NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

How will MIL-DTL-901E affect your shock qualification?

Photo: Navy.com

For the past 30 years, MIL-S-901D has defined requirements for shock qualification of items installed on U.S. Navy Combatants. For the duration of this period, there have been rumors of a new and improved specification revision. That time has finally come.

MIL-DTL-901E, revision to MIL-S-901D of 1989 has been approved and released as of 20 June 2017. The new “detail specification” or DTL per DOD 4120.24M is an evolutionary document that includes changes from MIL-S-901D, Interim Change #2, the 2012 DSCR-2 initiative clarification letters and cost reduction strategies, and the Total Ownership Cost (TOC) reduction provided by the Deck Simulating Shock Machine (DSSM).

For most Navy shipboard shock practitioners, the most impactful change to the document is the addition of the Medium Weight Deck Simulating Shock Test.  This test is primarily performed on Class II, deck mounted equipment and utilizes the DSSM. The DSSM is typically used in lieu of performing a heavyweight shock test series.

The DSSM shock test machine at NTS Rustburg

In the early 2000s, we recognized that the current model for shock qualification of a vast majority of the proliferating Class II, Deck Mounted, COTS equipment was not sustainable from a costs and schedule perspective.

So, in collaboration with HII-NNS partners, NTS led the pioneering development of a more cost and schedule effective land-based approach to meet this new challenge. These efforts culminated in the fabrication of the DSSM Generation I machine that has been in use at NTS Rustburg, VA since 2004.

The success of the Generation I DSSM led to the development of a scaled-up Generation II machine that is specified in MIL-DTL-901E. All of the certification testing that was necessary prior to inclusion in the new MIL-DTL was conducted at NTS. We have been routinely conducting shock qualification testing on the DSSM as an Alternate Shock Test Vehicle since 2015.

The DSSM development is yet another example of NTS’ focus on customer driven innovation. If you have questions concerning the new MIL-DTL-901E detail specification and how it may affect your program or have a need for Medium Weight Deck Simulating Shock Tests contact our experts today!

Changes to Certification Process in Ecuador

ARCOTEL in Ecuador issued a new regulation about the homologation process. The biggest impact to the changes are highlighted below:

  • No in-country testing is required. The changes have removed the requirement for testing, therefore no samples are required for submission/certification to ARCOTEL in almost all cases
  • Photographs of the device will now be required and there are specific requirements for the photos including external, internal and label views. These cannot be photos from test reports or marketing material.
  • The certificates will be issued by class. This could mean that a product will fall into multiple classes and require multiple certificates. The classes are as follows:
    • Terminals for the Advanced Mobile Service (SMA):
    • Terminals for the Bearer Service (P)
    • Terminals for the Fixed Telephone Service (STF)
    • Terminals for the Telecommunications Satellite Service (TTS)
    • Terminals for Internet access. (AI)
    • Trunked terminals for the Service. (T)
    • Terminals for the Communal Service (C)
  • Products that do not fall into mandatory scope can obtain obtain a certificate of recognition of being outside the scope of the regulation

Contact our NTS International Approvals Team at IATeam@nts.com if you need more information or assistance.

Taiwan Implements Requirements for RoHS in Electronic Equipment

Taiwan has recently implemented requirements for RoHS (Restrictions of Hazardous Substances) in electronic equipment. These requirements are aligned with the European RoHS directive excluding phthalates.

The new requirements will be enforced for some electrical products beginning July 1, 2017 as part of the mandatory assessment scheme by the authority BSMI. There is a proposal to add 92 more categories of electrical products by Jan 1, 2018.

Products will be assessed to CNS 15663 in addition to the Safety and EMC mandatory conformity assessments. There is a marking change and a requirement of a table to be available with the product.

For more information on the product types that are in scope for phase 1, refer to the following documents: http://www.bsmi.gov.tw/wSite/public/Data/f1436161147146.pdf

Contact our NTS International Approvals Team at IATeam@nts.com if you need more information or assistance.

Upcoming Changes for Wireless Equipment in the 5 GHz Band EN 301 893

By Deniz Demirci, Senior Wireless/EMC Engineer, NTS Silicon Valley 

Manufacturers of wireless devices operating in the 5 GHz bands intended sale in the EU should take note of some important changes.

Draft version of EN 301 893 V2.0.7 has been published in the ETSI web site in order to align with the Article 3.2 – Essential Requirements of Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU.

Currently, manufacturers of these type of equipment can still use R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC (Radio and Telecommunication Directive) and it’s harmonized standard EN 301 893 V1.8.1 in their Declaration of Conformities (DoC) until June 13, 2017.

After this date, manufacturers of any radio device who enters any country which requires CE marking, have to use RED (Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU) in their DoC.

This is applicable for all new products as well as for products that are currently being marketed and intended to be sold after this date. Products which DoCs are not updated by this date, should not be sold in the European Union.

It is very likely that any RED version of EN 301 893 will not be ready and will not be listed in the OJ on June 13, 2017. The version V2.0.7 of the standard is still in review process and is scheduled to be published on July 8, 2017. The standard is expected to be listed on the Official Journal of the European Union on October 21, 2017.

With the absence of this product standard, there is a possibility that EN 301 893 V1.8.1 may be listed in the OJ with additional Adaptivity and Receiver Blocking requirements aligned with 301 893 V2.0.7 in order to presume compliance with RED until the new version of the standard is published.

Otherwise, after June 13, 2017, any 5 GHz radio device must have a Notified Body Opinion/Type Examination Certificate in order to presume compliance with the Article 3.2 – essential requirements of Directive 2014/53/EU – RED. Which means that, overwhelming number of products on the market will require Notified Body Opinion.

The Notified bodies also have to follow Article 3.2 of RED in their assessments and will ask for evidence of presumption of conformity which will include Adaptivity and Receiver Blocking tests.

Our recommendation to the manufacturers is to schedule the tests for the new requirements as soon as possible since the test methods are significantly different.

Some of the major changes are:

  1. Adaptivity has 3 different mandatory Interference signal type (AWGN, OFDM and LTE). Medium Access test methods have changed significantly. There are new procedures for Frame Based (other than 802.11) devices.
  2. The Receiver Blocking requirement is a new performance test and unconditionally applicable to all radio equipment.

Please contact us at sales@nts.com or call 800-270-2516 for additional details and how to test your product and update test reports for Radio Equipment Directive.

Upcoming Changes for Wireless Equipment in the 2.4 GHz Band EN 300 328

By Deniz Demirci, Senior Wireless/EMC Engineer at NTS Silicon Valley

EN 300 328 V2.1.1 was harmonized and listed in the Official Journal of the European Union under Directive 2014/53/EU for RED (Radio Equipment Directive) on January 13, 2017. This version of the standard covers the essential requirements of article 3.2 of RED for 2.4 GHz ISM band WiFi, Bluetooth and other Wideband transceivers.

Manufacturers of these type of equipment can still use R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC (Radio and Telecommunication Directive) and it’s harmonized standard EN 300 238 V1.9.1 in their Declaration of Conformities (DoC) until June 13, 2017.

After this date, manufacturers of any radio device who enters any country which requires CE marking, have to use RED (Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU) in their DoC.

This is applicable for all new products as well as for products that are currently being marketed and intended to be sold after this date. Products which DoCs are not updated by this date, should not be sold in the European Union.

Manufacturers should follow EN 300 328 V2.1.1 requirements and update their test reports for their current products as soon as possible since there is significant change in the essential requirements;

  • The Receiver Blocking Requirement is unconditionally applicable to all radio equipment regardless of receiver category or adaptivity capability. This is a major change from the previous version of the standard.

Since the Receiver Blocking was conditionally applicable to the adaptive equipment only and the test methods as well as the performance criteria were different, most products may have never been evaluated for this requirement before.

Note: After June 13, 2017, any radio device which the standards are not yet harmonized and listed in the Official Journal of the European Union, must have a Notified Body Opinion/Type Examination Certificate in order to presume compliance with the essential requirements in Article 3.2 of Directive 2014/53/EU – RED.

For more details and information on how to update test reports for the Radio Equipment Directive, other specification interoperability scenarios or test, design and engineering help is available by contacting NTS at 800-270-2516 or emailing sales@nts.com.

Taiwan: Emissions Testing for Information Technology Equipment, CNS 13438 Requirements

by Wayne Fisher, EMC Lab Manager,
NTS Silicon Valley

Manufacturers of Information Technology Equipment (ITE) intended for sale in Taiwan should take note that as of October 1, 2010 EMC testing requirements under emissions standard CNS 13438 have changed.

The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) requires radiated emissions both from 30MHz to 1GHz and conditions requiring testing upwards of 6GHz. Additionally, con­ducted emissions on telecommunication ports are required on all networking ports (IE: Ethernet).

The radiated emissions above 1GHz requirements are based on Amendment 1:2005 of CISPR 22:2005, which means testing is performed in a free space facility.

  • If the highest internal frequency source of the device under test is less than 108MHz radiated measurements are only performed up to 1000MHz.
  • If the device has an internal frequency source between 108MHz and 500MHz, the measurement shall only be made up to 2GHz.
  • If the frequency is between 500MHz and 1GHz, the measurement shall be only up to 5GHz.
  • If the frequency of the internal sources is above 1GHz the measurement shall be up to 5 times the highest frequency or 6GHz, whichever is less.

The Conducted Emissions on Telecommunication Ports requirements are the same as those in CISPR 22 with multi-speed ports operating at their highest data rate. Where there are many electrically identical telecommunication ports, multiple pre-scans may be required to determine the ‘worst case’ port for final evaluation.

The testing is performed with the device under test operating from line voltages consistent with Taiwan. For Class A devices, testing must be performed at both 110VAC and 220VAC or 230VAC, 60Hz. For Class B devices, testing need only be performed at 110VAC, 60Hz.

Products that were approved prior to October 1, 2010 will be accepted into the Taiwan market until their certificate is subject to renewal or if changes have been made to a product that needs re-certification after that date. At that point in time, products will need to demonstrate compliance with the new requirements.

New rules currently under draft may be implemented this year have indicated that all approvals must adhere to RoHS rules otherwise certificates will expire at the end of this year. Evidence of RoHS certification for the EU will be accepted by Taiwan towards this requirement.

Contact us at sales@nts.com or call 800-270-2516 to know more about the steps you need to take to ensure compliance of your ITE products with the requirements of Taiwan.

EN 61326-1: EMC Emissions/Immunity Requirement Changes for Laboratory Equipment

By Conrad Chu, EMC Engineering Manager, NTS Silicon Valley

EN 61326-1 has been adopted and published in the EU’s Official Journal. As this standard is the applicable standard for Measurement, Control and Laboratory Equipment, it affects a large number of devices.

The EN 61326-1:2013 version of the standard superseded EN 61326-1:2006 and became mandatory on August 14, 2015. EN 61326-1:2013 is equivalent to international standard IEC 61326-1:2012.

Summary of Significant Changes

Emissions: The 2006 version references CISPR 11:2003, while the 2013 version references CISPR 11:2009 +A1:2010. The first amendment to CISPR 11:2009 has established alternative radiated emissions limits at 3 meters test distance for “small equipment”, where “small equipment” is defined as “equip­ment, either positioned on a table top or standing on the floor which, including its cables fits in a cylin­drical test volume of 1.2 m in diameter and 1.5 m above the ground plane”.

Basic Immunity Environment (Immunity)

The test levels for electrostatic discharge (ESD) have increased from ±4 kV contact discharge and ±4 kV air discharge in EN 61636-1:2006 to ±4 kV contact discharge and ±8 kV air discharge in EN 61326-1:2013.

For magnetically sensitive equipment, EN 61326-1:2013 adds a new requirement for power-frequency magnetic immunity (IEC 61000-4-8) at a test level of 3 A/m.

Controlled EM Environment (Immunity)

EN 61326:2006 has a port category called “Measurement I/O”, where the manufacturer is allowed to define the test level (i.e. no mandated test level) and state in the product documentation what level the EUT was tested to. In EN 61326:2013 this port category has been removed. Hence the ports that would previously fall under the “Measurement I/O” category would now fall under the remaining “I/O signal/control” category, where the required tests levels are defined by the standard and not left to the discretion of the manufacturer

Portable Environment (Immunity)

For magnetically-sensitive equipment, EN 61326-1:2013 adds a new requirement for power-frequen­cy magnetic immunity (IEC 61000-4-8) at a test level of 3 A/m.

How this Affects Existing and New Test Programs

NTS has been testing to this latest standard with all reports to be issued to the EN 61326-1:2013 version of the standard.

Customers who wish to update their product(s) to the 2013 version can do so based on applicable testing needed. Once the additional test requirements are fulfilled, the report (s) can be reissued to reflect the 2013 version.

Despite the addition of new magnetic immunity requirements in EN 61326-2:2013, in most cases magnetic immunity testing will still not be required as the testing is only required for devices that contain components inherently susceptible to magnetic fields.

Conclusion

Manufacturers should be testing to the EN 61326-1:2013 version of the standard.

For more information about how this change affects your products or for a price quote for services, please contact us at sales@nts.com or call 800-270-2516.

Declaration of Conformity Changes for Multimedia Equipment

By Deniz Demirci, Senior Wireless/EMC Engineer, NTS Silicon Valley

Manufacturers of Multimedia Equipment, including Information Technology Equipment (ITE), Audio, Video Equipment, Sound and Television Broadcast Receivers and Associated Equipment and Professional Use Audio, Video, Audio-Visual and Entertainment Lighting Control Apparatus or any combination of these equipment, intended for sale in the European Union (and other countries that base their EMC regulations on CE marking) should take note of the following changes that are slated to go into effect with regard to the Declarations of Conformity as per EMC Directive 2014/30/EU. All hardware products marketed in the European Union must comply with these newer editions of the standards and have updated Declarations of Conformity (DoC) by the dates listed below.

This is applicable for all new products as well as for products that are currently being marketed and intended to be sold after these dates. Products whose DoCs are not updated by the required date should not be sold in the European Union.

Multimedia Equipment Emission requirements:

  • After March 5, 2017 DoCs have to reference EN 55032:2012. EN 55032:2012 will replace EN 55013:2013+A1:2016, EN 55022:2010+AC:2011 and EN 55103-1:2009+A1:2012
  • If your Declaration of Conformity (DoC) references EN 55013 or EN 55020 or EN 55103-1, the DoC needs to be updated to EN 55032
  • DoCs have to reference EN 61000-3-3:2013. EN 61000-3-3:2013 has superseded the previous version (EN 61000-3-3:2008) on June 18, 2016. Any references to the EN 61000-3-3 standard in your Declarations of Conformity must be updated.
  • DoCs have to reference EN 61000-3-2:2014. EN 61000-3-2:2014 has superseded the previous version (EN 61000-3-2:2006 +A1:2009 +A2:2009) on June 30, 2016. Any references to the EN 61000-3-2 standard in your Declarations of Conformity must be updated.
  • Any future changes on these standards above will have 1 year transition period after they are harmonized and listed in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Multimedia Equipment Immunity requirements:

EN 55024:2010 is the current harmonized standard for EMC Directive 2014/30/EU for Information Technology Equipment.

EN 55020:2007+A12:2016 is not listed as an harmonized standard in EMC directive but it can be used as state-of-the-art standard for Sound and Television Broadcast Receivers and Associated Equipment until EN 55035 is published.

EN 55103-2:2009 is the current harmonized standard for EMC Directive 2014/30/EU for Audio, Video, Audio-Visual and Entertainment Lighting Control Apparatus for Professional Use.

CISPR 35:2016 (Electromagnetic compatibility of multimedia equipment – Immunity requirements) has been published and it is expected to be adapted by European Union. Although the exact dates are not known yet, when it is published and harmonized for EMC Directive, EN 55035 will cover Information Technology Equipment, Audio, Video Equipment Sound and Television broadcast receivers and associated Equipment and Professional Audio, Video and Entertainment Lightning control apparatus and any combination of this equipment.

When EN 55035 is harmonized and listed in the Official Journal of the European Union, there will be no transition period for Sound and Television Broadcast Receivers and Associated Equipment and EN 55035 will be immediately in use. Information Technology Equipment and Professional Audio, Video and Entertainment Lightning control apparatus will have 1 year transition period.

Korea has already adapted previous draft version of CISPR 35 as KN 35:2015 which supersedes KN 20 and KN 24.

For more information about how this change affects your products or for a price quote for services required to update your product, please contact us at sales@nts.com or call 800-270-2516.

Challenges of Meeting Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) Requirements

Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) requirements for products that operate in certain 5 GHz bands are now firmly established in most regions of the world. DFS is a mechanism that allows sharing of spectrum with radar systems operating in the 5250-5350 MHz, 5470-5725 MHz and in some regions of the world 5725-5850 MHz of the RF spectrum. Regulatory authorities required this sharing mechanism when the decision to open this spectrum up for uses like WiFi was adopted. The mechanism needed to verify that a channel is free of radar before using it, monitoring a channel for radar once a channel is in use, vacating the channel if radar is detected and remain off of a channel on which radar has been detected.

In some cases, the requirements have continued to evolve. For example, last year the FCC updated their testing procedures (KDB 905462 D02) for the Bin 5 radar type waveform to use a fixed width chirp in a given trial and changed which frequencies are used for each trial in the statistical performance check.

A continuing challenge is the requirement that the FCC pre test all products that are required to detect radar transmissions prior to a grant of equipment authorization being issued by a Certification Body. Depending on the FCC workload this can delay FCC certification by 1-3 months.

Since DFS compliance is primarily related to the software controlling a radio, it is necessary to involve software development personnel in DFS evaluation process that includes debug of issues found during testing. In addition, a description of how the product software that controls the radio DFS functions is secured to prevent tampering with by users of the product is necessary for product approval.

DFS testing involves different operation of the radio from other certification testing. Normal product operation with the added ability to restrict DFS functions and report detections are needed (KDB 905462 D04). Testing will proceed more quickly if a complete setup typical of actual use with the device configured to communicate with another product in a manner that produces a sufficiently high use of the channel (typically 17-30%). Additional information needed for performing the tests are the modes of operation, 99% bandwidth for each mode and antenna types and gains (testing with the lowest gain antennas is required).

If you have any questions regarding the best methods to ensure your DFS test session is successful to gain compliance, ask our experts or call 800-270-2516.

NTS Chicago Expansion Phase 9: Grand Opening Preparation

As you’ve seen over the past few months, much has been happening at our new Mt. Prospect laboratory. We will now be showcasing all the hard work and effort on Thursday, October 6th, 2016 at the Grand Opening Event.

RSVP now to join the NTS team, local and state officials, friends and neighbors for a day long celebration and open house. Beginning at 8 am, we will be holding two morning technical seminars, tours of the lab, a ribbon cutting ceremony and catered lunch reception.

Below, you can watch brand new time lapse footage spanning over 6 months showing the environmental test area taken from empty space to fully functional and ready to accept customer quotes!

As well as all the services previously available at our Palatine location, the new laboratory includes:

  • 5m semi-anechoic chamber for emissions measurements
  • Assortment of EMC chambers for testing and troubleshooting
  • 24′ x 24′ MIL-SPEC chamber
  • Environmental testing such as blowing sand and blowing dust
  • Expanded ingress protection
  • Increased capability for corrosion testing
  • Expanded capacity for current high-demand tests such as HALT and vibration

To find out more including specific technical information, don’t hesitate to contact our lab General Manager, Kevin Mehaffey, directly.