You don’t have to be a geek to know that electromagnetic interference shielding is a burning issue worldwide. Want to know what the buzz is all about? Read this article. It might answer many of your queries.
What Is Electromagnetic Interference
Scenario 1: You have waited for this TV show for the whole week, and now what is coming up on your TV screen is a collection of lines and deformed pictures that make your head reel. Your husband, who is sitting in the same room and is using his laptop, is facing troubles too.
Scenario 2: You hit the treadmill in the morning with your music device tuned to your favorite radio channel. But what all you get to hear is a constant purring noise.
Scenario 3: Thunderstorm outside? Your television and AM radio will be the first to break the news to you through a cracking noise.
Why do you think all these things keep happening? What is wrong with your home? Well, ask around, and you will find that these types of hazards are common to every household. Of course, your gadgets are not under the spell of a poltergeist, they are simply the victims of electromagnetic interference (EMI). It’s a kind of disturbance that tends to affect the performance of electrical and electronic equipment, transmission channels, and all other systems susceptible to electromagnetic radiation.
Countermeasures to Deal With the Hazards
For a long time, people have brushed aside these hazards as minor disruptions. Eventually, experts started detecting more serious and potentially destructive effects of EMI in the electronics that are used in the aircraft – both in the civil and military aviation. EMI-induced medical debacles also did not go unnoticed. All these emphasized on the importance of devising some techniques to contain the disastrous impact of these potentially hazardous radiations. Innumerable studies were conducted, hoards of research papers were published. And out of these academic pursuits, a new, exciting discipline was born that deals with a number of EMI countermeasures and suppression techniques.
Today’s electronic equipment are designed keeping the EMI in mind. While on one hand, they should be able to protect themselves from the electromagnetic radiations emitted by other sources, on the other hand, they should help minimize the amount of interference they create. While resolving EMI issues through their design, the electronics manufacturers should consider the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements that are upheld by different national, regional and international bodies such as EU and FCC and also by the military of different countries. Here are some of the EMI countermeasures that are governed by international EMC rules:
This technique is based on Faraday’s Cage principle, which strives to shield or enclose EMI- vulnerable equipment, especially the medical units. This technique involves a high level of engineering, particularly when an application demands complete enclosure of the equipment’s circuitry.
This technique does not only help reduce noise and interference but also ensures the safety of the equipment and its users. This technique is particularly effective for electric power transmission lines and equipment.
Elimination of the Source
Identify the EMI sources and eliminate them at the root – this might sound fantastic in theory, but is not a very pragmatic way to combat EMI. No wonder, despite its effectiveness, it has a limited use.
As its name suggests, this technique allows certain frequency signals to pass through a device, but rejects others.
This approach advocates both pre-market and post-market screening of all EMI vulnerable equipment. It emphasizes the importance of regular EMI compliance tests for devices susceptible to EMI.
Consumers need to be made aware of various EMI vulnerable devices and possible sources of such disturbances. It is especially important for people using life-supporting medical devices, as they are particularly prone to failure due to EMI.
Choose from the shielding, filtering and grounding techniques depending on your application needs. When it comes to small, yet complicated electronic devices such as smart phones, electromagnetic interference shielding is the way to go, as it helps to curb the electromagnetic waves right at the source. Consult an EMI expert to know which of the EMI countermeasure is ideal for your application.