We experimentally demonstrate a low-cost hardware technique for synthesizing a specific electromagnetic pulse shape to improve a time-domain microwave breast imaging system. A synthesized broadband reflector (SBR) filter structure is used to reshape a generic impulse to create an ad-hoc pulse with a specifically chosen frequency spectrum that improves the detection and imaging capabilities of our experimental system. The tailored pulse shape benefits the system by improving the level of signal detection after transmission through the breast and thus permits higher-resolution images. We report on our ability to use this technique to detect the presence of tumours in realistic breast phantoms composed of varying quantities of glandular tissue. Additionally, we provide a set of images based on this experimental data that demonstrates the increased effectiveness of the system using the SBR-shaped pulse in the localisation and identification of the embedded tumour.
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