After a long wait, the draft of MIL-STD-461G has been published. MIL-STD-461 is the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) primary standard for the control of electromagnetic interference (EMI) characteristics of subsystems and equipment. Draft G was prepared by a committee consisting of representatives of the Army, Air Force, Navy, other DoD agencies, and industry.
MET Labs combed through -461G line by line. Changes range from simple (a “MIL-STD-451G” typo on the cover that will surely be corrected) to complex (new lightning and ESD test methods).
Following are the most significant updates from MIL-STD-461F (the most recent current version):
220.127.116.11.1 Interconnecting leads and cables: clarification added. In particular, for free standing EUTs, a table is now included for routing cables.
Figure 4 (Free Standing EUT in Shielded Enclosure) and Figure 5 (Free Standing EUT on Ground Plane): Cables placed on table with ground plane.
5.11 of 461F, CS106, removed. From this point forward, the section numbers will no longer match between 461F and 461G.
18.104.22.168 Setup (CS114): clarification added that monitor probe is placed around a second fixture and terminated with 50Ω.
5.15 CS117, Conducted Susceptibility, Lightning Induced Transients, Cables and Power Leads: This is a new test method, which is based on RTCA DO-160 Sec. 22 Lightning Induced Transient Susceptibility.
5.16 CS118, Personnel Borne Electrostatic Discharge: This is a new test method, which is based on IEC 61000-4-2 ESD.
5.18.1 RE102 Applicability: Note restricting upper frequency range of test based on highest intentionally generated frequency within the EUT is removed. (All tests performed up to 18GHz.)
22.214.171.124 C. (2) (b) 2. For free standing EUT, antenna heights shall be determined as described in 126.96.36.199.c.(2).(c).2 and 3.
188.8.131.52.c.(2).(c).2 and 3: changed word “width” to “area”. This will result in additional test positions for all EUTs with a height greater than the smallest part of the antenna beam width curve.
184.108.40.206 e. EUT Testing (RS103): word “width” changed to “area”. This will result in additional test positions for all EUTs with a height greater than the smallest part of the antenna beam width curve.
Note: This draft, dated March 2, 2015, has not been approved and is subject to modification.
Have an immediate MIL-STD test need? Contact us today for a free quotation. MET Labs has a rare combination of accreditations, experience, and capabilities, performing the full suite of military EMC and military environmental tests under one roof on both coasts.
Foreign manufacturers of products that require U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD) testing need to comply with the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Obtaining ITAR licensing and development of technical agreements can be a lengthy process. Fortunately, clients in the United Kingdom and Australia can simplify the process and bypass ITAR licensing requirements using exemption programs available through Defense Trade Cooperation Treaties to which the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia are signatories.
Once recognized under these treaties, clients are part of the UK or Australian Approved Communities (AC) and are listed under the DDTC’s Treaty Reference System (TRS). TRS is a resource operated by The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls that helps U.S. Exporters confirm whether or not UK or Australian organizations are exempt from ITAR licensing requirements.
More information can be found at the DDTC’s website for Defense Trade Cooperation Treaties. Exemption programs for United Kingdom and Australia are also described in the ITAR regulation under 22 CFR 126.16 – 126.17.
A draft of Revision G of MIL-STD-461 has not been released yet, but MET Labs has obtained information about proposed changes to the Military EMC test. As covered in this previous post, one of the primary changes is the incorporation of indirect lightning testing heavily leveraged off of Section 22 of RTCA/DO-160G. There is no lightning requirement in MIL-STD-461F, which was released in 2007.
There is one test that is very likely to be added to MIL-STD-461G: CS117
There are two additional tests that are being considered, but are much less likely to be included: RS106 & RS108
Information about the CS117 test:
- Derived from DO-160 Section 22 lightning induced transient susceptibility
- Includes Multiple Burst/Single Stroke same as DO-160
- Idea is not to change waveforms; services (Army, Navy, Air Force) would need to control the application
- Cable injection only – no pin injection testing
- Limited applicability (aircraft electronics) based upon specific program contact call out
Information about the RS106 test:
- Similar to RS105 (EMP free field test for equipment)
- Limited applicability – mainly for external stores (missiles, pods, ground equipment, etc.)
Information about the RS108 test:
- Similar to RTCA/DO-160 Section 23 Lightning Direct Effects
- Limited applicability (antennas or other external located items) based upon specific program contact call out
The rollout of MIL-STD-461G is currently scheduled for an initial draft in June 2013, a final draft in September 2013, and release in Fall 2014.
Want to know more about upcoming changes to MIL-STD-461? Consider attending one of these events:
In two days, MET is hosting a MIL-STD Testing Seminar in Santa Clara, California.
Next week, attend this Lightning Testing Webinar.
In August, Pittsburgh is hosting the EMC Symposium, where MET Labs is exhibiting in booth #1024.
Or contact us with questions or a quote request.
In follow up to our post on product safety web links, here are the Internet resources we use to keep current with electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulations and industry happenings.
What are we missing? Leave a comment with a link to it.
STANDARDS & REGULATORY
FCC OET Federal Communications Commission Office of Engineering and Technology for compliance with Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
U.S. Military Standards ASSIST Quick Search provides direct access to Defense and Federal specifications and standards available in the official DoD repository.
FDA Electromagnetic Compatibility U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards and regulations for radiation-emitting medical products.
ANSI American National Standards Institute is the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system.
Verizon NEBS The telecom leader in Network Equipment Building Systems requirements.
Industry Canada Oversees Radio, Spectrum and Telecommunications regulations for Canada.
Health Canada Electromedical Standards Canada’s version of FDA.
CENELEC The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. It creates voluntary European electrotechnical standards (ENs).
UK Defence Standardization UK Defence Standards – registration required.
NPL Electromagnetics UK National Physical Laboratory Electromagnetics division.
GOST Russia Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology.
AFNOR French National Standards Institute.
AENOR Spanish National Standards Institute.
SFS Finnish Standards Association.
CNCA Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation and Applying China Compulsory Certification (CCC) Mark.
RRA National Radio Research Agency, Korea’s regulatory agency for KC Mark.
BSMI Bureau of Standards, Metrology & Inspection is the authority responsible for standardization, metrology and product inspection in Taiwan.
VCCI Council Japanese EMC regulation and certification.
ACMA Australia EMC Compliance and Labeling.
New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development Radio Spectrum Division.
CB Scheme The international certification program managed by the IECEE, with over 60 countries participating.
IEC CISPR The International Electrotechnical Commission International Special Committee on Radio Interference.
Ecma EMC & EMF Ecma International is dedicated to the standardization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE).
ISO International Organization for Standardization is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards.
IEEE-SA IEEE Standards Association.
SAE International Standards for aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicles.
ETSI The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) produces global standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).
RTCA SC-135 Produces the international de facto standard (RTCA/DO-160) for environmental testing of commercial avionics.
ITU International Telecommunication Union is the United Nations specialized agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
NIST Directory of Electromagnetic Compatibility & Telecommunications Laboratories
IHS Standards Has a wide variety of standards available for purchase.
EU Directives Includes link to harmonized standards references.
PUBLISHERS: MAGAZINES & BLOGS
Interference Technology Trade publication dedicated to EMC/EMI issues.
EMC Journal UK-based bimonthly publication.
IN Compliance Magazine Covers EMC along with other compliance disciplines.
Evaluation Engineering Magazine includes coverage of environmental simulation and EMI.
Test & Measurement World Covers EMC occasionally.
Electromagnetic News Report U.S.-based bimonthly publication.
Certification & Test Blog Information, from TRaC Global, on testing and certification services, ranging from telecoms & radio and environmental, through to analysis, safety and EMC.
Directive Decoder Blog Analysis of European legislation.
NEMA Currents Blog From the Association of Electrical and Medical Imaging Equipment Manufacturers.
IEEE EMC Society The world’s largest organization dedicated to the development and distribution of information, tools and techniques for reducing electromagnetic interference.
Electrostatic Discharge Association A professional voluntary association dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of electrostatic discharge (ESD) avoidance.
Electrostatics Society of America A nonprofit professional society devoted to the advancement and improved understanding of electrostatics.
EMCIA The Electromagnetic Compatibility Industry Association is a UK association for companies and organizations which have a vested interest in EMC and associated European directives.
EMC Test Labs Association UK group that works to ensure a commonality of approach to EMC testing.
EMC Society of Australia A technical society of the Institution of Engineers Australia. The Society operates to promote the science and practice of electromagnetic compatibility in Australia.
PSES Email Forum Listserv made up of about 700 product safety and EMC engineers and technicians. Sponsored by IEEE.
Testing Equipment Suppliers Published by IECEE.
iNARTE Certifies qualified engineers and technicians in the fields of Telecommunications, EMC/EMI, Product Safety, ESD and Wireless Systems Installation.
What are your favorite online EMC/EMI compliance resources? Please leave a comment with a link to it.
Need testing? Get EMC testing cost and lead time here.
At this week’s 2011 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility in Long Beach, CA, Fred Heather of the US Navy in Patuxent River, Maryland, gave an overview on the proposed addition of electrostatic discharge (ESD) and lightning testing to MIL-STD-461. Heather is the Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) Lead for the U.S. government’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
Currently, MIL-STD-461 is at revision F, so the new standard version will be MIL-STD-461G.
The changes propose to add four additional tests:
These tests are primarily based on the requirements from RTCA/DO 160 sections 22 and 23.
These changes are largely being driven by the use of composite materials in airframe construction, including that used in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380. Many composites don’t conduct lightning currents the way metal airframes do, leading to the possibility of higher voltages and currents affecting aircraft equipment.
The changes were proposed for revision F, except the Navy and Air Force reportedly couldn’t agree on pin injection testing, thus delaying its implementation.
Read more about the requirements of MIL-STD-461 and other military EMC tests.
Due to industry demand, iNARTE is launching two new EMC certifications this year:
- MIL-STD EMC Specialist
- EMC Design Engineer
This is in addition to its existing certifications:
- EMC Engineer
- EMC Technician
- ESD Engineer
- ESD Technician
- Product Safety Engineer
- Product Safety Technician
MIL-STD EMC Specialist
iNARTE’s EMC Engineer and Technician certification programs began 27 years ago as a result of requests from NAVSEA and the U.S. Navy to identify experts who could resolve EMI issues in the fleet. As the years went on, the iNARTE certification program took on a wider appeal, and today these certifications have less than 20% military content. The new MIL-STD EMC Specialist certification refocuses emphasis on this military legacy.
EMC Design Engineer
Attention has shifted to EMC Design Engineering as manufacturing and some of its associated product testing has moved to lower labor cost regions. When that happens, product design and development often remain at company headquarters in the developed region. Thus, in some areas, there is an increased emphasis on EMC design.
For the EMC Design Engineer, there are three levels of certification:
- EMC Design Engineer – for those employed for less than three years
- Senior EMC Design Engineer – for those with four or more years of experience
- Master EMC Design Engineer – reserved for grandfathering of acknowledged experts
The first examination for the EMC Design Engineer level will be administered August 19 in Long Beach, CA at IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility 2011, where MET Labs will occupy booth #340.
iNARTE certifications are not required by regulators or accreditation agencies; rather, they are a good differentiator for professionals, and are viewed favorably by hiring manufacturers and test labs.
iNARTE (formerly NARTE) is a nonprofit, professional credentialing association which certifies qualified engineers and technicians in the fields of Telecommunications, Electromagnetic Compatibility/Interference (EMC/EMI), Product Safety (PS), Electrostatic Discharge control (ESD) and Wireless Systems Installation.
With the recent news that the U.S. President’s $223 million “doomsday plane” is protected from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) came the inevitable questions. What is EMP and how is it created? How can a plane with a reported 165,000 pounds of state-of-the-art electronics possibly be protected from such a sinister attack?
EMP & Its Creation
EMP is a high amplitude, short duration, broadband pulse of electromagnetic energy which can have devastating effects on unprotected electronic equipment and systems.
The electromagnetic pulse effect was first observed during the early testing of high altitude airburst nuclear weapons. During the explosion, gamma rays (high energy photons) are rapidly released in all directions from the blast. These gamma rays interact with air molecules in the earth’s atmosphere, which creates electromagnetic energy. This interaction process is called the “Compton Effect.”
Energy of these pulses disperse across a broad spectrum, but the majority of pulse energy resides in the frequency spectrum of 10MHz-100MHz. For a large quantity of electronic equipment, this is the operating range and hence the greatest risk. Peak field strengths are estimated to reach into thousands of volts.
Non-nuclear EMP technologies – called “Directed Energy Weapons” – are increasingly being developed. They are capable of graduated effects on electronics ranging from disrupting operation, to permanent damage, and complete destruction. These weapons include:
- Arc Discharge EMP Generator
- Flux Compression Generator (FCG)
EMP Immunity Testing
The RS105 test method specified in MIL-STD-461F addresses the risk of radiated exposure to an EMP event. The U.S. Navy, among other military branches, requires RS105 testing for nearly every installation platform, from surface ships, submarines, and aircraft, to ground applications.
The test follows this procedure:
- Start at 10% of specified level
- Verify waveform
- Apply pulse 5 times at the rate of not more than 1 pulse per minute
- Rotate equipment under test (EUT) 90 degrees, and pulse 5 more times
- Rotate another 90 degrees and pulse 5 times
- Monitor for signs of degradation
The purpose of RS105 testing is not to damage the equipment, but to determine its immunity threshold to the electromagnetic pulse.
Hollywood’s Take on EMP
Last, and most important, was the EMP attack, or “pinch,” featured in the 2001 movie Ocean’s Eleven possible? If you remember, George Clooney and his fellow con artists utilize a “Z-pinch” that detonates an intense electromagnetic pulse that blacks out Las Vegas’ entire power grid for a few moments (in order for them to sneak into a casino vault).
No, says Sandia National Laboratories, owner of the world’s most powerful Z-pinch. The super-charged electrical generator creates a rainbow spectrum of intense x-rays, but a feeble EMP.
Read more about RS105 and other military electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests.
For manufacturers of products that require military standard (MIL-STD) testing, but have more of a commercial than military application, the product may be exempted from restrictive provisions in the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
If after reviewing the U.S. Munitions List and other relevant parts of the ITAR, in particular ITAR §120.3 and §120.4, you are unsure of the export jurisdiction of an item or service, you should request a Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) determination from the U.S. Department of State.
Some resources to help with the application:
- All CJ requests must be submitted electronically using the 5-page DS-4076 CJ request form
- FAQs regarding the CJ process
- For general questions on CJ, contact the Response Team at (202) 663-1282 or DDTCResponseTeam@state.gov
Applicants are not required to be listed with the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to submit a CJ request. Following a successful submission and electronic confirmation receipt, the applicant will receive a Commodity Jurisdiction case number via email within 48 hours.