New Definition for Characterization in Electromagnetic Compatibility

White antenna EMC technology being tested in a semi anechoic chamber.

Gathering experts from the expanse of industries, committees and subcommittees develop standards through the voluntary consensus process. One such subcommittee, ANSC C63 SC 6, is working to develop a new guidance document for the calibration of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test equipment, C63.34. In a notable development, they have written a definition for characterization in the field of EMC.

What Is ANSC 63 SC 6?

The Accreditation/Conformity Assessment Subcommittee 6 of American National Standards Committee (ANSC) C63 on electromagnetic compatibility develops definitions and methods of measurement of electromagnetic noise and signal strengths (radiated and conducted), determination of levels of signal strength, levels of unwanted sources, limiting ratio of noise (and/or unwanted sources) to signals and development of methods of control of, and guidelines for influence, coupling and immunity. Where subjects dealt with overlap with those of other national committees, appropriate liaison will be established.

Subcommittee (SC) 6 provides guidance for C63 related conformity assessment activities and works on topics related to accreditation. Representatives of accreditation bodies, certification bodies, laboratories, and regulators report on the status of C63 related conformity assessment activities.

Definition for Characterization in the Calibration of EMC Test Equipment

This subcommittee is developing a guidance document, C63.34 for the calibration of EMC test equipment. The work on this document is nearing completion, and SC 6 recently developed a definition for characterization.

characterization: A traceable measurement of a system or instrument according to a documented procedure whereby traceability and uncertainty of measurement can be established or confirmed to determine fitness for purpose in testing activities.

Note 1. This may be used to establish a(an) initial value(s) by which the measurement system or instrument will be compared during subsequent measurements.

Note 2. The resultant data will be documented and metrologically traceable with uncertainty(ies) of measurement so that subsequent testing operations are metrologically traceable.

This definition, once accepted by the subcommittee and the main committee will also be published in C63.14 American National Standard Dictionary of Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) including Electromagnetic Field Effects (E3).

ANAB’s Connection to C63

ANAB is a full member of C63 and ANAB’s Senior Manager of Accreditation, Inspection, Laboratories, and Related Activities, Randy Long, has been participating since 2009. Randy served as the SC6 chair for three terms and now serves as secretary. He is the current chair of the C63.34 working group within SC6 developing this guidance document. Randy is also a member of SC1 Measurements and SC5 Immunity and participates in several of the other subcommittees informally.

ANAB’s participation in C63 promotes accreditation, good practices, and consistency of testing as it relates to measurements, uncertainty of measurement, and definitions as it relates to these aspects.

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One thought on “New Definition for Characterization in Electromagnetic Compatibility
  1. I love this. “Characterization in the Calibration of EMC Test Equipment”.

    Think of this as a subset of all things that ARE calibrated.

    When you produce a traceable offset for a piece of equipment, you ARE calibrating it. You can call it a characterization because you’re not doing a comparison, but deriving an offset based on the loss or gain of the equipment in the measurement chain.

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