Automated EMC test systems boost compliance

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By Nick Flaherty

EMC certification of electronic instruments is costly and time-consuming. The R&S ELEKTRA EMC test software forms the basis for efficient automated test systems with modern user interfaces. This was was launched two years ago with the R&S ELEMI-E base module for EMI measurements during development but now the new ELEMI-A and R&S ELEMI-S modules for precompliance and certification measurements allow electromagnetic interference emissions (EMI) to be automatically tested with a determinable degree of automation. The modules are aimed at EMC certifications in line with current commercial and military standards as well as the automotive industry’s EMC standards.

The ELEMS-C and R&S ELEMS-R options allows ELEKTRA to control test systems for conducted and radiated susceptibility (EMS). The software performs this calibration and evaluation largely automatically. The generator then produces signals with the right level in line with IEC 61000-4-3 and 61000-4-6. ELEKTRA supports all of the company’s current EMC test receivers and relevant spectrum analyzers and, in the long term, will gradually replace the established R&S EMC32 EMC software.

For precompliance tests, ELEKTRA controls the R&S FPC1000 spectrum analyzer, which developers can also use for many other applications. The R&S FPC1000 offers numerous options such as frequency extensions or RF preamplifiers, which can be enabled with a keycode if needed. The R&S FPL1007 spectrum analyzer with the R&S FPL1-K54 measurement application is the perfect diagnostic tool for detecting EMI emissions. Disturbance maxima and critical frequencies are automatically entered in a peak list. Using the CISPR detectors, users can then carry out a final evaluation with respect to official EMI emission limits.

ELEKTRA also controls the R&S ESW and R&S ESR EMC test receivers for certification measurements in line with various EMC standards. The high-end R&S ESW44 test receiver offers excellent RF properties and a high measuring speed in measurement ranges up to 44 GHz. The R&S ESR26 is ideal for measurements up to 26.5 GHz, thus covering most standards for EMC acceptance tests. 

Rohde & Schwarz is also showing version 3 of the R&S AdVISE monitoring and analysis software for video based visual inspection of status displays, signal lights or screens. The software reports changes to the image reliably and automatically. It recognizes characters, symbols and numbers. Users can also enter threshold values for the event messages. The AdVISE software is mapped to ELEKTRA, allowing users to analyze events in correlation with the associated frequencies, interference levels and, for example, antenna positions.

Rohde & Schwarz will also demonstrate its portfolio for radiated spurious emissions measurements (RSE), which now covers the 5G FR1 frequency range. This includes the latest generation R&S OSP230 open switch and control platform, which has a new powerful and straightforward user interface. The R&S OSP options simplify RSE measurements on mobile communications components considerably, since test routines and filters are adapted to each other. The amplifiers and filters are now designed for frequencies up to 18 GHz and even up to 90 GHz for converters and multiplexers.

The R&S TS8997 test system tests instruments in line with the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) certification guideline for radio equipment in Europe. The system also offers certification testing in line with ETSI EN 301 893 and EN 300 328 for wireless devices in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band as well as checks in line with FCC §15.247 and §15.407, including DFS tests. The R&S TS8997 tests DUTs with up to eight antennas automatically. It meets or even exceeds the demanding measurement requirements of these test standards.

In order to avoid unpleasant surprises during EMC acceptance, it makes sense to eliminate radio interference during the product development phase and adapt the design accordingly. As a genuine multipurpose instrument, the R&S FPC1000, with the high quality R&S HZ-17 near-field probe set and the R&S HM6050-2 impedance stabilization network, is for detecting radiated and conducted interference. The R&S FPC1000 with the ELEKTRA base module, LEMI-E, is perfect for repetitive measurement procedures and documentation of the results.

The R&S RTO and R&S RTE digital oscilloscope families are also valuable tools for analyzing EMC problems in electronics development. High input sensitivity, a wide dynamic range and powerful FFT implementation are key for recording and analyzing unwanted emissions.

All this is being shown at the EMV show in Stuttgart this week.


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