2003 Boston EMC Symposium Demonstrations and Planning Ahead for the 2004 Santa Clara, California EMC Symposium

The EMC Experiments and Computer Modeling and Simulation Demonstrations have become a labor of love for me over the past decade. I enjoy the opportunity to look back on what we have accomplished over the years and more recently, reflect on the significant contributions made this year at the Boston EMC Symposium. The EMC Society Education and Student Activities Committee traditionally sponsors these demonstrations as part of the annual IEEE EMC symposia. Let’s take a quick tour of this year’s demonstrations and outline our plans for next August in Santa Clara.

To begin, this year we scaled down our agenda by scheduling a fewer number of demonstrations. One of the comments we received from attendees in the past was that because of the parallel and often competing nature of the paper sessions and other symposium activities, it was difficult to catch many of the demonstrations that would be of particular interest. To alleviate the conflict somewhat, a fewer number of demonstrations were arranged, leaving room for “encore” presentations on different days; in effect, allowing those who gave papers or who were otherwise engaged in the paper sessions to attend the demonstrations at their convenience.

This year we had a total of 20 demonstrations given by an international cast of presenters over a 2-day period. Each presenter did an outstanding job of giving original and challenging demonstrations on a number of important EMC topics. These were aimed at raising the awareness of engineers to effective EMI troubleshooting methods, the importance of implementing good EMC design and measurement practices, and providing insights into basic electromagnetic phenomena and effects via practical examples of real world problems.

Christian Bruns from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Professor Jim Whalen from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Meir Haim from Motorola Israel (from left) pause to take in the experiment being performed by Professor Whalen.

For newcomers to this, the original concept of the demonstrations was that of a series of “live” hardware experiments centered on methods of “trouble shooting” various types of EMI problems. This has been extended in recent years to include demonstrations of computer modeling and analysis methods—or “virtual trouble shooting”—of hardware problems. In either case, electromagnetic phenomena are observed in real time, but caution—sometimes things work out great and sometimes they don’t turn out as expected. That’s where the real trouble shooting begins. Things can get quite interesting to be sure!

The idea for the demonstrations began in the early 1990s. This led to the EMC Experiments and Demonstrations Manual, Volume 1, a compendium of experiments covering fundamental EMC concepts and phenomena that is published by the EMC Society Education and Student Activities Committee. This manual has become a popular resource for educators and EMC practitioners alike. The manual was originally compiled and reviewed by Clayton Paul and Henry Ott for the EMC Society Education Committee. In 1993, a first attempt to demonstrate selected experiments from this manual in an open, interactive forum in conjunction with the EMC symposium grew into what we know today. A Volume 2 manual has also been compiled. Both volumes can be downloaded from the IEEE EMC Society Web Site at www.emcs.org.

Rohde & Schwarz provided equipment for the experimental demonstrations during the Boston Symposium and also staffed a large exhibition with (from left) Vic Hudson, Kerby Gove, Hans-Peter Bauer, and Achim Gerstner.

The demonstrations are often designed to demystify EMI/EMC by giving new, practical meaning to EMI troubleshooting and EMC conformance. We continually strive to emphasize practicality as well as stress the educational benefits of the demonstrations. This year’s agenda of hardware-oriented experiment demonstrations in Boston included:

Comparison of PEAK, AVERAGE and QUASI-PEAK Measurements by Mark DeBattista of Harley-Davidson Motor Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

Measurement and Simulation of the Electromagnetic Emission of a 16-bit Micro-Controller by Christophe Lochot and Sébastien Calvet of Motorola SPS in Toulouse Cedex, France, and Stéphane Baffreau and Etienne Sicard of INSA-DGEI in Toulouse Cedex, France.

EMC of UWB Emissions by Arthur H. Light of SYColeman Corporation in Fairfax, Virginia, USA.

Measured and Calculated Resonant Frequency of a Shielded Enclosure by Randal Vaughn of Silent Solutions, LLC in Amherst, New Hampshire, USA.

Experiment on Demonstration of the Principle of the Path of Least Inductance
by Elya B. Joffe of KTM Project Engineering, Ltd., KFAR Sava, Israel.

Analyzing Current Paths and Magnetic Field Effects by Roy C. Ediss of Philips Semiconductors, Southampton, UK.

Troubleshooting Noise in a Chip Package by Doug Smith of Los Gatos, California, USA.

Product Safety Tests - A Demonstration by Bill Bisenius of Educated Design & Development, Inc.

Mitigating the Effects of ESD on a Timing Circuit by Ahmad Fallah of Sauer Danfoss in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

How Parasitic Effects in Inductors and Capacitors Affect Electrical Equipment by James J. Whalen of the Department of Electrical Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.

ESD Waveform Analysis by Ken Wyatt of Agilent Technologies, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

I found this year’s experiment demonstrations quite interesting and learned a few new things about EMI/EMC that I had not given much thought to previously. For instance, one of the ESD experiments nicely compared human body electrical discharges with various ESD simulators, including piezoelectric generators, a Ziplock® “bag of coins”, and a Doug Smith “passive spark gap.” This emphasized the different ways one can measure and view the effects of electrical discharges from the human body. While I have been aware of the human body’s potential to “produce” ESD events, I gained a much better insight into and appreciation of the mechanisms that can make the human body a potentially “lethal” source of EMI to circuits and devices. Humans have potential, in more ways than one! Another experiment demonstrated how to trouble shoot EMI in devices using a novel, yet simple probe device and how noise can be controlled at the source by implementing “common sense” EMC design schemes.

Bob Dockey of Philips Medical (left) ably handled the experimental demonstration logistics as a member of the Boston Symposium Steering Committee. He managed to find a little free time during the symposium, however, to catch up with industry colleagues, such as Kefeng Liu of ETS-Lindgren.

ANDRO Computational Solutions lends tremendous support to the experimental demonstrations each year. Irina Kasperovich (left) and Sharon Hall were on hand at the Boston Symposium to conduct an experiment while Andy Drozd (smiling center) is the member of the Education and Student Activities Committee responsible for coordinating the EMCS Symposia experimental demonstrations.

I must say though that I was very impressed by this year’s winners of the prestigious Student Design Competition who demonstrated the results of a project to develop the best solution to a standardized broadband EMI problem using a standard design kit. The winners were Antony Mihalopoulos, Jon Kobleske, and Wayne Stollenwerk of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Education and Student Activities Committee also sponsors this competition. They used a standard kit containing the required components for the broadband EMI circuit, which involved the design, construction, evaluation, and documentation of the EMI mitigation techniques for a prescribed electronic circuit. The experimental evaluation involved testing the completed circuit by measuring the radiated and/or conducted emissions using simple laboratory techniques and equipment. They did a great job demonstrating their experiment and presenting their findings. Needless to say, the future of EMI/EMC engineering is in good hands!

Art Light of SYColeman Corporation (left) enthusiastically performs the demonstration entitled “EMC of UWB Emissions.”

Doug Smith of DC Smith Consultants (seated) enjoyed sharing some of his trouble-shooting tips during the Boston Symposium to an attentive audience.

Changing course, the computer software demonstrations that were held in parallel with the hardware experiments illustrated the application of practical EMC modeling approaches and simulation techniques to simple canonical problems. The application of discrete analytical models as well as rigorous numerical techniques were demonstrated. These techniques included the moment method (MoM), uniform theory of diffraction (UTD), finite difference time-domain (FDTD), finite element modeling (FEM), transmission line methods (TLM), and others. The emphasis was not on the computer tools, but on the efficacy of analytical, computer-based problem solving methods for selected problems using a general-purpose code. The demonstrations further showed how computer analysis can be an effective means of identifying and mitigating EMI problems, and complementing EMC design and measurement tasks.

This year’s agenda of computer modeling and simulation demonstrations included:

Solution of EMC Radiation, Shielding, and Cable Coupling Problems by an Enhanced Method of Moments by Ulrich Jakobus of EM Software & Systems GmbH of Böblingen, Germany.

The EMC Expert System at Work - Identifying Sources of EMI on PCBs by Markus Buecker of Zuken, EMC Technology Center, Paderborn, Germany.

Using FDTD for Real-World EMC Simulation by Bruce Archambeault of IBM, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina USA.

Spreadsheet Illustrations of Power-Distribution Components
by Istvan Novak of Sun Microsystems in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA.

System-Level EMC Antenna Coupling Analysis for Large, Complex Structure Topologies Using a Progressive Modeling and Simulation Approach by Irina P. Kasperovich and Sharon C. Hall of ANDRO Computational Solutions, LLC in Rome, New York, USA.

How to Accurately Simulate High-Speed Frequency Dependent Losses in Transmission Line Systems
by Brian Burke of Interactive Products Corporation, Cary, North Carolina, USA.

EMC Simulation in the Electronics Design Process by David P Johns of Flomerics Inc., Southborough, Massachusetts, USA.

CEM Code Validation Using Thermal Imaging Techniques by John Norgard of the University of Colorado and the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

System-Level EMC Modeling and Coupling Analysis of Co-located Antennas, Cables and Equipment by Irina P. Kasperovich and Sharon C. Hall of ANDRO Computational Solutions, LLC in Rome, New York, USA.

“EMC Simulation in the Electronics Design Process” was presented by David P. Johns of Flomerics (left). Jeff Evans of Hewlett Packard (foreground right) found the demonstration most interesting.

Randal Vaughan of Silent Solutions conducted an experimental demonstration showing the measured and calculated resonant frequency of a shielded enclosure.

These demonstrations covered the gamut from PC boards to enclosures to large, complex system applications. Most notable were the new methods for analyzing complex EMI/EMC problems using enhancements to the traditional MoM techniques, applications of expert system techniques to identify and rank the sources of EMI as part of the mitigation procedure, use of fast iterative solvers, and novel applications of the TLM and FDTD methods in the design of electronic assemblies.

Murphy’s law and our EMC constant states that “…invariably, anything that can go wrong in EMC usually will.” Indeed, we ran into several problems during the course of the two days when the equipment or software did not work quite as expected. This led to a few collaborative working sessions which gave bystanders another educational opportunity—that of seeing how the experts solve problems on the spot—providing some important lessons in the process.

Mark DeBattista of Harley-Davidson Motor Company (far left) regularly draws a crowd at his experimental demonstration. This year was no exception!

Roy Ediss of Philips Semiconductors is shown conducting his demonstration entitled, “Analyzing Current Paths and Magnetic Field Effects.”

Our thanks go out to each of the presenters for contributing to the overall success of the demonstrations. We are also indebted to the volunteers who helped coordinate these demonstrations, in particular, Bob Dockey of Philips Medical Systems in Andover, Massachusetts, who did an outstanding job taking charge of the logistical planning, arranging for the test equipment, and setting up the demonstration stations in the Main Exhibit Hall of the Hynes Convention Center. We are also indebted once again to our equipment suppliers, which included Tektronix, Rohde & Schwarz, Advantest, Agilent/Hewlett-Packard, KeyTek, and Schaffner for providing the oscilloscopes, spectrum and network analyzers, EMI receivers, signal and function generators, meters and probes, and other hardware for the demonstrations.

Opportunity Knocks!!
We are now making plans for the demonstrations at the 2004 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Santa Clara, California from August 9 through 13. A Call for Experiments and Demonstrations for next year’s events will be available on the Santa Clara web site. If you have ideas for a demonstration and want to have it considered, please visit the EMC Society home page at www.emcs.org or the 2004 EMC Symposium web site at www.emc2004.org. We are particularly interested in hardware experiments that may have a computer modeling and simulation and/or technical paper counterpart. We may continue the plan of having a fewer number of demonstrations with rotation over the main two-day period. This is still on the drawing board. In the meantime, please contact me if you have any questions or ideas at a.l.drozd@ieee.org. EMC

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