Minimising redesign costs on mil/aero projects with pre-compliance EMC testing

14 July 2020

Pre-compliance filter testing & analysis in-house at MPE

Military specifications for mission-critical applications in defence & aerospace are more stringent and require greater dynamic range & different measurement bandwidths than less exacting commercial standards. The earlier that product deficiencies can be identified during the development process, the easier, less costly & less time-consuming it is to rectify problems. Rework or even redesign at the point of production usually comes at high cost.

UK-based specialist in the design, development & manufacture of high performance EMC/EMP filters and capacitors, MPE provides a sophisticated pre-compliance EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) testing service, which can be either based on-site or in-house in MPE’s dual-chamber screened room, to suit customers’ needs where practical. Typical scenarios for applying this capability include military vehicles, test chambers, data centres, radar and communications facilities and control rooms.

Before major compliance costs are incurred, the diagnostic, pre-compliance  EMC test service defines the most cost-effective choice of EMI (electromagnetic interference) suppression to meet stringent EMC standards, such as DEF-STAN 59-411 Land Class A or Class B and MIL-STD 461. As a longstanding supplier to the UK MOD (Ministry of Defence), NATO and defence forces around the world, MPE holds all relevant defence and international standards approvals, and has the experience, expertise and products to protect all types of military equipment and systems from EMI and EMP (electromagnetic pulse) hazards.

The company’s pre-compliance evaluation service includes baseline noise measurements, comparison to specifications, and identification of local areas and causes of non-compliance. Pre-compliance testing allows changes to be made during the design phase based upon real-world test results.

Pre-compliance filter testing & analysis in-house at MPE

Sources of radiated or conducted noise can be located, and individual pieces of equipment can be tackled, even down to bench level, to define the most appropriate screening or filtration solution.

For example, all types of military vehicle ultimately need to be tested for such emissions, and particular emphasis is placed on emissions in the HF, VHF and UHF frequency bands, where many military  radios operate. This electrical noise can be caused by sparking from motor or generator brushes, microprocessors and SMPS circuitry, or it can be produced by secondary radiation from cables and harnesses carrying noisy signals down cables connected to these devices.

Typical test configuration: EMC filter w/ shielded cables in close proximity to each other in power compartment of mil/aero app. Mechanically, pre-compliance testing work can also highlight tight space constraints that may apply to housing filters.

On the basis of that pre-compliance testing, MPE’s Engineering Department can then develop and supply full prototype filter units for final approval work.

To find out more, download this brochure on MPE’s pre-compliance EMC testing capability.

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