It’s no secret that electromagnetic interference (EMI) can impact the performance of avionics, the electronic devices used in aviation. That’s why cell phones have airplane modes. But what about racing seats? One of our more memorable projects was to help a private aircraft company meet the standard necessary to fulfill their customer’s request to install Recaro Racing seats into a jet. These seat motors and their controllers were not designed for aircraft use. In order to comply with FAA standard RTCA-DO-160G, we had to come up with a solution to modify their stock Recaro Racing seat aluminum frame and convert them over to a titanium frame in order to comply with the crash safety requirements. To meet EMI, we had to change their brushed DC motors into brushless DC motors and redesign their DC motor controllers.
We have a long history of providing electromagnetic management solutions to the U.S. Military, including consulting plus assisting with EMI testing / training at bases such as Redstone Arsenal whenever they require our assistance. We were once brought into the middle of a project because the component manufacturer they hired was using equipment with both DC and AC motors and using the same motor controller for both motors which cause them to FAIL MIL-STD-461G. Our solution was to change over to shielded cabling and purchase for them off-the-shelf MIL-STD-461 tested and approved controllers that were designed just for AC or DC. Our work with the F-35 program includes designing custom cabling and component circuitry for lightning mitigation that is used in multiple F-35 aircraft models.
In one of our concept-to-compliance projects, our telecommunications client was working on a high-speed data device designed to communicate with multiple drone models at 6 gigahertz (GHz). We had to redesign their communications circuit boards, replace the connector and cable types used and increase their grounding scheme so that they can comply with MIL-STD-461-F/G.
We are proud of the work we’ve done in the medical industry to ensure patient safety and comfort. One of our projects involved helping a medical equipment manufacturer’s MRI patient entertainment system meet IEC and ANSI standards as well as pass military standard MIL-STD-461F. This system allowed patients to watch movies during what is often a long and stressful procedure, but the audio system and the LED projector were creating enough electromagnetic interference that it was affecting the performance of the MRI equipment.
Our compliance fix was to completely relay-out the audio and LED projector Printed Circuit Boards bringing them both into EMI / RFI acceptable compliance for Radiated and Conducted Emissions.
We helped a large city correct an unsettling issue they were experiencing in their metro rail system. They experienced unexplained triggering of their rail counters caused by radio frequency interference (RFI). The RF noise and improperly positioned antennas were causing incorrect data to be sent to the wheel counters. We directed them to reposition their antennas which removed resonant noise and ground bounce.
Today’s cars make great use of computer technology, offering more options and better safety for consumers while also increasing the likelihood of electromagnetic interference and compatibility issues. We were able to help one manufacturer with a recall due to radiated emissions (RE) and radiated susceptibility (RS) compliance issues of their computer systems. We performed a redesign of the car’s computer circuit board that included better grounding, shielding plus added additional circuit board layers that allowed for minimal component replacement.