Should My Ultrasound Machine Have a Ups?

Diagnostic Imaging Ultrasound systems continue to become more technologically sophisticated, taking advantage of embedded operating systems, faster processors and increased RAM capacities. These advances allow for faster and wider image data processing, 3D/4D imaging, better noise canceling algorithms and enhanced diagnostic tools. Most of these new Ultrasound platforms are dependent on information stored on hard drives, magneto optical drives, CD/DVD drives and network drives.


One of the by-products of this rapid increase in complexity has been a drastic increase in data corruption, system lock-ups and general operational abnormalities. Power failures, sags, surges, and line noise wreck havoc. These problems are worst during transitional weather periods. The onset of Summer is heralded by an avalanche of Air Conditioning system coming on line. The beginning of Winter is marked by millions of heaters cycling on. Manufacturers now recommend the use of a UPS with most new Ultrasound systems to provide better uptime and to protect the customer’s investment. Where do you start? The first question would be what is a UPS? Federal Standard FED-STD-1037C, published August 7, 1996 defines a UPS as: “Uninterruptible power supply (UPS): A device that is inserted between a primary power source, such as a commercial utility, and the primary power input of equipment to be protected, e.g., a computer system, for the purpose of eliminating the effects of transient anomalies or temporary outages. Note 1: A UPS consists of an inverter, usually electronic, that is powered by a battery that is kept trickle-charged by rectified ac from the incoming power line fed by the utility. In the event of an interruption, the battery takes over without the loss of even a fraction of a cycle in the ac output of the UPS. The battery also provides protection against transients. The duration of the longest outage for which protection is ensured depends on the battery capacity, and to a certain degree, on the rate at which the battery is drained.”

What common problems does a UPS address? A UPS may be used to correct the following problems: 1. Power Failure – Total loss of line or power utility (PG&E) 2. Power Sag – Short duration under-voltage condition 3. Cycle Loss – Loss individual AC cycles 4. Power Spike (Surge) – Short duration over-voltage condition 5. Brownout – Extended duration low line voltage 6. Over-voltage – Extended duration high line voltage 7. Line noise – Noise superimposed on the power waveform 8. Frequency – Variations in power waveform frequency 9. Switching transient – Under or Over-voltage for a few nanoseconds 10. Harmonic Distortion – Multiples of the power frequency superimposed on the power waveform