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DEFINITIONS

The following terms and concepts are used throughout this book.

Electromagnetic Compatibility. The capability of electrical and electronic systems,


equipment, and devices to operate in their intended electromagnetic environment within a
defined margin of safety and at design levels or performance without suffering or causing
unacceptable degradation as a result of electromagnetic interference [American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) C64.14-1992)].

Electromagnetic Interference. The process by which disruptive electromagnetic (EM)


energy is transmitted from one electronic device to another via radiated or conducted
paths (or both). In common usage, the term refers particularly to RF signals; however,
EMI is observed throughout the EM spectrum.

Radio Frequency. A frequency range containing coherent EM radiation of energy useful


for communication purposes—roughly the range from 9 kHz to 300 GHz. This energy
may be emitted as a by-product of an electronic device’s operation. Radio frequency is
emitted through two basic mechanisms.

Radiated Emissions. The component of RF energy that is emitted through a medium as an


EM field. Although RF energy is usually emitted through free space, other modes of field
transmission may be present.

Conducted Emissions. The component of RF energy that is emitted through a medium as


a propagating wave generally through a wire or interconnect cables. Line-conducted
interference (LCI) refers to RF energy in a power cord or alternating-current (AC) mains
input cable. Conducted signals propagate as conducted waves.

Susceptibility. A relative measure of a device or a system’s propensity to be disrupted or


damaged by EMI exposure to an incident field. It is the lack of immunity.

Immunity. A relative measure of a device or system’s ability to withstand EMI exposure


while maintaining a predefined performance level.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). A transfer of electric charge between bodies of different


electrostatic potential in proximity or through direct contact. This definition is observed
as a high-voltage pulse that may cause damage or loss of functionality to susceptible
devices.

Radiated Immunity. A product’s relative ability to withstand EM energy that arrives via
free-space propagation.

Conducted Immunity. A product’s relative ability to withstand EM energy that penetrates


through external cables, power cords, and input–output (I/O) interconnects.
Containment. A process whereby RF energy is prevented from exiting an enclosure,
generally by shielding a product within a metal enclosure (Faraday cage or Gaussian
structure) or by using a plastic housing with RF conductive coating. Reciprocally, we
can also speak of containment in the inverse, as exclusion— preventing RF energy
from entering the enclosure.

Suppression. The process of reducing or eliminating RF energy that exists without


relying on a secondary method, such as a metal housing or chassis. Suppression may
include shielding and filtering as well.

Voltage Probe. A transducer that measures the voltage level in a transmission line. This
probe consists of a series resistor, a direct-current (DC) blocking capacitor, and an
inductor to provide a low-impedance input to a receiver. It is used for direct connection to
a transmission line and is unaffected by the current level present.

Current Probe. A transducer that measures the current level in a transmission line. This
probe consists of a magnetic core material that detects the magnitude of magnetic flux
present and presents this field measurement to a receiver.

Sniffer Probe. Any small transducer used to isolate or locate radiating RF energy.
Through EM field coupling, calibration of the measurement is not a concern since the
process is comparative.

FET Probe. A high-impedance transducer used to measure signal characteristics in a


transmission line without adding a capacitive load or affecting performance of the
propagating wave.

Spectrum Analyzer. An instrument primarily used to display the power distribution of an


incoming signal as a function of frequency. Useful in analyzing the characteristics of
electrical waveforms by repetitively sweeping through a frequency range of interest and
displaying all components of the signal being investigated.

Oscilloscope. An instrument primarily used for making visible the instantaneous value of
one or more rapidly varying electrical quantities as a function of time.

Correlation Analyzer. Similar to a spectrum analyzer, but has two inputs that are
frequency and time synchronized to each other. This allows use of digital signal
processors for analysis of input signals.

Antenna. A device used for transmitting or receiving EM signals or power. Designed


to maximize coupling to an EM field.

Loop. An antenna in the shape of a coil that is sensitive to magnetic fields and shielded
against electric fields. A magnetic field component perpendicular to the plane of the loop
induces a voltage across the coil that is proportional to frequency according to Faraday’s
law.