Military EMC Testing
In military applications, you know that safety, consistency, and reliability are critical — which is why military equipment is held to far more rigorous standards than their commercial counterparts. These standards are of great concern to the military industry as a whole, including military contractors, sub-contractors, and manufacturers. In order for your product to end up in the hands of the military, it must be thoroughly EMC tested according to a wide range of standards for quality, safety, and reliability.
The Challenges of Military EMC Testing
Military EMC testing is vital to ensure that the equipment and systems the military uses can handle the harsh electrical and environmental requirements of the modern battlefield, whether it is on the ground, in the air, or on the sea. Your product may be exposed to all manner of interference, with some being intentional. There are environmental complications and power quality issues that must be addressed to ensure that the product performs as it should.
When it comes to military systems, failure is not an option, which means these devices go through many different tests to demonstrate that they operate safely and consistently. However, meeting the requirements of so many tests and strict requirements means that it can be very difficult for you to navigate EMC testing for your product. Add to all of that demanding contract deadlines, design cycles, and costs and it becomes extremely clear that military EMC testing is not to be taken lightly.
Military Standards Related to EMI/EMC
There are several military standards that relate directly to EMI/EMC, ensuring that the products and systems used by the military are prepared for the rugged environments in which they must perform. The most common MIL standards include the ones that are discussed below.
MIL-STD-461 deals with the technical requirements involved in controlling EMI emissions as well as susceptibility to emissions for subsystems and equipment. It serves as the common EMI standard for military grade equipment. Included with this standard are tests related to conducted emissions, conducted susceptibility, radiated emissions, and radiated susceptibility.
MIL-STD-464 focuses on systems, as opposed to the subsystems of concern to MIL-STD-461., and combinations of subsystems and equipment. The EMC tests associated with MIL-STD-464 also include tests related to external RF, electrostatic discharge (ESD), and electrical bonding.
Power quality testing is performed according to MIL-STD-704 (aircraft), MIL-STD-1275 (military ground vehicles), and MIL-STD-1399 (shipboard equipment). This group of standards deals with electrical interface characteristics for equipment that uses both AC and DC power. The goal is to ensure that there is compatibility between the equipment and the power system for both safety and performance considerations.
Military Shielding Effectiveness
Obviously it is vital that military products are well shielded against interference, which is why there are several standards that relate to shielding effectiveness. For products destined for military use, such standards include IEEE-299 (MIL-STD-285, dealing with gaskets), ASTM D4935, MIL-STD-1678-3 (3308), MIL-PRF-28876, MIL-PRF-85045, MIL-DTL-83526. Note that the last three standards listed also deal with fiber optics.
EMC Testing Laboratories
As you prepare for the EMC compliance testing phase of your design project, there are going to be many questions that need to be answered in order to move forward. What standards apply? What tests must be performed? Does my company have access to the right test equipment? Is there any way I can find out about potential problems before full testing beings? How should the results of testing be documented?
These and other questions can make EMC testing of your military products and equipment a major challenge, which is why such testing should be performed by an accredited laboratory that has the capabilities to perform the applicable tests and experience with the standards, testing procedures, and documentation necessary to fully demonstrate compliance.
Eurofins E&E Capabilities
Eurofins E&E North America (fka MET Labs) is an independent ISO/IEC 17025 laboratory with capabilities to test to any mission profile. Our testing is accredited by A2LA, and ISTA and is accredited for RTCA/DO avionics testing, NASA, IEC, and FAA standards.
We offer military EMC testing at three locations: Santa Clara, CA, Baltimore, MD, and Austin, TX. These locations have specifically designed chambers,test staff, and test areas that are reserved to support military EMC testing and separate from other testing areas.
Besides our ability to test to the standards just discussed, our unique capabilities include the following:
- 200V/m radiated susceptibility and radiated immunity test capabilities over 200 V/m (166 dBµV/m) from 2 MHz to 18 GHz
- 50,000 V/m electromagnetic pulse (RS105)
- power quality (MIL-STD-704, 1275, 1399-300)
- 1,600+ A/m DC magnetic susceptibility with 2 meter diameter Helmholtz coils (1399-070)
Note that Eurofins also has the ability to accommodate both large and heavy equipment for testing.
In addition, we offer military environmental simulation, fiber optics, shock and vibration, body armor, and commercial COTS testing as well as testing according to MIL-STD-810, MIL-STD-167, MIL-S-901 testing.
Contact Eurofins E&E Today!
At Eurofins E&E, we do not just offer testing performed by highly qualified engineers and technicians. We will partner with you through the design process, including pre-testing to help you avoid costly design errors that can slow your time-to-market.
We provide you with a single-source testing solution and will work with you to accommodate our test schedules, even pulling resources from our other labs and locations if needed, and will work weekends and overtime to help you meet those pressing deadlines. And, because we are a commercial test lab, you will not need to worry about lengthy security processes that can delay your lead times.
We use the latest in technology and automation software to help you demonstrate full compliance with applicable military standards. And Eurofins has 30 years of military testing experience gained from working on hundreds of projects for some of the world’s largest military contractors. We know what the Department of Defense expects when it comes to reports and the test procedures behind them. Contact us today to request a quote!