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A DATA PROCESSING UNIT FOR MAGNET MONITORING IN MRI SYSTEMS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124118D
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-08
Document File: 5 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In an embodiment, a DPU for monitoring magnets in an MRI system according to this invention uses specialized software, hardware, pressure control modules (PCM), Ethernet connectivity and database storage to remotely monitor a network of up to 50 PCMs. Status information is collected by the DPU and sent via Ethernet connection to a database and a monitor, which is configured to alert personnel of any abnormal magnet performance status. A PCM is used to continually monitor the magnet helium vessel pressure and provide current to a heater internal to the helium vessel, to maintain the vessel pressure at a preset value above zero Psig. The PCM has analog signal outputs, which allows the DPU to monitor the PCM and report all data, real time information, to a centralized database via an Ethernet wireless backbone network.

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A DATA PROCESSING UNIT FOR MAGNET MONITORING IN MRI SYSTEMS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001]               This invention relates generally, to data processing units (DPU) and more particularly to, a DPU for magnet monitoring in MRI systems.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002]                Magnets constructed using K4 recondensor technology continually exhibits constantly decreasing helium vessel pressure.  Over time, the magnet helium vessel pressure decreases to zero Psig and continue decreasing into the negative pressure range (vacuum condition).  When the magnet helium vessel pressure becomes negative (vacuum), the opportunity for atmospheric gases to enter the helium vessel through any opening (leak), often undetectable under standard pressurized conditions, can pose serious thermal performance issues as the atmospheric gasses freeze inside the helium vessel and become ice formations.  If left unchecked, a large amount of ice may collect and migrate to internal plumbing and thereby block flow passages required for normal magnet helium vessel recondensor operation.

[0003]               Once this condition occurs, considerable time and materials are required to correct the condition by removing all liquid helium and warming up the magnet and helium vessel from 4 degrees Kelvin (liquid helium temperature) to 300 Kelvin (room temperature).  This may cause ice within the magnet helium vessel to melt and be purged from the system.  Thus, the magnet and helium vessel requires additional time and materials to return the system to normal operating condition (core temperature 4 Kelvin with liquid Helium present in the helium vessel).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004]                 FIG. 1 shows an example of a data processing unit according to this invention. 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0005]    Various embodiments of this invention provide a DPU for magnet monitoring in MRI systems.  However, the embodiments are not limited and may be implemented in connection with other systems such as, for example, industrial imaging systems.

[0006]                 In an embodiment, a DPU according to this invention uses specialized software, hardware, pressure control modules (PCM), Ethernet connectivity and database storage to remotely monitor a network of up to 50 PCMs.  Status information is collected by the DPU and sent via Ethernet connection to a database and a monitor, which is configured to alert personnel of any abnormal magnet performance status.

[0007]               A PCM is used to continually monitor the magnet helium vessel pressure and provide current to a heater internal to the helium vessel, to maintain the vessel pressure at a preset value above zero Psig.  The PCM has analog signal outputs, which allows the DPU to monitor the PCM and report all data, real time information, to a centralized database via an Ethernet wireless backbone network.

[0008]               For example, the data includes magnet helium vessel pressure, liquid helium level, and heater on status.  A time delayed data acquisition technique...