Growing Demand for QinetiQ's Electromagnetic Compatibility Facilities

A midlife update that includes new electronic systems, transmission and engine for a major foam vehicle from the Specialist Utility Vehicles IPT part of the Directorate General Land Equipment has meant that its Electromagnetic Compatibility also needed retesting to the appropriate defence standard (Defence Standard 59-41). This work has just been completed by QinetiQ’s Electromagnetic and Environmental Services (EMES) Group in its whole vehicle chamber at Chertsey in Surrey.

“Chertsey is just one of our Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) facilities that’s becoming increasingly busy in meeting the ever growing civil and military requirement,” explained Peter Tanner, MD for QinetiQ’s System Evaluation Services. “As part of the overall update to the fire engine it had to be tested and re qualified to the Defence Standard to ensure it continues to meet operational electromagnetic environment and emission requirements both in UK and for overseas applications.”

System susceptibility to external RF and RF emissions testing is critical for all vehicles and sub-systems to ensure they perform as expected at all times and don’t themselves cause problems to other users. QinetiQ has been involved in developing procedures to determine the coupling between the external environment and the internal RF stresses on equipment for many years and its test facilities are widely used by both military and civilian customers alike.

QinetiQ’s semi-anechoic screened EMC facility at Chertsey is UKAS accredited and equipped with a number of high power amplifiers and sensitive emissions measuring equipment. It measures 16m x 16m x 8m with 5m x 5m double access doors and has both extensive exhaust and heat extraction capabilities. Another unique feature of this facility is its 60 tonne floor loading capacity which means even the heaviest of the MODs current main Challenger II battle tanks can, and have, been accommodated.

A comprehensive range of internal and external UKAS accredited test facilities are available from QinetiQ capable of testing large systems and complete platforms/vehicles as well as small individual components or sub-systems. The facilities include: ten screened EMC test chambers, three of which are advanced capability reverberation chambers; two hybrid lined anechoic chambers; four screened instrumentation/control rooms; two mobile EMC test laboratories that can be taken to a customers’ site to carry out the required tests; in addition to the whole vehicle semi-anechoic Chamber at Chertsey. An outdoor Radio Frequency Environment Generator (REG) is also available to test high power radiated susceptibility over a wide 5 MHz to 35 GHz frequency range and can accommodate most things including large civil and transport aircraft.

In addition to the EMC facilities QinetiQ also operates a diverse variety of test and evaluation facilities across various UK sites that deliver strategic capabilities of national importance and cost effectively deliver through life analysis of systems – from concept to disposal – to increase reliability and fitness for purpose. These include: environmental test facilities for whole vehicles/aircraft as well as equipment; various real-time simulators covering all types of vehicle; test and vibration rigs; land, sea and air test and evaluation ranges; a suite of human physiology testing facilities and specialist materials and physical testing capabilities.

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