MIL STD 461 RE102 Radiated Emissions

MIL STD 461 RE102 Radiated Emissions Testing

MIL-STD-461 RE102 is a test method for evaluating electric field radiated emissions from systems and subsystems enclosures and cabling designed for U.S. military applications.  Requirements and testing vary for intended platform of intended installation.  The frequency ranges applicable for various platforms are:

  • Ground:  2 MHz to 18 GHz
  • Surface Ships: 10 kHz to 18 GHz
  • Submarines: 10 kHz to 18 GHz
  • Aircraft (Army and Navy): 10 kHz to 18 GHz
  • Aircraft (Air Force):  2 MHz to 18 GHz
  • Space:  10 kHz to 18 GHz

By the numbers, limits imposed on emissions are severe and well below most commercial standards.  The numbers however, do not tell the entire story, because test values measured are peak values, not average or quasi-peak.  Measurements are also made with antennas positioned 1 meter away from the edge of the test set up.  In short there is not an apple to apple comparison that can be made between RE102 and other standards; the emission limits are lower, the frequency ranges are larger, and the measurements are performed in a more severe manner.

Getting it Right

While RE102 testing should be performed as early in product development as possible, it is important that the test item be as representative as possible.  This means that enclosure, PCB revisions, firmware, software, and cabling should be fully representative of the final product.  Care should also be taken in creating the ability to simulate normal modes of operation so that testing can be performed on the Equipment Under Test (EUT) that reflects its intended use.  All of these parameters should be reflected in an Electromagnetic Test Procedure (EMITP) that is constructed in accordance to MIL-STD-461 requirements as described in DI-EMCS-80201.

Facing the Music About RE102

The simple fact is that most product developers do not pass MIL-STD-461 RE102 testing the first time.  Retest and redesign cost money and time.  Adding patchwork cures such as filtered connectors can add significantly to product cost and often not provide the required attenuation.  Often the most cost effective solution is to perform an evaluation of the product to assess sources of the emissions and make design changes to mitigate them before they can couple onto wiring and power sources. 

CVG Strategy Can Help

CVG Strategy offers a wide array of services to help you with EMI/EMC issues.  Our experts have extensive experience in MIL-STD-461 RE102 and many other military and commercial standards. 

Jamie Hamilton

Jamie Hamilton

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