2004 Santa Clara EMC Symposium Demonstrations and Looking Ahead to Chicago in 2005

We are now into our twelfth year of holding the EMC Experiment Demonstrations at the annual EMC Symposium and each year I like to take a moment to recap what took place and look ahead to next year’s event. The “demos” continue to be a very popular and instructional forum at the symposia. We hope to further expand this forum by adding new topics and a fresh batch of experiments in the future. But before getting into future plans, allow me to review this year’s agenda and provide a little background information.
For those unfamiliar with the demos, they are first and foremost a series of hardware experiments conducted by EMC experts for the purpose of demonstrating fundamental and practical methods of trouble shooting some typically encountered EMI problems. Basically, the demos are an interactive educational forum for learning about novel methods of EMI problem solving. The primary motivation for conducting the demos over the years has been to educate engineers and enhance EMC awareness using a “fundamentals” style and approach, one of the goals of the EMC Society Education and Student Activities Committee, which traditionally sponsors the forum in an effort to “demystify” EMC by emphasizing practical examples and the use of inexpensive hardware for solving EMI problems. What has been new and different in recent years is the addition of “live” computer modeling and simulation demos, or virtual trouble shooting examples, as I call it. In either case, the demos provide an excellent opportunity to closely scrutinize the underlying electromagnetic phenomena, physics, and mechanisms behind EMI coupling including ways of effectively counteracting undesired interference effects.
This year in Santa Clara we scheduled a total of 18 unique demonstrations given over a 2-day period. These included a combination of hardware-based experiments and computer demonstrations. This year’s agenda of hardware experiment demonstrations included:

  • Linearization of an RF Amplifier for Immunity Testing by Thomas Mullineaux of HighTech Writer, Los Alamitos, CA USA
  • Using Self-Shielding to Contain Electric and Magnetic Fields by Tom Van Doren of the University of Missouri-Rolla USA
  • How Parasitic Effects in Inductors and Capacitors Affect Electrical Equipment by James Whalen of the Department of Electrical Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY USA
  • Analyzing Current Paths and Magnetic Fields by Roy Ediss of Philips Semiconductors, Southampton, UK
  • Enclosure and Shielding Demonstrations by Robert Steinfeld of Apple Computer, Inc., Cupertino, CA USA
  • Experimental Analysis of Single Point Grounding at High Frequencies by Doug Smith of D.C. Smith Consultants, Los Gatos, CA USA
  • Low Cost Measurement and Characterization of Antennas, RF Cables, Connectors and Adapters by Lee Hill of Silent Solutions, LLC in Amherst, NH USA
  • Product Generated Self- Interference: The Causes and Solutions by Randal Vaughn of Silent Solutions, LLC in Amherst, NH USA
Cheung-Wei Lam and Robert Steinfeld of Apple Computer (standing from left) assist Jim Whalen (seated) in preparing his demonstration “How Parasitic Effects in Inductors and Capacitors Affect Electrical Equipment.”

Doug Smith of D.C. Smith Consultants prepares the equipment for his demonstration in Santa Clara titled “Experimental Analysis of Single Point Grounding at High Frequencies.”


Also, this year’s agenda of computer modeling and simulation demonstrations, which were once again run in parallel with the hardware experiments, included:

  • Simple Visualization of Fields in Radiated Test Sites by David Mawdsley of Laplace Instruments, Ltd., UK (represented by Credence Technologies, Inc.)
  • System-Level EMC Antenna Coupling Analysis for Large, Complex Structure Topologies Using a Progressive Modeling and Simulation Approach by Irina P. Kasperovich and Andrew C. Blackburn of ANDRO Computational Solutions, LLC in Rome, NY USA
  • Using FDTD for Real-World EMC Simulation by Bruce Archambeault of IBM, Research Triangle Park, NC USA
  • Virtual Experiment of on-PCB Digital Circuits Emissions with Spice EMC Oriented Models by Jean-marc Dienot of IUT Tarbes, France
  • Radiated Emissions Compliance of Telecommunications Systems Using Mathematical Modeling by Darren James Carpenter of BT Exact, Suffolk, UK
  • Noise-Free Power Supply Lines: Decoupling-Methods, Components, Simulation and Measurement Results by Alexander Gerfer of Würth Elektronik eiSos GmbH & Co KG; Germany, Wurth Electronics Inc., Ramsey, NJ USA
  • Application of Fast Integral Equation Techniques to the Solution of Challenging EMC Problems by Ulrich Jakobus of EM Software & Systems, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Demonstration of Reciprocity of Shielding Effectiveness (SE) by Immunity and Emissions Analysis by David P. Johns of Flomerics, Inc., Southborough, MA 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, CO USA
  • Emitter Threat Analysis and Reporting by Fred Heather of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, MD USA

The computer demonstrations further showed how modeling and analysis can be an effective means of identifying and mitigating EMI problems, as a complement to EMC design and measurement.
Organizers Robert Steinfeld and Cheung-Wei Lam of Apple Computer, Inc. are to be commended for their efforts in making this a successful forum and by coming up with an effective scheme for arranging the demonstrations in a class-like setting. This allowed for an excellent view from any angle while they were taking place.

Bob Steinfeld of Apple Computer helped organize the demonstrations in Santa Clara as well as conducted one.

Randal Vaughn of Silent Solutions demonstrated “Product Generated Self-Interference: The Causes and Solutions” in Santa Clara.

This is the first year that there were more virtual demonstrations than there were hardware experiments. On the other hand, it was hard to tell that in view of the large gatherings of people at Lee Hill’s, Doug Smith’s, and Tom Van Doren’s demonstrations, for example, which at times seemed to have dwarfed the activities at the computer demo stations. Nonetheless, all of the demos were of very high technical caliber and originality. All of the presenters did an outstanding job and our thanks go out to each of them.
As usual, we are indebted to the equipment suppliers, which included Tektronix, Rohde & Schwarz, Advantest, Agilent/Hewlett-Packard, KeyTek, and Schaffner EMC for providing the oscilloscopes, spectrum and network analyzers, EMI receivers, signal and function generators, meters and probes, and other hardware for the hardware demonstrations. Their support was much appreciated.
Finally, we are in the process of planning next year’s demonstrations in Chicago. A Call for Experiments and Demonstrations for next year’s events is about to be issued and will be available on the 2005 Chicago EMC Symposium web site (http://www.emc2005.org/). If you have ideas for a demonstration and want to have it considered, please contact me (a.l.drozd@ieee.org), or organizers Roy Leventhal (Roy.Leventhal@ieee.org) and Jack Prawica (jprawica@dlsemc.com). Again, we are particularly interested in hardware experiments that may have a computer modeling and simulation and/or technical paper counterpart. We encourage and look forward to your proposals. EMC

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