Creating a Brain Computer Interface Headband Using S.Q.U.I.D.’s … NOT!

SQUID’s (superconducting quantum interference device)  is an electronic system that uses a superconducting ring in which one or two small insulating layers have been inserted. This device based on the Josephson effect in the superconductor-insulator-superconductor sandwich. The flux quantization in the ring makes it extremely sensitive to any magnetic field. Squids are so sensitive they can measure the magnetic activity of the brain in real time. The majority of squids rely on conventional superconductors that operate at liquid helium temperatures, -452.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

SQUIDFairly recently devices using the cuprate high temperature superconductors have come to market. With the creation of cuprate based SQUIDs the cooling requirements have been greatly decreased.

BCI_or_Fridge

Using a SQUID as the sensors for a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) is not a new idea. The first time I saw this concept was in the 1983 movie Brainstorm, with Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. The original unit they were using was a device the size of a refrigerator that you placed your head into. Its large size was due to the superconductors need to be cooled by liquid helium. Then a cinema plot device came into play, a superconducting chip that worked at room temperature, reducing the entire device to a consumer friendly, lightweight headband.

Todays exercise, creating a consumer friendly, light weight, SQUID based Brain computer Interface. Simple really …. if you look at it from an really odd angle. So it’s time to KISS KIM and do an engineering hack job on this puppy.

What do we need most to build a small lightweight BCI?

Small lightweight self refrigerating SQUID’s are the answer. I bet you knew that already.

The SQUIDs themselves are not the problem, they are manufactured using Integrated Circuit Fabrication technology, they a tiny little devices, just a couple micros across. Angels dancing on the head of a pin tiny, there are 25,400 microns in one inch. Lets ignore the SQUID for the time being, and concentrate on how to reduce the size of the refrigeration, associated insulation, and shrink it down so we can pack 20-30 of them in a headband.

To cool the SQUIDS there are four types of heat pumps to choose from, Compressor, Magnetic, Thermoacoustic, and Thermoelectric. Using a compressor is out, the weight, the voltage fluctuations, and the vibration all say poor design choice. Magnetic cooling is out  the SQUID is trying to detect minute magnetic fields and this cooling method will interfere.  Thermoacoustic, yeah right … no, on two counts, who wants a 20 – 40 piezo crystals vibrating on their head at high frequency all day, plus piezo crystals also give off minute EM pulses, making them unsuitable. That leaves only the thermoelectric heat pump.

Thermoelectric cooling uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junction of two different types of materials. Simply put you run DC current through it, and it pumps heat from one place to the other. The lowest temperature thermoelectric heat pumps work at is 100 degrees Kelvin. Which is wonderful because high temperature superconductors will work at temperatures up to 133 degree Kelvin.

<This was embarrassing, so it was removed>

sixstage

six stage thermoelectric cooling module

After doing all the math I come up with a 10 stage thermoelectric cooling module, made from 4 distinct material types for the thermoelectric heat pumps,  two inches deep and using 20+ watts each to cool down to 115 K, with water cooling for outermost layer of the heat pump.  Which makes this an unworkable solution.

What a waste of half a day. While I have come up with a working concept, it is not a viable headband BCI unless you have a neck the diameter of a telephone pole and wouldn’t mind wearing a 15 or 20 pound hat all day.

Normally when I get an idea like this it has a workable solution. The only solution I see is higher temperature superconductors. Maybe I need a hollywood plot device…

I should contact Joe Eck over at superconductors.org and see if he actually has come up with room temperature super conductors running at 35 degree C …..yeah right, I will put that on the list right after, “contact the pyramid power guy and order a hat” ….

 

This entry was posted in BCI, Brain Computer Interface. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Creating a Brain Computer Interface Headband Using S.Q.U.I.D.’s … NOT!

  1. It seems you want to be mobile, so I’m guessing pumped liquid nitrogen is out. It sounds like at the temperatures you’re looking at liquid xenon might be usable. Could the coolers sit in a low waste pack and pump the xenon to the headband. You’d have kind of a DC comic Cyborg look with the extra equipment I suppose. Hopefully, the user wouldn’t have to be quite so built though.

  2. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and
    found that it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate
    if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.

    Cheers!

  3. I used to be suggested this blog through my cousin. I am not positive whether this submit is written by way of him as nobody else recognize such targeted
    approximately my trouble. You are amazing!
    Thank you!

  4. vigrx 60 says:

    What’s up, all is going fine here and ofcourse every one is
    sharing information, that’s truly excellent, keep up writing.

  5. Kristian says:

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i got
    here to return the want?.I am attempting to
    in finding issues to enhance my site!I guess its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    For a better response please view this page: http://wsj.com (Kristian)

  6. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, let alone the content!

  7. Link eexchange is nothing else except it is simply placing the other
    person’s bog link on your page at suitable place and
    other person will aalso do similar in supportt of you.

    Feel free to visit my web page – social media watford

  8. Dead serene in black and white pleased, recognition for selective in order. “The earth was complete on all sides accordingly we would not think about it excessively far-flung consume the road.” by Karen Blixen.

  9. next page says:

    Thank you for sharing superb in sequence. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have taking place this web place. It reveals how nicely you appreciate this subject. Bookmarked this website summon, will come rearward in support of additional articles.

  10. vivaqueabas says:

    Thanks for finally talking about > Creating a
    Brain Computer Interface Headband Using S.Q.U.I.D.

  11. Make sure that you are not breaking any zoning laws
    or local ordinances. For others using the mouthpiece also causes tongue and tooth
    pain. Locate a reliable SMS service provider and become its reseller.

  12. Lorean Likes says:

    Thank you for any other fantastic article. Where else may anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such info.

  13. Can one become a partner on YouTube with copyright content on their page?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *