EMP Protection

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by HK_User, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Selecting EMP protection for enclosures

    Using an electromagnetic pulse to disrupt electronic circuitry is no longer a theoretical exercise just for engineers
    BY PRAVEEN POTHAPRAGADAChief Engineer, Equipto Electronicswww.equiptoelec.com
    As proven by George Clooney and his crew in Ocean’s Eleven, even Hollywood knows that electronics can be manipulated and even destroyed by being subjected to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). And as electronic devices have become portable, so too have EMP generators — today they are as small as a briefcase.
    The harm that can be caused by these EMP briefcases includes destruction of electronic equipment and industrial production lines as well as neutralization of surveillance systems, television, radios, and telephones. U.S. military forces routinely face EMP threats in the fight against terrorism — imagine the damage an EMP could cause to a Humvee carrying mission critical electronic equipment, or to the data storage equipment in a US embassy, or to the security and surveillance systems on a military base.
    As our dependence on electronics increases, the need to protect our data and electronic equipment also should increase. Fortunately, such threats can be averted with proper electromagnetic shielding of electronics. The solutions of electronic packaging and EMC protection are not something that can be effectively implemented after the system is designed. The threat of the portable EMP suitcase forces us to bring EMC to the forefront of the systems design process. Simple calculations and application of physics prior to the design of shielded enclosures can save time and effort during later phases, such as testing.
    Protection options
    Depending on their intended application, electronic systems can be packaged in three ways:
    1. Put the electronic system in a shielded room such as anechoic chamber.
    2. Shield each of the system’s electronic components individually.
    3. Use shielded enclosures to shield a group of electronic components.
    While shielded rooms can provide a high degree of immunity, they preclude mobility; if a US embassy needs to be relocated, the shielded room that’s an integral part of the old building must stay behind. Shielding individual components can permit a high degree of mobility, but is often cost prohibitive in many applications, such as a telecom server room.
    Shielded enclosures offer the convenience of mobility and a cost savings over shielding individual components. The design of shielded enclosures is very application specific and involves knowledge of many disciplines. However, there are some basic steps that are common to most applications.
    In the following sections of this article, we provide some of the steps and calculations used in designing a shielded enclosure.
    Determining shielding effectiveness
    The first step is to determine which standard is appropriate to the enclosure. Some of the common standards used by the Department of Defense are as follows:
    • IEEE-299-2006.
    • MIL-STD-461.
    • NSA 94-106.
    • FCC Part 15.
    • Tempest.
    • MIL-STD-188 (HEMP).
    The next step is to determine the shielding effectiveness of the enclosure: is it designed to limit the emissions or to protect the equipment from outside electrical and magnetic fields to the level required by the standard.
    To determine the shielding effectiveness, let us use our example of an EMP suitcase. The EMP suitcase can emit a radiated electric field of 120 kV/m at 300 MHz. Based on testing, we determine that the unprotected electronics of our surveillance equipment will start to have stressed operation when subjected to an electric field of 5 V/m. So the Shielding Effectiveness (S.E.) of our enclosure needs to be:

    S.E.(dB) = 20log10 (Field strength w/o enclosure/Compliant field strength)

    S.E.(dB) = 20log10(120×103/5) ≈ 88 dB at 300 MHz
    Enclosure material selection
    Once the required Shielding Effectiveness has been determined, the next step is to determine the type and thickness of the material needed to make the shielded enclosure. .
    The ability to protect against electrical and magnetic fields for an enclosure material is the sum of Absorption (A), Reflection (RE), and secondary reflection coefficients. However, for all practical purposes we can neglect the secondary reflection coefficient. The following equation can help narrow the selection:

    S.E.(dB) = A + R

    A(dB) = (3.338 × 10-3) × t√μfG

    RE(dB) = 353.6 + 10log10[G/(f3μr12)]

    RH(dB) = 20log10[(0.462/r1)√(μ/Gf) + 0.136r1√(fG/μ) + 0.354]

    RP(dB) = 108.2 + 10log10[(G×106)/μf]

    where G is relative conductivity (copper), f is frequency (Hz), µ is relative permeability (free space), r1 is the distance between source and shield (in.), and t is thickness (mils).
    Generally, for radiated emissions we start with a material that absorbs, and for susceptibility we start by choosing a material that reflects more. Other considerations in choosing the material are its ability to be formed and welded, its availability, and its affordability.
    Gasket selection
    Shielded enclosures need openings for installation and maintenance of electronic equipment and for cable entry and exit. Enclosures typically will have doors, side panels, top and bottom panels, input/output panels, and so on. Gaps between the panel and the cabinet frame result in lost continuity, leading to leakage of electric and magnetic waves. Since having perfectly machined mating surfaces at the opening is cost prohibitive, conductive gaskets provide a cost effective way to seal the openings.
    The gasket material should be galvanically compatible with the material of the enclosure. When the gasket material is dissimilar to the enclosure metal, suitable protection against galvanic corrosion must be applied. Care should be taken to protect the anodic member by proper electrical insulation of the joint or, if feasible, by excluding the electrolyte (Fig. 1). Although difference in potentials of dissimilar metals is not the only reason for galvanic corrosion, it is better to select materials whose potentials are close to each other. Be wary of the cabinet designs where zinc-plated frames or doors mate with a copper finger gasket.
    Fig. 1. This table from MIL-STD-14072D shows the standard potentials of the common metals used for enclosures and gaskets, and material compatibilities.
    Most of the gasket applications involve two types of closure forces on the gasket: compression and shear. When gaskets are installed under a flat cover panel, in a compression configuration, the pressure is used to preserve the shielding effectiveness of the seam. The alternative is a shear application where a flange or a channel arrangement shields by shearing against a gasket before the enclosure is closed.
    All gaskets are porous to some extent. The porous spots in the gasket can act as slot radiators at high frequencies. It is important to calculate the shielding effectiveness of the gasket given the porousness of the gasket.
    Most of the gaskets have a limited lifetime. Normally, it is defined in cycles for a particular compression limit. Based on the usage of the particular opening, the longevity of the gasket can be determined.
    Gaskets are mounted to the flanges in different ways, the most common being adhesives or mechanical fasteners. Depending on the particular type of application, the correct mounting method should be used. There are two types of adhesives: conductive and non-conductive. Non-conductive adhesive is the most commonly used, but conductive adhesives may help give better shielding performance.
    Calculations for vents
    With electronics becoming more compact and densely configured, the need for forced convection in electronics packaging solutions is on the rise. The challenge in designing shielded enclosures is to move the air in and out of the cabinet without compromising the shielding effectiveness of the enclosures. In other words, containing or restricting the electromagnetic waves while allowing the movement of air. The answer lies in the design of the waveguide.
    A waveguide in simplest terms is a tube. At the right length (L) and the diameter (D), the tube can block electromagnetic waves while allowing air to flow. The first step is to calculate a cutoff frequency (C).

    C = 6.92/D

    If the shielded frequency is less than the cutoff frequency, then move on to calculating the maximum shielding effectiveness of the honeycomb vent. As a rule of thumb the length is at least five times greater than the diameter.

    S.E.(dB) ≈ (32 × L)/D

    With Hollywood doing such a great job highlighting the threat of EMP, it is now up to the electronics packaging industry to come up with solutions to protect against the threat. ■
    Design of Shielded Enclosures: Cost-Effective Methods to Prevent EMI by Louis T. Gnecco, Newnes (an imprint of Butterworth-Heinemann), 2000.
    EMI Shielding Theory, Chomerics, www.chomerics.com/products/documents/emicat/pg192theory_of_emi.pdf.
    MIL-F-14072D, Military Specification: Finishes for Ground Based Electronic Equipment, U.S. Military Specifications and Standards, 04 Oct 1990.
    farc_equipto01_apr2011. farc_equipto01_apr2011.
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    This is a case of somebody making a simple idea very difficult. You can always tell inexperience exists when it takes 5 hours for them to explain a 5 minute process. Also, this idea is theory --it exists as a postulate and presupposes the answer. We have threads on this forum on a Faraday cage...I highly suggest reading them instead.

    BTPost likes this.
  3. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    That should be "read them also".

    Then again maybe there is only one true way.

    Of course that is not true.

    Best to read what you can research and confirm.

    Or maybe I'm not perfect enough yet!

    Seems some on this list think their's is the only way.

    Me? Well I have been shielding against EMP before Moby Dick was a Minnow.

  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Your post made zero sense, HK. Sorry. Before you post a frustrated response, you should STOP, relax, and reconsider. I, like many veteran monkeys, have a very long memory (albeit sometimes dusty and weathered). That is all I am going to say about it. Good luck!
  5. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    No problem.

    Seems you don't like some of what I post, so of course say it made no sense , typical of those who wish to control others.

    Too bad that you feel the need to threaten others. "I, like many veteran monkeys, have a very long memory" so just waht did I do the piss you off?

    You may note that I said in my second post on this Forum that I expected a Forum Cop to come along sooner or later and tell me how wrong I am.

    I will say the frustration is not ffrom my side of this discussion.

    Man up say what you mean.
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Nah, don't take it personally. As far as moderators on the Monkey and such, they do as they wish. I just know where this could be heading. Sorry if I rubbed you the wrong way. Hey, they have sent me some warnings over the years, ask Ghrit. Just try to keep it civil.

    Anyway, the topic is a great one --the story you started with is kinda crap. Not your fault.
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Yeah well some of your links are busted, so maybe you're not as quick on your feet to boot.
  8. scrapman21009

    scrapman21009 Chupacabra Hunter

    Lets quit fighting and foucs on the topic. A friend of mine does design work for x-ray/ mri rooms and they use diffrent bldg materials then std construction, so my question is what about lead lined sheetrock for walls and ceiling, waveguides for punch thrus , a concrete floor and a radio trap door. This could be a sort of electronics safe room built to the specs of an MRI room. a little pricey, but not too bad considering the cost of batts, inverters, and other equipment
  9. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    You could do a simple lining of your utility room or even your garage or outbuilding with plain old metal screen wire and ground it very well--that is three or four ground rods or connect to existing electric grounds. We can expect multiple hits--that way stuff that we saved and got out of the Faraday cages will be toast the second time.
  10. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Aluminum screen wire or something like eighth inch hardware cloth?
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    1/8 inch Hardware cloth is NOT sufficient for EMP Protection, as EMP is a Wideband Effect that goes clear up into the 300+ Ghz Range. To be effective you really need a close weave of Copper Screen (The Big Boys use Silver) with Overlapping Seems, of a minimum 1" and soldered along the whole seem.
    Brokor and oldawg like this.
  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    No problem.

    You will note in the article that a standard must be provided. To just say that a Faraday cage will work on EMP is just plain false. You must design for what you expect to resist.

    The original FC was for radio static. This is why you need to build a protecion to fit what you want to protect. I know I said that once already but most just seem to ignore that fact.

    Any break in continuity of the shield must be closed, in this as mentioned in the article you must have a way to stop the passage of EMP, be it machined seal or ground straps or magnectic adhesive tape and on and on.

    My experience started with the protection of industrial grade electronics, as such, one of the first things we learned is that you must have a door gasket/seal that prevents the EMP from passing. Industrial enclosures will be found with, metallic foam gaskets that are attached with conductive adhesive (as noted in the article above) all doors/screw on panels will have ground straps to the main frame. Any glass view ports will be shielded.

    It is a bit wrong to say that you just need a ground rod. Ground rods, if the object is inside another structure, need to be attached to the building ground system. This is not the same as a electrical ground from the power source aka City utility power.

    The reason is that if a ground rod is dropped into the soil with in another structure is that it will set up a path between the other ground rods in that building.

    IEEE has a number of WHITE PAPERS on the subject as well as this site, http://technav.ieee.org/tag/689/emp-hardening.

    No single source covers all that you may want to read. Each installation will be a bit different.


    I like uninterupted steel plate of 1/8" steel with all seams welded and a steel door of 3/8" steel with a 180 to 180 sealing edge.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary