Medical ultrasound systems are limited by a tradeoff between axial resolution and the maximum imaging depth which may be achieved. The technique of coded excitation has been used extensively in the field of RADAR and SONAR for some time, but has only relatively recently been exploited in the area of medical ultrasound. This technique is attractive be. cause allows the relationship between the pulse length and the maximum achievable spatial resolution to be changed. The work presented here explores the possibility of using the fractional Fourier transform as an effective means for the processing of signals received after the transmission of linear frequency modulated chirps. Results are presented which demonstrate that this technique is able to offer spatial resolutions similar to those obtained with a single cycle duration signal.