The Importance Of RF Immunity Test Processes

For just about every type of electronic device, there is some required for an RF immunity test. This is certainly true of the device is going to ship internationally, as all electronic devices going to the European Union countries as well as into Australia and the United Kingdom.

There are actually several different regulatory and standards organizations that provide guidelines. While there is no uniform standard, many of these organizations have very similar requirements. There is an active push to standardize the requirements so they are more consistent for OEM shipping into a variety of different countries.

In general, RF immunity test processes are designed to test a device or a product through exposure to electromagnetic and radio frequency. These can be done in either continuous and modulated waves or through short burst types of tests. The short bursts are designed to test for transient RF. This can last just microseconds while the continual tests will run for minutes up to hours depending on the specifics.

ESD Simulations

ESD or electrostatic discharge can occur suddenly between two electrically charged objects. This happens when the two objects come into contact. For electronic products, human touch can create the ESD phenomena.

Using a specialized tool, the ESD simulator, different surface areas of the device or component that may make contact with a person can be tested. This is a very precise test that has to be able to measure these events that last just nanoseconds in length.

Radiated Immunity

Another one of the essential RF immunity test processes is the test for radiated immunity. This is a test that subjects the device to specific types of electric fields. This electric field will include specific amplitude that will be transmitted across a range of different frequencies.

This test simulates the use of other electronic equipment in close proximity to the device. This includes amplitudes and frequencies found in typical electronics such as cell phones or electric motors and components.

Other RF immunity test processes include testing for EFT or electrical fast transfer. This can include surges that occur during the switching on and off of devices including motors and relays, lamp ballasts or manual on/off electric switches.

The specificity of the RF immunity testing will vary from device to device. Knowing the required standards and using the full testing spectrum will ensure the device will not be impacted by continual or surge issues with RF in the environment.

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