A 64-Channel Transmitter for Investigating Parallel Transmit MRI
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Multiple channel radiofrequency (RF) transmitters are being used in magnetic resonance imaging to investigate a number of active research topics, including transmit SENSE and B(1) shimming. Presently, the cost and availability of multiple channel transmitters restricts their use to relatively few sites. This paper describes the development and testing of a relatively inexpensive transmit system that can be easily duplicated by users with a reasonable level of RF hardware design experience. The system described here consists of 64 channels, each with 100 W peak output level. The hardware is modular at the level of four channels, easily accommodating larger or smaller channel counts. Unique aspects of the system include the use of vector modulators to replace more complex IQ direct digital modulators, 100 W MOSFET RF amplifiers with partial microstrip matching networks, and the use of digital potentiometers to replace more complex and costly digital-to-analog converters to control the amplitude and phase of each channel. Although mainly designed for B(1) shimming, the system is capable of dynamic modulation necessary for transmit SENSE by replacing the digital potentiometers controlling the vector modulators with commercially available analog output boards. The system design is discussed in detail and bench and imaging data are shown, demonstrating the ability to perform phase and amplitude control for B(1) shimming as well as dynamic modulation for transmitting complex RF pulses.
author list (cited authors)
Feng, K. e., Hollingsworth, N. A., McDougall, M. P., & Wright, S. M.