. Simulations of 96 complementary pairs revealed that some pairs are more robust to sidelobe degradation from nonlinear harmonic distortion than others, up to a maximum PSL difference of 17 dB between the best and worst performing codes. It is recommended that users consider the effects of nonlinear harmonic distortion when implementing binary phase modulated complementary Golay coded excitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasonic imaging
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • coded excitation
  • Golay
  • nonlinear acoustics
  • Simulation
  • simulation


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