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Instruments Speed Compliance Tests

by Rick Nelson, Executive Editor E

lectromagnetic compatibility test- ing is an essential part of any electronic product development

effort. Formal certifi cation can take place in a laboratory dedicated to the task, but product developers themselves can speed the approval process. As Dennis Handlon of Agilent Tech- nologies put it in a recent article, “Be- cause a fi nal product must be evaluated, testing usually is performed at the end of the development process. If the product fails, time is lost while the designers fi nd and fi x the problems and then restart the process of compliance testing. Many companies have improved their chances of succeeding on the very fi rst try by adding precompliance testing to their development process.”1

Handlon cautions that although pre- compliance measurements are not con- clusive, “positive results are a good indicator that a new product is likely to pass full compliance testing.” A lab able to provide full compliance testing will have equipment dedicated to the task, with instruments conform- ing to the requirements of the Comité International Spécial des Perturbations Radioélectriques’ CISPR 16-1-1 stand- ard. But as Handlon writes, recent revi- sions of the standard support the use of more general-purpose instruments for some tests. In reference 1, he describes the use of a signal analyzer with an EMC measurement application to provide precompliance testing.

Rohde & Schwarz also supports the use of a general-purpose instrument for EMC test. Volker Janssen, senior product manager for EMI and signal analysis products at Rohde & Schwarz, explained that the company offers an existing EMI test receiver line for both full compliance and precompliance

26 • EE • February 2012

measurements but in 2011 focused on supporting spectrum analyzer users. For EMC applications, these users employ their spectrum analyzers with basic EMI functions such as quasi-peak (QP) detector and -6-dB bandwidth settings for commercial and MIL-STD testing mainly for precompliance testing, with the expectation the spectrum analyzer tests will be suffi ciently reproducible to get the required certifi cation from an accredited test house or offi cial body in one shot.

According to Janssen, “The focus of R&S was to help these customers out and make life easier with an extended option called R&S FSV-K54,” a mea- surement application that works with the nine models in the R&S FSVR and R&S FSV spectrum analyzer families (Figure 1). The application, he said, makes it unnecessary for customers to invest in a test receiver solution when they can make use of an already pur-

with commercial and military require- ments up to 40 GHz. The R&S FSV-K54 option contains standard-compliant EMI detectors such as QP, CISPR-average, and rms-average, and it supports EMC bandwidths for both commercial and military standards. It also offers limit line and transducer options for typical measurement tasks as well as a logarithmic frequency axis for displaying the measured spectrum. The ability to link the analyzer’s markers to the various EMI detectors helps users quickly fi nd critical areas. R&S EMC32 and R&S ES-SCAN PC software pack- ages support remote-controlled mea- surements and can be used to generate test reports and document measurement results.

Figure 1. Screen Shot of the FSV-K54 EMI Measurement Application Courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz

chased spectrum analyzer that provides the necessary functions and detectors to perform complete tests in accordance

Janssen said the company was prompt- ed to develop the FSV-K54 application with the publication of new standards, such as CISPR 16-1-1 (ed. 3) 2010. It defi nes acceptable measurement results taken with a spectrum analyzer as long as the spectrum analyz- er fulfills pulse-test requirements down to the standard’s 20- Hz criterion with the required dynamic range. Added Jans- sen, “The motivation is, of course, to use the existing test equip- ment more effi ciently with a low additional investment of an EMI measurement applica- tion option.”

Rohde & Schwarz

offers test equipment for emission testing and susceptibility tests (both precompli- ance and full compliance) for applica-

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