MAGNETIC FIELD MEASUREMENT
Rhode & Schwarz GmbH &Co.KG
1. RELEVANCE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDMEASUREMENTS
The measurement of electromagnetic (EM) ﬁelds is rele-vant for various purposes: for scientific and technical ap-plications, for radio propagation, for electromagneticcompatibility (EMC) tests (i.e., testing of the immunityof electronic equipment to electromagnetic emissions aim-ing at the protection of radio reception from radio inter-ference), and for safety reasons (i.e., the protection of persons from excessive ﬁeld strengths). For radio propa-gation and EMC measurements, below about 30MHz adistinction is made between electric and magnetic compo-nents of the EM ﬁeld to be measured. Inthe area of humansafety, this distinction is continued to even higher fre-quencies.
2. QUANTITIES AND UNITS OF MAGNETIC FIELDS
Especially in the measurement of radio propagation and of radio interference, magnetic ﬁeld measurements with loopantennas have traditionally been used to determine thereceived ﬁeld intensity, which was quantiﬁed in units of the electric ﬁeld strength, namely, in
V/m, respectively,in dB(
V/m). For radio propagation this can be justiﬁed forfar-ﬁeld conditions where electric ﬁeld strength
andmagnetic ﬁeld strength
are related via the impedance
of the free space;
(see also antenna factor def-inition). Commercial EMC standards in Refs. 1 and 2specify radiated disturbance measurements below30MHz with a loop antenna; however, until 1990 mea-surement results and limits were expressed in dB(
V/m).Since this measurement is done at less than the far-ﬁelddistance from the equipment under test (EUT) over a widefrequency range, the use of units of the electric ﬁeldstrength was difﬁcult to justify. Therefore, the CISPR(the International Special Committee on Radio Interfer-ence) decided in 1990 to use units of the magnetic ﬁeldstrength
A/m, respectively, dB(
A/m).Guidelines and standards for human exposure to EMﬁelds specify the limits of electric and magnetic ﬁelds. Inthe low-frequency range (i.e., below 1MHz ), limits of the electric ﬁeld strength are not proportional to limits of the magnetic ﬁeld strength. Magnetic ﬁeld limits in fre-quency ranges below 10kHz are frequently expressed inunits (T and G, for tesla and gauss) of the magnetic ﬂuxdensity
despite the absence of magnetic material in hu-man tissue. Some standards specify magnetic ﬁeld limitsin A/m instead of T (see Ref. 4 in contrast to Ref. 5). Foreasier comparison with other applications we thereforeconvert limits of the magnetic ﬂux density to limitsof the magnetic ﬁeld strength using
m and 1G
79.6A/m. At higher frequency ranges all standards specify limitsof the magnetic ﬁeld strength in A/m. Above 1MHz thelimits of the magnetic ﬁeld strength are related to limits of the electric ﬁeld strength via the impedance of the freespace. Nevertheless both quantities, electric and magneticﬁelds, have to be measured, since in the near ﬁeld theexposition to either magnetic or electric ﬁeld may bedangerous.
3. RANGE OF MAGNETIC FIELD LEVELS TO BECONSIDERED FOR MEASUREMENT
In order to show the extremely wide range of magneticﬁeld levels to be measured, we give limits of some nationalor regional standards. In different frequency ranges andapplications magnetic ﬁeld strength limits vary from asmuch as 10MA/m down to less than 1nA/m (i.e., over 16decades). This wide range ofﬁeld strength levels will nor-mally not becovered by onemagnetic ﬁeld meter. Differentapplications require either broadband or narrowbandequipment.On the high level end there are safety levels and limitsof the magnetic ﬁeld strength for the protection of personsthat vary from as much as 4MA/m (i.e., 4
A/m cor-responding to the speciﬁed magnetic ﬂux density of 5T innonferrous material) at frequencies below 0.1Hz, to lessthan 0.1A/m at frequencies above 10MHz (see Fig. 1)[3–6]. These limits of the magnetic ﬁeld strength are de-rived from basic limits of the induced body current density(up to 10MHz), respectively, basic limits of the specificabsorption rate (SAR, above 10MHz). There are also
d B ( A / m )
Safety limits of the magnetic ﬁeld strength derivedfrom the European Prestandard ENV 50166Parts 1 and 2:120dB(A/m) are equivalent to 1MA/m corresponding to 1.25T,0dB(A/m) are equivalent to 1A/m.