17-04-2019 | | By Nnamdi Anyadike
A critical step in the design of modern electronics products is EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) testing. EMC testing is used in a wide variety of products from mobile devices to aerospace in order to ensure device functionality. It is also often deployed when designing for applications that require RF functionality across any part of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Mobile measurement chambers are now being used by a number of companies. Combined with full automatic control this development has enabled the construction of ‘intelligent measuring’ solutions for a wide variety of applications. Chambers come in a range of sizes, though they are commonly available in three meters, five meters or ten meters.
Recently, Magnetic Shield Corporation the US manufacturer and distributor of specialty magnetic shielding alloys and custom shields announced the installation of its new state-of-the-art MuROOM® installation at the University of Illinois’ (UOI), Electron Microscopy (EM) facility for advanced low-field testing applications. MuROOM is the company’s proprietary nickel-iron alloy and it is used to create highly effective EMI barrier chambers.
Magnetic Shield Corporation said, “Our MuROOM enables the research teams to reliably and accurately conduct sensitive scientific applications that require reduced electromagnetic interference. High resolution and atomic resolution imaging are achieved using precision instruments such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission, and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM/STEM) respectively.” Another large scale project was completed by Magnetic Shield Corporation at Virginia Technical Institute USA (VTI) in the summer of 2018. Like the UOI facility, the Virginia university installation was also designed and built using the trademark MuROOM® alloy.
ETS-Lindgren GmbH, the innovator of systems and components for the detection, measurement and management of electromagnetic, magnetic and acoustic energy, recently unveiled its ‘SMART’ (Statistical Mode Averaging Reverberation Test-Site) reverberation chambers. According to the company, “These use the latest developments in proven reverberation technology and experienced chamber construction to create a superb electromagnetic environment (EME) for EMC testing.”
SMART chambers operate by using their interior surfaces to reflect internally radiated RF fields. One or more rotating paddles, or tuners, are used to change the cavity boundary conditions. Adding to the appeal of reverberation chambers is that robust field strengths can be generated using less power than required by other test environments. The benefit is that less expensive amplifiers can be used without sacrificing performance.
The second Frankonia FAC-3 L fully anechoic chamber was recently inaugurated at the VDE Institute in Offenbach, Germany. The chamber comes equipped with Frankonia’s unique non-combustible Frankosorb® absorbers technology. The new EMC full absorber hall is said to be currently the most modern facility on the German test market. Wolfgang Niedziella, Managing Director of the VDE Institute today in Offenbach explained, "More and more devices and systems are networked via Bluetooth or WLAN. If the electromagnetic compatibility of a device is disturbed, it affects other devices or systems and causes unacceptable system perturbations."
Image Credit: frankonia-solutions.com
The hall is equipped with a time-domain measuring device with a very high bandwidth (> 600 MHz). It also has a very high measuring speed in the frequency range from 30 MHz to 18 GHz. Measurements up to 40 (67) GHz are also possible with the system. In particular, the facility enables the VDE Institute to cover the test and measurement requirements of the Radio Equipment Directive for manufacturers.
Meanwhile, Telemeter Electronic, the German based provider of electronic and mechatronic components, devices and systems in cooperation with its partner Siepel has announced a range of EMC measuring chambers. The measuring stations come with both hardware and software thereby enabling EMC tests to be conducted in accordance with all current standards. The customers benefit from the modular production concept, different chamber sizes and door concepts, as well as DUT (device under test) recordings. “We offer measurements of the shield attenuation according to the following: 10 kHz to 40 GHz; 30 kHz to 1 GHz and 1 GHz to 18 GHz,” said the company.
A recent study published by Market Research Future (MRFR) predicts that the signal and impulse generators segment of the EMC shielding equipment market will remain highly lucrative over the next several years. Its forecast for this segment is a CAGR of 7.69% to 2024, reaching a market valuation of $389.3 million. MRFR concludes that the consumer electronics segment accounts for the most significant share of the EMC shielding equipment market in terms of value. “Increased penetration of smart-phones and wearable electronics products is supporting the growth of the segment. Moreover, advances in wireless technology and network infrastructure are having a positive impact on the segment,” it says.