EMC Testing for the Railway Industry

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trackside EMC testing of rolling stock

In order to ensure that railways are safe from electromagnetic interference (EMI), measurements need to be made to test levels of emissions and immunity with respect to EMI.

Railway equipment can be classed as physically large in most cases, and this means that testing needs to be carried out on-site, as the image shows.

Our well-established Railways EMC testing service includes:

The fact that we offer both testing and consultancy makes us flexible and able to develop new measurement techniques for testing to a customer's specific requirements.

Above: Award-winning measurement system in action on the ECML near York.

One recent award winning technique, invented, developed and implemented by YES, involved the measurement of radiated emissions from moving trains as part of a project for the former Radiocommunications Agency (now OFCOM). The measurement system has been developed to characterise the radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI) from moving rail vehicles. The system uses multiple spectrum analysers to make a combination of rapidly repeated frequency domain measurements and time domain measurements using single frequency wide bandwidth envelope detection. Using these techniques, the emissions from a rapidly moving vehicle can be assessed and characterised as narrowband or broadband, continuous or transient. The potential for interference with radiocommunications services can hence be better understood.

Above: YES Managing Director Chris Marshman receiving an Honourable Mention at the NMA (2003).

This enables both static and dynamic behaviour of the railway infrastructure to be continuously recorded, ultimately allowing better protection of the radio spectrum without placing any unnecessarily heavy burdens on the rail industry. This novel technique received an Honourable Mention at the National Measurement Awards in 2003.