EMC Success Strategies for the Internet of Things


Eastern Standard Time (EST) September 10, 2019 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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Mike Violette

Billions of connected devices bring new opportunities and challenges including electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). The ubiquity of wireless devices is fomenting rapid changes in our lives, in our work and our health. The Internet of Things is a natural platform for connecting all manner of instruments, devices, healthcare, vehicles and…cats. This presentation introduces the broad application of “IoT” and focuses on a few ‘verticals’ and their EMC challenges.  Examples include IoT solutions and EMC aspects and will touch on the coming 5G wireless cellular system.

In addition, we will focus on various test strategies for IoT devices. The IoT environment includes all manner natural EMI threats, from lightning to space-borne sources that can interrupt power and communication grids as well as man-made threats from intentional and unintentional sources. It is important to classify the expected levels and environment to properly assess strategies for design and test. For most equipment, the EMC strategies depend on the installation and operation of the IoT device. For example, IoT deployments in power distribution networks need to cope with magnetic (50/60 Hz) fields, lightning-induced transients, relay and contact closure pulses, as well as the deployment of wireless networks. Military IoT deployments face other potential interfering sources, notably high frequency and high energy radio frequency sources from communications and radio-determination systems. Some of these levels may be up to a few thousand volts-per-meter.

More sinister threats exists from nation-states and other bad actors. “Intentional EMI” is a term that has been in vogue lately, and can mean anything from a high energy transmitter that could block or degrade communications up to High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) that carries the possibility of crippling distributed communications and energy networks. Assessing the EMC environment for IoT deployment also requires attention to spectrum contention issues. As 5G networks roll out, with additional spectrum being added, the opportunity for collision and interference expands. Careful attention to deployment of 5G for IoT is an area of great interest.