Ultrasound computed tomography (USCT) is a noninvasive imaging modality that has shown its clinical relevance for breast cancer diagnostics. As opposed to traveltime inversions, waveform-based inversions can exploit the full content of ultrasound data, thereby providing increased resolution. However, this is only feasible when modeling the full physics of wave propagation, accounting for 3D effects such as refraction and diffraction, and this comes at a significant computational cost. To mitigate this cost, a crosstalk-free source encoding method for explicit time-domain solvers is proposed. The gradient computation is performed with only two numerical “super” wave simulations, independent of the number of sources and receivers. Absence of crosstalk is achieved by considering orthogonal frequencies attributed to each source. By considering “double-difference” measurements, no a priori knowledge of the source time function is required. With this method, full-physics based 3D waveform inversions can be performed within minutes using reasonable computational resources, fitting clinical requirements.

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