It’s amazing to think a small knock on the edge of the lens can have such big consequences. Yet this is exactly what has happened in the photos below. The probe in question, a Philips C5-1 has suffered what may only look like a superficial dent, something that you would expect it to be able to withstand. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Underneath the lens is a piezoelectric array which is what generates the acoustic sound waves to create an image. From that small knick the array has been damaged and this has led to element drop out.
As you can see in the graph below which shows you the acoustic sensitivity on the returned echo, there are a number of elements that are non-firing. The good news is that on most probes. this is repairable.
Whilst trauma is one way to damage the lens it’s not the only way. In Part 2 of this series, we will explain other ways in which the lens can be damaged and the pitfalls to avoid.