ISMRM Working Group on
An Open Source RF Coil Array Interface
Connecting self-built RF coil arrays to a commercial or a research MRI system is a recurring challenge. Details of interfaces for commercial systems are trade secrets and the corresponding documentation is shared only with selected partners who must sign non-disclosure agreements. Connecting to commercial systems often requires climbing a considerable learning curve, as well as obtaining connectors and other parts that are not readily available. Conversely, RF coils for research scanners end up using one-off solutions engineered from scratch, and often lack features of modern arrays. Ultimately, the same array cannot be used on different scanners, even if the Larmor frequency is the same, because the interfaces are so different.
The goal of this working group is to overcome these challenges by defining an open, vendor-agnostic, royalty-free interface standard. In addition, hardware based on the standard, including equipment for RF coil testing outside the MR scanner will be published open source. An open standard and an open source RF coil interface will lower the barriers to entry into the world of arrays and other advanced MR coils.
Nicola De Zanche (Edmonton, Canada)
Lukas Winter (Berlin, Germany)