Course Background

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Several standards including MIL-STD 461E, RTCA DO 160D, IEC 61000-21, and SAE J551/J113 permit the use of reverberation chambers for EMC certification testing. This course is designed for engineers and technicians (with a fair amount of statistical background) who will be involved in radiated emission or immunity testing of commercial or military systems using reverberation chambers. The course will also be valuable to personnel evaluating the use of reverberation chambers as a complement to or replacement for other types of radiated test facilities.  

The theory portion covers the statistical nature of reverberation chamber testing, characterization of the EM test conditions, and the tradeoff between uncertainty in test results and test time.  In groups, participants will work various problems associated with the operation of reverberation chambers and will perform analyses of experimental data and compare results with theoretical predictions.  Participants will also develop a test plan for a reverberation chamber immunity test. Extensive course notes and a reference list are provided. 

The experimental portion includes demonstrations, test setups and instrumentation, statistical sampling techniques (mechanical tuner operation and frequency sweeps), and chamber characterization and calibration measurements. While the experimental portion includes reverberation chamber demonstrations it consists primarily of a series of hands-on experiments conducted in 4 to 5 person groups. Lab notes provide a guide for the experiments and along with the data files generated provide a permanent record of the experiments. The notes format includes the objective, a description of the experiment, instrumentation, test setup, procedures, and room for specific measurements, analyses, results, and conclusions. The experiments and demonstrations are conducted in the small (2.5 x 4 x 7 feet)  OSU reverberation chamber.   The chamber, constructed in-house by OSU students for less than $1000, indicates the flexibility of the reverberation chamber concept. The chamber can be used for radiative immunity and emission testing above 1 GHz in accordance with several standards. The chamber demonstrates the statistical equivalence of the electromagnetic environment in all conductive cavities independent of size and construction materials.