Testing is particularly significant to airplanes and other airborne crafts because of their proximity to storms and the elements. Their positioning at high altitudes also prompts rigorous inspection so they reach their destination without component failure.
Consequently, regulatory compliance and due diligence require that electronic devices undergo testing for electromagnetic compatibility.
EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and EMI (electromagnetic interference) figure prominently in regulatory testing and compliance.
But, while both are applicable to testing, they are considerably different from each other. EMI is the interference caused by an electromagnetic disturbance which affects the performance of a device.
Sources of EMI can be environmental, such as electrical storms and solar radiation but more often the source will be another electronic device or electrical system. If the interference is in the radio frequency spectrum it is also known as radio frequency interference or RFI.
EMC, on the other hand, is a measure of a device’s ability to operate as intended in its shared operating environment while, at the same time, not affecting the ability of other equipment within the same environment to operate as intended.
For a systems engineering, it’s crucial to consider electromagnetic compatibility and interference in design. Failure to do so in the early stages of product development can cause considerable expense and wasted time. Electromagnetic incompatibility requires a redesign in later stages in order to comply with EMC/EMI specification tests and avoid safety risks or product failure.
Evaluating how a device will react when exposed to electromagnetic energy is known as susceptibility or immunity testing and involves determining the ability of a device to tolerate noise from external sources.
The aviation and aerospace industries use EMI/EMC testing during manufacturing and installation of larger circuited structures and smaller onboard apparatuses. Aviation vehicles cover commercial and military aircraft, both of which have concentrated structures, use and rules for electronics. Aerospace has similar relevancy but with space-grade purposes.
EMC testing is regulated. The two primary guidelines in the U.S.:
- FCC Part 15 rules define limits for the amount of unlicensed radio frequency interference that can be produced by consumer electronics and other devices.
- MIL-STD 461 and MIL-STD 464, which outline EMC and environmental requirements for components/subsystems and systems for military applications.
Outside of the U.S., various ISO, IEC, CISPR and other standards define acceptable limits of EMI and overall EMC.
Want to know more about EMC/EMI? Tonex offers EMC/EMI Training for Aerospace, a 3-day course that helps participants develop and build EMC / EMI compliance systems that optimizes performance and reliability.
Additionally, Tonex offers over 30 other courses in Cybersecurity Foundation, including:
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.