EMC Test Facilities

Anechoic chambers

Two recently built EMC Anechoic Chambers are 11.5 x 6.5 x 5.2 m high with internal dimensions of 10.5 x 5.5 m and 11.5 x 5 x 5 m high with internal dimensions of 9.6 x 3.1 m respectively, so they capable of accommodating both large and small systems and components. Access for test pieces is via 3m x 3m double doors. The walls are lined with TDK hybrid absorber utilising ferrite panels and styrofoam wedge absorbers, which attenuates fields from 30 MHz to 40 GHz. The rooms are fully DEF STAN 59-41, MIL STD 461E and DO 160 compliant and is equipped with removable penetration panels. A fully equipped 4 x 3m support room is located next to the anechoic chambers.

Mode stirred chamber

The Reverberation, or Mode Stirred, Chamber is 8.4 x 4.2 x 5m high and is constructed from a galvanised steel sandwich with a steel sheet floor. Access for components is via 3m x 3m double doors. The chamber has removable penetration panels and is equipped with a paddle stirrer (2m diameter x 1m deep) made from aluminium sheet.

  • Frequency range: 200MHz to 40GHz
  • Minimum pulse width: 20 μS (typically 30μS)

High Power Microwave Test Source

A modular VHF test source has been developed by MBDA UK Ltd in order to address EMC requirements for both military and non-military RF susceptibility and effects testing. This high power microwave test source comprises four subsystems: a Remote Control Unit (RCU), a Power and Control Unit (PCU), a Support Unit (SU), and a Radiating Unit (RU). The system is capable of operating from single shot up to high PRFs in either burst or continuous mode, and runs from a 24VDC power supply.

  • Operating frequency: 80MHz to 200MHz
  • 1 million pulse lifetime
  • Field levels representative of DEW sources in the far field
  • Variable Pulse repetition frequency
  • Standard up to 20Hz continuous
  • Available with greater than 1kHz in bursts
  • High reliability: no regular maintenance required
  • Built in Safety Monitoring system

The high power microwave test source development programme has resulted in a very significant improvement to the longevity of the RF test source. A number of issues have been resolved by the use of novel techniques. These include new high voltage insulation techniques, new approaches to high voltage switch design and the reduction of high electric field stresses through the use of novel materials.