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Shielded Gradient CoilsInfoSheet: - Coils - 
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Current-carrying gradient coils with reduced gradient fringe field inside of the magnet cryostat structures like cryoshields and He-vessel. The shielding can be accomplished by secondary actively driven coils or by passive screens, which are inductively coupled to the gradient coils. In both cases eddy currents outside of the gradient system will be reduced.
See also Eddy Currents.
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Types of Magnets, 
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the magnetic resonance phenomenon, and is used for medical diagnostic imaging since ca. 1977 (see also MRI History).
The first developed MRI devices were constructed as long narrow tunnels. In the meantime the magnets became shorter and wider. In addition to this short bore magnet design, open MRI machines were created. MRI machines with open design have commonly either horizontal or vertical opposite installed magnets and obtain more space and air around the patient during the MRI test.
The basic hardware components of all MRI systems are the magnet, producing a stable and very intense magnetic field, the gradient coils, creating a variable field and radio frequency (RF) coils which are used to transmit energy and to encode spatial positioning. A computer controls the MRI scanning operation and processes the information.
The range of used field strengths for medical imaging is from 0.15 to 3 T. The open MRI magnets have usually field strength in the range 0.2 Tesla to 0.35 Tesla. The higher field MRI devices are commonly solenoid with short bore superconducting magnets, which provide homogeneous fields of high stability.
There are this different types of magnets:
Resistive Magnet
Permanent Magnet
Superconducting Magnet
The majority of superconductive magnets are based on niobium-titanium (NbTi) alloys, which are very reliable and require extremely uniform fields and extreme stability over time, but require a liquid helium cryogenic system to keep the conductors at approximately 4.2 Kelvin (-268.8 Celsius). To maintain this temperature the magnet is enclosed and cooled by a cryogen containing liquid helium (sometimes also nitrogen).
The gradient coils are required to produce a linear variation in field along one direction, and to have high efficiency, low inductance and low resistance, in order to minimize the current requirements and heat deposition. A Maxwell coil usually produces linear variation in field along the z-axis; in the other two axes it is best done using a saddle coil, such as the Golay coil.
The radio frequency coils used to excite the nuclei fall into two main categories; surface coils and volume coils. The essential element for spatial encoding, the gradient coil sub-system of the MRI scanner is responsible for the encoding of specialized contrast such as flow information, diffusion information, and modulation of magnetization for spatial tagging.
An analog to digital converter turns the nuclear magnetic resonance signal to a digital signal. The digital signal is then sent to an image processor for Fourier transformation and the image of the MRI scan is displayed on a monitor.

For Ultrasound Imaging (USI) see Ultrasound Machine at

See also the related poll results: 'In 2010 your scanner will probably work with a field strength of' and 'Most outages of your scanning system are caused by failure of'
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Radiology-tip.comUltrasound Machine,  Real-Time Scanner

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Gradient Amplifier
In MRI systems, the gradient amplifier increases the energy of the signal before it reaches the gradient coils, in a way, that the field strength is intense enough to produce the variations in the main magnetic field for localization of the later received signal. Three gradient coils normally require three gradient amplifiers. As all amplifiers, gradient amplifiers produce heat, which requires cooling.

See also the related poll result: 'Most outages of your scanning system are caused by failure of'

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Helmholtz Pair CoilInfoSheet: - Coils - 
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A Helmholtz pair consists of two identical circular magnetic coils that are placed symmetrically one on each side of the experimental area along a common axis, and separated by a distance equal to the radius of the coil. Actually, a slightly larger separation improves the field uniformity. Each coil carries an equal electrical current flowing in the same direction. A cylindrical region extending between the centers of the two coils and approximately 1/5 of their diameter will have a nearly spatially uniform magnetic field.
In MRI, the Helmholtz pair coils are used as z-gradient coils to produce linear variations in the main magnetic field along the z-axis. Also in use as z-gradient coils are the Maxwell coils (three coils in a slightly more complicated geometry than the Helmholtz configuration). These coils are only occasionally used as RF coils for imaging.

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Design & Development of Helmholtz Coil for Hyperpolarized MRI
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Hardware components from MRI systems. The radio frequency (RF) amplifier increases the power (measured in Watt) of the pulses from mW to kW and the gradient amplifier increases the power of the gradient pulses for the gradient coils.
See also Hardware.

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Tech Spotlight: How to calibrate an MRI RF amplifier
Saturday, 1 December 2012   by    
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