Staying up to date with electromagnetic field immunity testing
Published: December 2020
The European standard on electromagnetic field immunity testing has now been updated to keep pace with changes to technology. This blog post covers what’s included in the standard and the changes made by the 2020 revision.
BS EN IEC 61000-4-3:2020 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-3: Testing and measurement techniques - Radiated, radio-frequency, electromagnetic field immunity testprovides an independent test method for electrical and electronic equipment in order to evaluate its immunity to radiated electromagnetic energy.
The standard aims to establish a common reference for evaluating the immunity of such equipment when subjected to radiated, radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields. The test method enables assessment of the immunity of an equipment or system against RF electromagnetic fields from RF sources not in close proximity to the Equipment under test (EUT).
The standard establishes test levels and the required test procedures. It also establishes a common reference for evaluating the immunity of electrical and electronic equipment when subjected to radiated, radio-frequency electromagnetic fields.
A consistent method
The documented test method given describes a consistent method for assessing the immunity of equipment or a system against RF electromagnetic fields from RF sources not in close proximity to the equipment under test (EUT). The standard gives particular consideration to the protection against radio-frequency emissions from digital radiotelephones and other RF emitting devices. It also supplies an independent test method so it’s not possible to use other test methods as substitutes for claiming compliance with this document.
Even though the simulation and measurement of electromagnetic radiation is not adequately exact for quantitative determination of effects, the test methods in this standard are structured in such a way as to establish an adequate reproducibility of testing configuration and repeatability of test results at various test facilities.
Changing technologies and new test methods
Work on revising the standard was undertaken because user feedback alerted the committee to new and changing technologies and test methods. It became apparent that the standard would need to be updated if it was to remain relevant as electronic products continue evolving to meet the demands of a smart energy environment.
A list of topics was produced and following that, a series of drafts were issued to national committees for comment and vote. This process has resulted in an IEC revision that’s being adopted by CENELEC. The UK, as a member of CENELEC, is required to adopt this revision.
The standard explains the test levels related to general purposes and the protection against radio-frequency emissions from digital radio telephones and other devices. It also looks at the testing equipment – describing the test facility and calibration of fields. Other topics include test setups for table-top equipment, floor-standing equipment and human body-mounted equipment.
This revision has removed the upper frequency limitation in order to take account of new services and includes testing using multiple test signals, additional information on EUT and cable layout, plus it specifies characterization of the field as well as the checking of power amplifier linearity of the immunity chain.
As a result of the work done, the revised standard is now fit for the purpose of evaluating equipment’s immunity to radiated electromagnetic energy for some years to come.