Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) addresses the unwanted effect of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). This branch of electrical engineering keeps a note on the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy, which otherwise could create electromagnetic interferences. It controls the emission and tries to maintain compatibility of different equipment by attenuating its emissions. As far as the EMC testing is concerned, it confirms whether the object emitting EMR meets the required standard. This testing is carried out in two ways – emissions testing and susceptibility testing.
This type of testing is carried out to measure the strength of the radiated field and how much it can affect the cables and wiring around it. So, if the device being tested is close to electrical equipment, it is important to study the inductive and capacitive field strengths.
A spectrum analyzer is used to measure the level across a wide band of frequencies. This tool is known as an EMI Test Receiver or EMI Analyzer. It has integrated international EMC standard bandwidths and detectors. EMI Test Receivers are used for testing both conducted and radiated emissions. The strong out-of-band signals are used to reduce the emission effect.
In this form of EMC testing, the high-powered source of RF or EM pulse energy and a radiating antenna are used. These direct the energy towards the device under test or at the potential victim. In the case of conducted voltage and current susceptibility testing, a test signal is injected through a high-powered signal or pulse generator and a current clamp or transformer.
Next, the immunity capacity of the device against the disturbances is measured using transient immunity.
Both these tests are important to determine the safety limit of any electrical device. However, the EMIs in some products cannot be controlled, and that is when the need for EMI shielding becomes important.
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