Phased Array Coil Performance Evaluation Using Retrospective 3D Coil Modeling
Soo Yeol Lee
MRI Phase Array Coil Performance evaluation 3D Modeling FDTD 3D tracker;
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In order to efficiently evaluate the performance of a given phased array coil, comparison of the coil sensitivity with a predicted one from a EM simulation is desirable. Moreover, this EM simulation should be accurate and based on the real structure not only from assumptions. Thus, a software toolbox which helps to build an accurate model based on the real phased array coil structure and after this make a visual comparison of the sensitivity of every coil element between the real experiment and EM simulation, is proposed. We have developed a C++- and MATLAB-based software tool called Phased Array Coil Evaluator (PACE). PACE has the following functions: Building 3D models of the coil elements, importing the FDTD simulation results, and visualizing the coil sensitivity of each coil element on the ordinary Cartesian coordinate and the relative coil position coordinate. To build a 3D model of the phased array coil, we used an electromagnetic 3D tracker in a stylus form. After making the 3D model, we imported the 3D model into the FDTD electromagnetic field simulation tool. Furthermore, an accurate comparison between the coil sensitivity simulation and real experiment on the tool box platform has been made through fine matching of the simulation and real experiment with aids of the 3D tracker. In the simulation and experiment, we used a 36-channel helmet-style phased array coil. At the 3D MRI data acquisition using the spoiled gradient echo sequence, we used the uniform cylindrical phantom that had the same geometry as the one in the FDTD simulation. In the tool box, we can conveniently choose the coil element of interest and we can compare the coil sensitivities element-by-element of the phased array coil. We expect the tool box can be greatly used for developing phased array coils of new geometry or for periodic maintenance of phased array coils in a more accurate and consistent manner.