Lectures on MR > Courses 2017 > RF-Coils: Design and build your own
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RF-Coils: Design and build your own

June 20-22, 2017
L'Aquila/IT

Course venue:

University of L'Aquila

Course organisers:
Marcello Alecci
Molecular Imaging Laboratory
University of L‘Aquila/IT

Andrew Webb
C.J. Gorter Center for High Field MRI
Leiden University Medical Center
Leiden/NL

Local organisers:

Marcello Alecci
Angelo Galante
Assunta Vitacolonna
University of L‘Aquila/IT

Preliminary faculty:
M. Alecci, N. Avdievich, A. Galante, J. Mispelter, A. Monorchio, A. Webb

Goals of the course:
The course on RF coils: Design and build your own provides an overview of the basic principles of designing, constructing and testing of RF coils for both animal and human scanners. Practical sessions will cover approximately 50% of the course, in which participants will learn to build surface and volume RF coils relevant to their particular interests. Characterization of RF coils including S-parameters, Q-measurements and optimization, B1 calibration and mapping, measurement of E field and assessment of parallel imaging performance will be also part of the course. The course is designed for basic scientists and engineers but also has been attended in the past by clinicians, radiographers, applications specialists and other MR users interested in gaining a better insight into RF coil technology.

This course will enable you to
•Understand the behaviour of circuit elements used to construct RF coils
•Understand the concepts of resonant circuits, quality factor and the effects of sample loading
•Design impedance matching networks
•Construct baluns and cable traps
•Get first-hand experience with test equipment used in RF coil design
•Design and build a single-tuned surface RF coil
•Understand the theory of volume resonators
•Design a single-tuned birdcage RF coil
•Understand the effect of RF shields
•Understand the different designs for multiple-tuned RF probes
•See the principles of software packages for RF simulations

Educational level:
This course is intended for scientists and engineers who have a basic knowledge of mathematics and simple electrical circuits. Attendees should have a working knowledge of magnetic resonance basics.


Course description:
This course is designed to provide a theoretical and practical guide to RF coil design for both animal and human systems. Simple tools for electrical circuit analysis will be introduced, followed by practical design of simple geometries such as surface RF coils. The participants will then design and construct a surface RF coil with their chosen dimensions and frequency of operation. In the second stage, the design of volume birdcage RF coils will be introduced from a theoretical and practical basis. Software for modeling these coils will be discussed, and again the participants can choose which type of RF volume coil to design and construct during the practical sessions.

Finally, advanced topics such as multi-tuned surface and volume RF coils and phased arrays will be introduced, designed and tested on the workbench. Approximately 50% of the course will be spent in the laboratory and the students will be free to take away the RF coils that they have constructed and tested. A high teacher-to-student ratio ensures individual attention at all times.

Since participants will construct their own RF coil this course is limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

Learning ojectives:
RF circuit design
•Characteristics and use of lumped elements
•Concepts of resonant circuits
•Impedance matching for maximum power transfer
•Baluns and cable traps
•Maximizing experimental SNR by optimizing the coil quality factor
•Concepts in RF coil decoupling
•Multiple-tuned circuits

Hardware for RF testing
•Network analyzer operation
•Quality factor measurements
•Frequency generators
•Resistance bridges, inductance and capacitance meters
•Workbench characterization of RF coil performance

Simulation software
•Principles of EM simulation software packages
•B1-homogeneity versus B1-efficiency
•SAR considerations
•High frequency RF effects

Advanced RF coils

•Birdcage and TEM coils
•Phased arrays
•RF shields and eddy currents
•RF decoupling

Practical design and construction
•Surface RF coil
•Birdcage volume RF coil
•Double-tuned RF surface coil
•Double-tuned RF birdcage and/or TEM coils
•Phased arrays

RF coil characterization
•Scattering parameters
•RF coil sensitivity profile
•Signal-noise ratio performance
•Parallel imaging performance
•Decoupling and noise correlation
•RF safety

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