MRI safe linear encoder for medical applications

18th June 2015
Posted By : Jacqueline Regnier
MRI safe linear encoder for medical applications

MICRONOR introduces the world’s first commercially-available MRI Safe linear position sensor system for OEM motion control applications.  With 100µm resolution and 50µm accuracy, MR303 Linear Sensor is the ideal solution for medical, MRI, robotic and industrial applications where position and speed must be precisely monitored, and electromagnetic immunity and invisibility is required. The sensor works in conjunction with the MR302-2 OEM Controller which enables the sensor to integrate with conventional PLC controllers and servo drives.

The position sensor is immune to any electromagnetic interference, such as magnetic fields, lightning, high voltage and radiation. Being fabricated from non-ferrous and non-metallic materials, the sensor is also completely transparent to electromagnetic fields. The sensor’s magnetic invisibility also makes it the ideal position sensor for use in Super Paramagnetic Relaxation Measurements in which extremely small magnetic fields are measured. These attributes allow the MR303 sensor to be safely used in and around the MRI bore and does not produce any imaging artifacts.

This high precision linear encoder provides the means for performance enhancements of existing MRI systems as well as enabling new MRI applications and medical devices. Applications include MRI cradle position monitoring, MRI robots and MRI phantom training organs.

The fiber optic linear incremental encoder system is based on an innovative optical technique embodied in Micronor’s U.S. Patent 7,196,720 in which an electrically passive, all-optical sensor and remote controller are interconnected via a duplex fiber optic link. The system uses a coarse wavelength division multiplexing technique incorporating two lasers representing the A and B quadrature signals. An encoder film strip passes through the MR303 optical read head, modulating the A and B optical signals. The remote MR302-2 Controller provides both the optical input to the MR303 Sensor and processes the modulated optical return signal.

The MR302-2 Controller features both A/B quadrature outputs and Modbus RTU serial interface for transparent integration into the user’s application. A discrete HOMING Input is used for internally presetting the absolute position while a discrete STATUS Output provides the direct means of monitoring the encoder’s system health. The controller contains a feature-rich Modbus communications protocol for ease of integration into the user’s control system.

In small quantities, the MR303 sensor is $1070 and the MR302-2 OEM PCB Controller is $890. OEM discounts are available upon request.


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