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York Electromagnetics

GR/K40666 Project Summary

University of York

Link TAPM Project Low Cost EMC (immunity) Measuring Technique for Design and Manufacturing Industry
J. F. Dawson , A. C. Marvin , B. J. Cahill
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Introduction
The European directive on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requires all electronic equipment to be reasonably immune to electromagnetic interference, and not to create levels of electromagnetic interference which will interfere with other systems. A range of standards has been introduced by which compliance with the directive can be achieved. These include tests for conducted and radiated, emissions and immunity levels. This project is concerned with producing a low cost test environment for radiated immunity tests on small items of electronic equipment.

Summary of project
The project has developed a low-cost, 1m cube, EMC Test cell capable of meeting the field uniformity requirements of EN 61000-4-3 over a 50cm square test area. A new radiating structure has been developed which allows immunity measurements to be carried out with as little as 50cm separation between radiator and the item under test, allowing a compact immunity range to be used within or outside the test cell. Also considerable information has been gained on a range of shielding and absorbing materials, including the information necessary to design low-cost loaded-foam radio absorbers.

Test cells and antenna developed


Two test cell geometries were investigated. A Dome cell was produced which allowed us to investigate the possibility of using composite materials to produce geometrical shapes which would be difficult with sheet metalwork, as used in most traditional test cells. A conformal cell was produced which allowed us to investigate the radiating absorber concept which allows us to produce a plane-wave illumination with an antenna the a confined space of a small test cell. The size of the test cell (1m cube) is smaller than comparable products, and offers field uniformity of 0 to +6dB over a 50cm test area complying with EN 61000-4-3, a larger test area of 60cm is achievable with reduced (0 + 10dB) field uniformity. Less than 20W is required to produce an 80% modulated 10V/m field in the cell. The nominal size of the test object (EUT) for the chambers designed was a 60cm cube. To test an object this size a TEM cell would typically have a minimum height and width of 2.4m and a length of about 5m. An anechoic chamber would have a minimum dimension of about 6x3x3m. The cell designs investigated allow the 60cm cubic test volume to be achieved in a much smaller volume than a TEM cell.

Dept of Electronics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, e-mail: jfd1@ohm.york.ac.uk, tel.: +44 1904 432356, fax: +44 1904 433224 2 e-mail: acm@ohm.york.ac.uk, tel.: +44 1904 432342, fax: +44 1904 433224 3 e-mail: bjc3@ohm.york.ac.uk, tel.: fax: +44 1904 433224

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York Electromagnetics

GR/K40666 Final Report

University of York

Final Report for Link TAPM Project Low Cost EMC (immunity) Measuring Technique for Design and Manufacturing Industry
J. F. Dawson4, A. C. Marvin5, B. J. Cahill3

1. Introduction
The European directive on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) [1] requires all electronic equipment to be reasonably immune to electromagnetic interference, and not to create levels of electromagnetic interference which will interfere with other systems. A range of standards has been introduced by which compliance with the directive can be achieved. These include tests for conducted and radiated emissions and immunity levels. This project is concerned with producing a low cost test environment for radiated immunity tests on small items of electronic equipment.

1.1 EMC testing


Currently, an EMC immunity test can be carried out in one of two environments which can meet the field uniformity requirements of the test standards. The first, a partially or fully anechoic screened room along with associated RF amplifiers and antennas is an extremely expensive option generally only open to test houses and large companies. The alternative favoured by companies without this level of budget or indeed the space to build such a custom facility is a TEM cell in some form. Examples include the Crawford cell [2] and the GTEM cell [3]. The disadvantage of the TEM cell is that a relatively small proportion of its volume can be used by the equipment under test (EUT). Typically 1/3 of the height between the base and septum of the test cell is useable by the EUT (1/4 of the overall height).

1.2 Low cost test cells


A number of low cost test cells already exist on the market but cannot achieve the field uniformity required to meet immunity test standards such as EN 61000-4-3. This project aims to produce a test cell which has good field uniformity whilst maintaining the low cost and small size of the non-compliant test cells.

Dept of Electronics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, e-mail: jfd1@ohm.york.ac.uk, tel: +44 1904 432356, fax: +44 1904 433224 2 e-mail: acm@ohm.york.ac.uk, tel: +44 1904 432342, fax: +44 1904 433224 3 e-mail: bjc3@ohm.york.ac.uk, fax: +44 1904 433224 December 16 1998 1 of 1 Version 1.0

York Electromagnetics

GR/K40666 Final Report

University of York

2. Objectives of the research


The stated objectives of the research as given in the original proposal were: 1. To investigate a new techniques for the measurement of equipment immunity to interference from which a low cost test apparatus suitable for pre-compliance testing can be engineered. 2. To determine the degree of correlation between the technique and conventional methods (such as the anechoic chamber, stripline or TEM cell). 3. To investigate the use of composite materials with defined electromagnetic properties in the construction of the test cell.

3. Achievements of the research


Two test cell geometries were investigated. A Dome cell was produced which allowed us to investigate the possibility of using composite materials to produce geometrical shapes which would be difficult with sheet metalwork, as used in most traditional test cells. A conformal cell was produced which allowed us to investigate the radiating absorber concept which allows us to produce a plane-wave illumination with an antenna in the confined space of a small test cell (1m cube). The nominal size of the test object (EUT) for the chambers designed was a 60cm cube. To test an object this size a TEM cell would typically have a minimum height and width of 2.4m and a length of about 5m. An anechoic chamber would have a minimum dimension of about 6x3x3m. The cell designs investigated allow the 60cm cubic test volume to be achieved with a much smaller device than a TEM cell.

3.1 Dome test cell


Shaped composite skin absorber material Curved antenna array

Test Region

Metal plate

Cross-section of the dome cell (base diameter = 1.15m, height = 0.55m)

Cut-away of the dome cell meshed for numerical modelling showing tapered septum

The Dome cell overcomes the limitations of conventional TEM transmission line cells by using a curved septum, which increases the field uniformity in the region of the EUT. Also the use composite materials for the domed lid allowed the potential to incorporate electromagnetic absorbers within its structure. Two demonstrator cells have been produced and tested at York, and by the consortium members. A good field uniformity performance has been achieved but further development was abandoned in favour of the conformal test cell, which offered a better performance with lower fabrication costs, and an entirely new antenna concept.

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3.2 Conformal test cell and antenna


100 cm
CONCEPT-Data:

15 cm

upper foam layer

antenna

lower foam layer

balun

50 cm

#1 #5 #7 Measurement grid #9

#3

100 cm

XVis 1.03 - The CONCEPT Visualization Utility, (C) CONCEPT Development Group TUHH, 1992-1997

Layout of the test cell showing antenna and measurement grid positions

Detail of the log-tooth antenna meshed for modelling

The conformal test cell uses the new technique of embedding a broad-band antenna in a lossy dielectric material to reduce its physical size and isolate it from the test object. Thus exchanging the loss, and reduction in interaction, due to distance of the EUT from the antenna in a standard test environment, with a loss in the dielectric layer and therefore allowing the antenna to operate in close proximity to the EUT. The walls of the sheet metal test cell are partially lined with ferrite tile RAM to reduce the effect of reflections. Tests at York and with the industrial consortium show that the field uniformity in the cell complies with EN 61000-4-3 with a 0 to +6dB field uniformity over a 50cm test area. A larger 60cm square test area gives a uniformity of 0 to +10dB. An input power of under 20W is required to give an field strength of 10V/m with 80% modulation - this compares favourably with the typical 100W requirement for anechoic test chambers. The design of the antenna, lossy dielectric, and partial ferrite tile lining were achieved using extensive numerical electromagnetic computation and optimisation, validated with measurements of key parameters. This was supported by an extensive materials evaluation programme. The optimisation of the carbon loaded absorber design allows good isolation between the antenna and EUT whilst using input power levels comparable to existing test systems. The antenna design may also be used in a stand-alone configuration where a compact, immunity measurement system is required. This has potential application in the use of small anechoic chambers for immunity measurements - this would not be possible with conventional antenna technology.

3.3 Use of composite materials


In order to optimise the performance of the test cells a wide range of materials were tested to determine their electromagnetic properties. In particular carbon loaded foam materials supplied by Vitafoam Ltd. were characterised for use in numerical simulations to predict antenna an chamber performance so that optimal foam characteristics could be determined. A relationship between loading and material

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characteristics was determined which could be used to allow the optimal foam to be fabricated and used in the cell. In order to facilitate the measurement a coaxial measurement fixture was fabricated and a genetic algorithm was developed to extract the material parameters from a small sample [4,5] as the direct solution to the problem is ill conditioned.

4. Progress of the research


The overall project was managed by Pera International (Formerly the Production Engineering Research Association) and progressed on time.

5. Further research
It is our intention to pursue the development of the conformal cell and associated embedded antenna design. The antenna has potential as a separate stand-alone product as it allows good isolation and field uniformity with an antenna to EUT separation distance of 50cm. This will allow the fabrication and use of compact anechoic chambers. Proposals have been written to allow Vitafoam to design and fabricate optimised absorber linings for fully and partially lined screened rooms. The custom design of foam absorbers has not been possible prior to this work as most manufacturers fabricate foams to a recipe and then measure the reflectivity of the partial or finished absorber as a means of quality control. With the experience gained by this project we aim to use custom designed absorber materials in other projects, such as the development of partially lined screened rooms. An EC funded project in this area has undergone its initial stage and is awaiting funding for the final stage [6]. Collaboration with Pera International continues with a DTI funded Carrier project Transfer of overmoulding technology from the automotive and packaging sectors to the electronics and telecommunications sectors. The University of York will provide the measurement and simulation expertise to ensure the required electromagnetic shielding properties of the enclosures can be achieved.

6. Collaboration
The project was LINK TAPM funded with Pera International (Production Engineering Research Association) as the lead partner.

7. Publications and dissemination of the results


Due to the commercial nature of the work we have been unable to publish much of the core work until the filing of the patent [7] in May 1998. We have been able to publish papers [4,5,8] on some of the peripheral aspects of the work. Currently a DPhil thesis [10] is being written from which a number of journal and conference papers will be prepared (e.g. [11,12]). The results of the project have also been publicised by Link and other Seminars [13,14], Link TAPM newsletter [15], and York 1998 EMC exhibition and conference [9].

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University of York

Extensive documentation has been produced for the industrial consortium including 10 progress reports written by York. Detailed drawings and results from Pera and the industrial partners are incorporated in additional reports produced by Pera. A detailed final report is also in preparation, by Pera, for the DTI.

8. Exploitation of the results


The consortium has signed a five year exploitation agreement and development of a marketable product is being led by Rainford EMC Systems. The University remains a member of the consortium and will assist with further development. The conformal cell and absorber loaded antenna are the subject of a patent application.

9. Conclusions
The project has produced a novel, low-cost, absorber loaded antenna design which can work on its own or in an optimised, conformal test cell (Objective 1). The antenna and test cell are designed for EMC immunity tests but can also be used for emissions measurements. The size of the test cell (1m cube) is smaller than comparable products, and offers field uniformity of 0 to +6dB over a 50cm test area complying with EN 61000-4-3 (Objective 2), a larger test area of 60cm is achievable with reduced (0 + 10dB) field uniformity. Less than 20W is required to produce an 80% modulated 10V/m field in the cell. The project has also produced much useful information on the composite materials, foams, and papers available from the consortium members end elsewhere (Objective 3). In particular the knowledge gained of the Vitafoam carbon loaded materials has lead to other possible uses of their carbon loaded foams (e.g. in producing low cost foams for partially lined anechoic chambers). An effective on-port parameter extraction algorithm has been developed for foam measurement. Some time was spent producing an interim test cell, which exhibits a promising performance, and allowed the evaluation of composite materials. However insufficient time was available for further development of this cell. The overall cost/performance ratio of the interim cell was less attractive to the industrial consortium than the conformal cell. The initial objectives have been met in the development of the cell (Objective 1), comparison with standard methods (Objective 2) and through the investigation and use of composite materials (Objective 3).

References
[1] 89/336/EEC Council Directive, On the approximation of laws of Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility, Official Journal of the European Communities, No. 139, pp19-26, May 1989 M. Crawford, Generation of standard em fields using tem transmission cells, IEEE Trans. Electromagn. Compat., Vol EMC-20, pp 368--375, 1978. P. Wilson, D. Hansen, and D. Koenigstein, Broadband alternative EMC test chamber based on a TEM-cell anechoic chamber hybrid concept, Proc. IEEE symp. on EMC, Vol 40:pp 8--13, 1991

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B. J. Cahill, J. F. Dawson, A. C. Marvin, A new simplified method of dielectric material permittivity extraction using a genetic algorithm technique, Proceedings of the 8th International conference on electromagnetic measurement (BEMC'97), 4-6 Nov 1997, ISBN 0 946754 23 3, pp33-1 to 33-4 B. J. Cahill, J. F. Dawson, A. C. Marvin, Complex permittivity measurement of foam materials using a one-port network analyser measurement, ROMA'98 International conference on EMC, Rome, 14-18 Sept 1998, pp 505-510 L. Dawson, A. C. Marvin, J. F. Dawson, D. Welsh, Design and testing of partially lined screened rooms, Accepted for publication at The Zurich Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Feb 1999 R. I. Wrigley, B. J. Cahill, A. C. Marvin, J. F. Dawson, UK patent 9811476.2, Electromagnetic Test Cell, filed May. 29 1998 B. J. Cahill, J. F. Dawson, A. C. Marvin, The effect of measurement environment on the EMI performance of a generic EUT, Proceedings EMC ROMA'96, Rome, September 17-20, 1996, pp18-22 B. J. Cahill, A. C. Marvin, J. F. Dawson, Low Cost EMC (RF Immunity) measuring techniques for manufacturing industry, York EMC98 Conference, July 98 B. J. Cahill, Conformal EMC test chamber based on a lossy antenna, DPhil thesis, University of York - in preparation. B. J. Cahill, A. C. Marvin, J. F. Dawson, A compact EMC test cell using absorber loaded antenna, Abstract submitted to IEE 11th International conference on EMC. B. J. Cahill, A. C. Marvin, J. F. Dawson, A novel Radiating structure for close range radiated immunity measurements, In preparation for IEEE Trans. EMC. S. Fawcett, A Ogunsola, EMC TEST - Low Cost EMC (RF Immunity) Measuring, Techniques For Manufacturing Industry, LINK TAPM Seminar, 3 June 1998 S. Fawcett, A Ogunsola, EMC TEST - Low Cost EMC (RF Immunity) Measuring Techniques For Manufacturing Industry", Workshop on Electromagnetic Compatibility in Power Electronic Converters and Drives, University of Nottingham, March 1998 S. Fawcett, A Ogunsola, Breakthrough in EMC Testing, TAPM News (The newsletter of the Link TAPM Programme), Issue 8, Autumn 1998,

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