EMC testing: vital for safety and compliance

Pektron explains how electromagnetic compatibility chambers play a pivotal role in ensuring that electronic components coexist without interference.

Today’s dependence on electronics means more electromagnetic interference. This in turn necessitates rigid testing to ensure they can work in harmony. In automotive for example, electronics must adhere to strict EMC standards imposed by regulatory bodies to guarantee vehicles operate reliably and safely in the presence of electromagnetic interference.

By subjecting electronic components, such as engine control units, sensors, and communication modules, to controlled electromagnetic environments, engineers can assess their performance under repeatable conditions. Such testing helps identify
and rectify potential issues related to interference early in development, reducing risks of malfunctions and enhancing overall reliability.

Pektron has one of the UK’s largest privately-owned EMC chambers. Measuring 7 by 5.2
by 4.25m, the Albatross chamber features specialised absorptive materials with Rhode & Schwarz measuring equipment and a Messtechnik EMC hardened camera.

The chamber’s impressive receiver improves dynamic range, sensitivity, and Fast Fourier Transform, to deliver quicker measurements and a greater probability of intercept, meaning smaller pulses can be detected. A radiated immunity setup lets a field up to 200V/m to be generated. Coupled with the R&S AdVISE tool for a fully autonomous immunity test system, camera-based monitoring feeds back into the system, flagging errors and detecting anomalies.

Engineers can analyse and test the EMC of components on-site, ensuring a quick response to customers, whilst meeting standards for emissions, susceptibility, performance, and safety.