We present a recent successful program to develop a 1.5 Tesla MRI magnet with a maximum helium inventory of less than 50 litres. The Magnet Technology Demonstrator was fully evaluated in a Siemens MRI system and found to deliver comparable imaging performance to a conventional bath-cooled magnet. As well as the development of the novel magnet technology, other key enabling technologies were developed. These included an automatic ramp-down system for protection against power outages and methods for cooling the magnet both within a manufacturing facility and on site.
The program culminated in the successful demonstration of key technologies required to realise the next generation of whole-body MRI magnets with much reduced dependency on scarce and increasingly expensive helium.
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