Using RF Power Meters for EMC Testing

The complexity of modern digital equipment has caused EMI/EMC susceptibility testing to become increasingly important. Many EMC standards have been created including MILSTD- 461, IEC 61000, ISO 11451 Automotive, EN 50, and FCC part 15 that provide specific guidelines for EMC and EMI test methodologies. Early standards required a CW carrier, or single tone with constant modulation as the disturbance test signal. In January of 2010, the International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC approved the 61000-4-4-am1 (ed. 2) amendment allowing the use of burst testing on devices. Amendment 1 defines an impulse (spike frequency) of 100kHz and Edition 2 requires burst testing with either the traditional 5kHz spike or the new 100kHz spike frequency. The burst test emulates real world RF interference emitted by base station communication amplifiers and ground based RADAR antennas. This article will discuss how a peak power sensor can replace an average diode detector in a field probe to meas