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SCIF and Radio Frequency
Secured Facility Design
Using Multiport Connectors in High-Frequency Military and Avionics Systems

Users Guide to Hipot Testing

High-Integrity Components in Electrical Equipment, Part II

Using Multiport Connectors in High-Frequency Military and Avionics Systems

Users Guide to Hipot Testing

High-Integrity Components in Electrical Equipment, Part II

June 2022
June 2022
Volume 14 l Number 6
By Joel Kellogg
Secure facility designs often comingle ICS/ICD-705 and NSA 94-106 performance requirements creating project confusion with significant design and cost implications. This article focuses on bringing some clarity to the differences between ICS/ICD-705 design guidance and NSA 94-106 performance requirements. The related secure facility design and construction process is also reviewed.
By Ted Prema
Advance military and avionics technologies must be designed to address a range of complex specifications. The use of multiport connectors can provide significant benefits compared with conventional RF/microwave cable assemblies.
By Chad Clark
Hipot (“high potential”) electrical safety testers produce high voltage to perform dielectric withstand and insulation resistance tests. This article discusses the safety considerations and capabilities of modern hipot testers that utilize electronic source technology to assess compliance with IEC-61010.
By Steli Loznen
While the selection of components in electrical equipment plays a crucial role, a sound understanding of the characteristics of safety-critical and high-integrity components can provide valuable information about the ways to advance and achieve safety goals.
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cockpit view
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Hot Topics in ESD
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compliance news
FCC to Explore Options for Improving RF Receiver Performance
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking public comments and suggestions for improving the performance of radio frequency (RF) receivers.

According to a Notice of Inquiry, the Commission believes that its efforts to improve efficiencies in spectrum management need to expand to include all aspects of wireless systems, including both transmitters and receivers. Although current regulations applicable to transmitters implicitly acknowledged receiver performance, the Commission says recent advances in receiver technology and the development of more interference-resistant receivers potentially offer additional opportunities to improve spectrum management efficiencies…

FDA Clarifies “Refuse to Accept” Policy for 510(k) Submissions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an updated guidance to explain its criteria for assessing whether a medical device premarket notification (510(k)) submission meets the agency’s minimum requirements for substantive review.

Under the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFA) and its successive amendments, the FDA must meet performance goals related to the agency’s review of medical device submissions, based on the timeliness of those reviews. The FDA’s Refuse to Accept (RTA) policy provides for an early review of all submissions in accordance with specific acceptance criteria and enables the agency…

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DILBERT © 2022 Scott Adams. Used By permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. All rights reserved.

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Feature Article
SCIF and Radio Frequency Secured Facility Design, Part 2
An RF Shielding Performance Guide to ICS/ICD 705 and NSA 94-106 Design
By Joel Kellogg
digital rendering of building

n recent years, we’ve noticed a growing confusion in the industry over design and performance requirements for sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIF). Part 2 of this article is intended to highlight the significant difference in the performance of radiofrequency (RF) shielding between facilities designed per ICS/ICD-705[1] and those intended to meet NSA 94-106[2] performance requirements. We will also highlight some of the design and construction methodologies that lead to significant differences in performance.

Introduction to SCIF Specifications
As noted in Part 1[3] of this article, there is a common misconception that a SCIF design utilizing ICS/ICD-705 construction recommendations will achieve the performance requirement set forth in NSA 94-106, the NSA standard for RF shielding performance and testing. Part 1 reviewed the typical construction recommendations identified in ICS/ICD-705, recommended materials, and typical installation methodologies used. The article further identified differences in typical construction between SCIF designs and facilities designed to meet the performance requirements identified in NSA 94-106 and provided explanations as to how those differences impact RF shielding effectiveness.
Feature Article
Using Multiport Connectors in High-Frequency Military and Avionics Systems
Low Loss and High Security and Repeatability, with Reduced Size and Weight
By Ted Prema
Airplane's cockpit

oday, military and avionics electronic systems are being developed with increased frequency ranges to add bandwidth and functionality while also being designed to fit smaller spaces. Meeting reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) system goals poses challenges for high-frequency RF/microwave cables and connectors that must meet complex electrical, mechanical, and environmental specifications but also enable access to subsystem modules for maintenance and troubleshooting. Fortunately, new multiport interconnector technologies exhibit low loss at RF/microwave frequencies with high security and repeatability. Their straightforward approach makes it easy to disconnect even in space-limited applications while maintaining the most demanding EMI/EMC requirements.

Civilian and military avionics systems such as radar altimeters and microwave landing systems (MLS) that once occupied DC to 12 GHz are now expanding into higher frequencies, typically to 18 GHz and often as high as 40 GHz. This expansion requires subsystem interconnects capable of providing the highest, most reliable performance while also fitting within limited airframe space.

Feature Article
Users Guide to Hipot Testing
Production Safety Testing Ensures Compliance with Global Safety Standards
By Chad Clark
Production Safety Testing Ensures Compliance with Global Safety Standards

ecause virtually all electronic devices and electrical apparatus require safety certification, manufacturers must submit samples of their products to compliance agencies and regulatory authorities to ensure they meet global standards.

This article gives an overview of the many safety standards required for certification and how advanced hipot testers have evolved to speed and simplify the compliance process. It also discusses the critical pre-testing setup and safety procedures required to ensure user safety. Finally, it describes the four types of essential hipot tests, dialectic withstand, insulation resistance, ground continuity, and ground bond testing, conducted during final production as well as the test results to look for.

Understanding Global Safety Standards

During the production phase of product development, products destined for sale in the U.S. market are typically sent to Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) for compliance testing. NRTLs provide services to certify compliance with the relevant standard(s) and regularly inspect the testing equipment and facilities.

Feature Article
High-Integrity Components in Electrical Equipment, Part II
How to Deal with High-Integrity Components
By Steli Loznen
digital illustration of inside electrical equipment

art I of this article focused on the distinction between safety-critical components and high-integrity components. In this second part, we discuss the main aspects related to high-integrity components.

Safety Strategy for High-Integrity Components
In general, good high-integrity component (HIC) design is based on having several physical barriers between a hazard and any entity for whom that hazard may pose a danger. The greater the potential consequences of the risk presented by the hazard, the greater the importance of undertaking whatever mitigation measures or efforts are required to reduce the likelihood of the risk being realized. For some components, especially those used in primary circuits, achieving adequate levels of safety can require meeting very demanding requirements.

An effective HIC safety strategy views hazard identification and hazard analysis and control as a continuous, iterative process applied throughout HIC development and use. Once hazards have been identified, they are addressed either by eliminating them from the HIC design if possible or, if not, by preventing or minimizing their likelihood of occurrence, controlling the risks that do occur, and minimizing their potential damage. Safety must be built into an HIC from the beginning; it cannot be added to a completed design or tested into an equipment.

EMC concepts explained
Evaluation of PCB Design Options on Analog Signal RF Immunity using a Multilayer PCB
Part 2: Radiated Immunity Testing
By Bogdan Adamczyk, Scott Mee, and Bilguun Baatar

his is the second of three articles devoted to the design, test, and EMC immunity evaluation of multilayer PCBs containing analog circuitry. The first article presented a top-level block diagram description of the design problem under research [1,2]. This article is devoted to the RF immunity testing according to the ISO11452-11 Radiated Immunity Reverberation Method standard from 400MHz – 1GHz, up to 100V/m. As a reminder, two analog measurements are present on the PCB. The first analog measurement captures analog temperature values from a Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) thermocouple at the end of a short harness. The second analog measurement captures the analog voltage of 12 volts connected at the banana jack terminals of the PCB. Both sets of values are processed by the microcontroller and reported to the test engineer outside the chamber via Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART) and fiber optic communications for isolation. However, for this article, only analog temperature measurements are presented and discussed.

1. PCB Variants and Tests Configurations

In this study, there are seven design variants that all contain a similar schematic but implement different PCB layout techniques (see [1] for the details). The design variants are described in Table 1.

hot topics in ESD
ESD in Joe’s Garage
By Jeremy Smallwood and David E. Swenson for EOS/ESD Association, Inc.

hen handling ESD-sensitive components, we must protect them from ESD damage. ANSI/ESD S20.20 tells us its purpose is “to provide administrative and technical requirements for establishing, implementing and maintaining an ESD Control Program,” and it “applies to organizations that manufacture, process, assemble, install, package…. or otherwise handle…parts, assemblies, and equipment susceptible to ESD damage…” It all sounds very “big company.”

What if you have three people trying to run a repair shop or make a few products? Or a single servicing engineer visiting customers? Even larger companies sometimes have single workstation electrostatic protected areas (EPA) or activities that do not seem to fit the standard. Not to mention the R&D guys with a single workstation prototyping area… It just does not seem practical to have ESD control according to IEC 61340-5-1 and ANSI/ESD S20.20, and why would they bother?

Let us deal with the last bit first. As an R&D guy, I would not want to waste my time trying to debug a prototype that I had unknowingly damaged through ESD. I would want this even less if my project was a one-off product going to a customer or if I was fitting memory or boards into a client’s equipment. Yes, it does happen.

Walkie-talkies interfere with electronic door locks on aircraft cockpits

Here’s another good reason why the use of mobile phones on planes should remain banned: your call could lock the crew in the cockpit. The problem was first reported in December 2003, when a Northwest Airlines mechanic scrambled the electronic locks on the security doors of an Airbus A330 by using his walkie-talkie in the vicinity of the flight deck.

By June 2004, Boeing had discovered that similar problems affected 1,700 of its aircraft. The solution has been a two-year, top-secret repair schedule. Boeing reports that all its jets were fixed by the end of September, while Airbus says…

Interference and the European Rail Traffic Management System (ETRMS)

Emissions: Until relatively recently the only limits on emissions from electrical equipment on rail vehicles operating in the UK were those related to signalling interference. Problems of incompatibility between equipment within the train were dealt with on an ad-hoc basis. As a result most electronic equipment on older vehicles is relatively “hard” and does not suffer problems due to interference from adjacent electronic equipment.

However, some older electronic equipment has been found unexpectedly sensitive to emissions….

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