Automotive EMC & 5G testing focus

| Environmental Testing

EMC test systems meet the challenges of connected, autonomous vehicles and their complex RF environments

Test equipment from Rohde & Schwarz focuses on the increasingly diverse and complex RF environment of automotive products, including 5G.

Test and Instrumentation specialist, Rohde & Schwarz, was eager to display its test hardware and software systems that meet the challenges of the latest automotive specifications at the annual EMV event during March in the German city of Cologne.

Cancelled due to the global coronavirus outbreak, EMV 2020 will no longer be the showcase Rohde & Schwarz were expecting so we’ve taken a look at what would have been and find out some more about the EMC test systems that the company has developed specifically for users in the automotive industry, including fast CISPR-25 certification, a robust and compact BCI test system and AdVISE version 5, which keeps a close eye even on vibrating display elements during EMS tests.

According to R&S, these systems were developed because today’s vehicles contain more and more electronics with RF technology, radio components, radars and high speed data buses. This makes it difficult for automotive manufacturers to ensure that electronic emissions remain within specified limits and that vehicles are not susceptible to external interference sources.

Protection from interference

One of the things manufacturers have to ensure is that onboard receivers in vehicles are adequately protected against electromagnetic interference. To this end, Rohde & Schwarz has developed an especially fast measurement method for tests that meet the CISPR-25 standard. Not only does it measure very quickly, it does so with an extremely small resolution bandwidth of just 9 kHz. According to the company, the ESR EMI test receiver with an R&S ESH3-Z6 line impedance stabilisation network provides an ideal midrange compliance test with its numerous features for analysis and troubleshooting.

The ESW also has a new fast time-domain scan (fast TDS) function. With double the scan bandwidth, the measurement speed is nearly twice as fast as a conventional time-domain scan. This enables faster measurements than ever previously achieved commercially for time-consuming tests with a quasi-peak detector. Along with accelerating preliminary measurements, this method can be used for certification in the frequency range above 300 MHz. Fast TDS is available at no cost with the next firmware version for the R&S ESW.

BCI test for wired susceptibility

There is also a robust, compact test system for wired electromagnetic susceptibility measurements using the bulk current injection (BCI) test method, as prescribed for testing electronic modules in vehicles. The BCI system consists of the compact R&S SMC100A signal generator, the robust R&S BBA150-AB broadband amplifier with output power up to 350 W in the frequency range from 4 kHz to 400 MHz, the R&S NRP6AN average power sensor specifically developed for EMC applications and the widely used R&S EMC32 measurement software.

Automated EMC testing for 5G frequency ranges

Rohde & Schwarz had also planned to use EMV 2020 to unveil the first turnkey system for measuring radiated spurious emissions from 5G components in both the FR1 and FR2 frequency ranges. To achieve this, R&S upgraded its Elektra EMC test software with measurement and calibration routines for 5G.

Frequency ranges 1 (FR1) and 2 (FR2) in 5G New Radio are correspondingly below 7.225GHz (into which vehicle to infrastructure communication systems fall at 5.9GHz) and above 24.25GHZ stretching out to 52.6GHz. These frequency bands cover a vast range of new applications not only in telecommunications but also in the Industrial IoT.

The R&S TS8996 RSE test system covers the entire 5G FR1 and FR2 frequency ranges for radiated spurious emission (RSE) measurements. The automated test system measures spurious emissions from 5G components and devices during development and compliance tests, and along with RSE measurements it performs the required EMI tests. It uses the especially user-friendly R&S Elektra EMC test software, which has been upgraded with measurement and calibration routines for 5G.

The system includes an R&S CMX500 5G radio communication tester for signal generation and the R&S ESW44 high-end EMI test receiver, which features outstanding RF characteristics and high measurement speed in frequency ranges up to 44 GHz.

The system has a very high sensitivity of better than –40 dBm/MHz at frequencies up to 200 GHz. Along with meeting the existing threshold values of the FCC (USA) and the ERC Recommendation (Europe), this enables the use of early pass/fail criteria as well as measurements with large bandwidth to shorten test times. According to Rohde & Schwarz, no other system achieves this with standard components. An upgrade for 5G is available for users who already have an RSE test system from Rohde & Schwarz.

User Friendly Software

The R&S Elektra EMC software is not only ideal for use as a 5G test system, but can also be deployed generally in efficient automated test systems with modern user guidance.

The software facilitates interactive measurements during development as well as automated pre-compliance and certification tests for electromagnetic interference (EMI), with a defined degree of automation. It is suitable for EMC certification according to current commercial and military standards and the EMC standards of the automotive industry.

It can also be used to drive test systems for conducted and radiated electromagnetic susceptibility (EMS). The software can automatically generate test plans for the various tests, perform calibrations and evaluate the results. In each case the generator provide the precise signal level according to IEC 61000-4-3/-4-6. R&S Elektra supports all of the company’s current EMI test receivers and relevant spectrum analysers.

Automatic display monitoring during EMS tests with vibrations

For video-based monitoring of status displays, indicator lamps and screens, Rohde & Schwarz has now developed the R&S AdVISE monitoring and analysis software.

The software can reliably and automatically report any undesired deviations and can recognise characters, symbols, display bars and pointer positions. Version 5 continuously checks the position of the object under test and adjusts the evaluation in real time.

Vibrations from motors and shaking from turntables are no longer obstacles to automated monitoring. The new technology also simplifies changing the camera position. If the camera orientation is modified, the press of a button is all it takes to adjust the configuration of the monitoring software to the altered image view.

R&S AdVISE v5 is perfectly matched to the R&S Elektra EMC test software, allowing users to analyse events correlated to the associated frequencies, interference levels and factors such as antenna positions.

Jonathan Newell
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