An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a short burst of electromagnetic energy that can be extremely damaging to electronic equipment. EMP energy can be transferred in the form of electromagnetic radiation, an electric field, electrical conduction or a magnetic field. Since EMPs have a short duration, their impact can occur across large ranges of frequencies.

EMPs can be produced naturally, occur from man-made equipment. Natural EMPs include lightning strikes and electrostatic discharges (ESD), geomagnetic storms/coronal mass ejections of solar origin. Man-made EMPs include power line surges, pulses created by ignition systems, nuclear electromagnetic pulses (NEMP) and non-nuclear electromagnetic pulses (NNEMP).

An NEMP is a quick pulse of electromagnetic radiation resulting from a nuclear explosion that cause damaging current and voltage surges. A high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) produces gamma rays that are converted to EMP in the mid-stratosphere over a wide area within the line of sight of the detonation.

There are several standards that address EMPs. MIL-STD 461 contains test methods and levels to determine a device’s immunity to EMP from both a radiated and conducted immunity standpoint. Radiated immunity in RS105 assesses the impact of radiated exposure. Conducted immunity in CS116 assesses the impact of damped sinusoidal transients on the cables of equipment.

Keystone Compliance has extensive experience with shielding effectiveness and EMP testing. We work with manufacturers and citizens to determine if their equipment and shielding can handle natural or man-made EMPs.

Please contact us to determine how we can help you determine your product’s ability to survive an EMP event.