Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Penetrating Insights: NIST Airframe Tests Help Ensure Better Shielding For Flight Instruments

Date:
August 26, 2009
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Recent tests by researchers at NIST will provide much needed, independent data on how electromagnetic radiation penetrates aircraft, helping to ensure continued air travel safety.

Testing equipment being used by NIST scientists in recent research mapping radio frequency penetration of airframes, in this case a Boeing 737-200. The data from the tests provided valuable independent data on how electromagnetic radiation penetrates commercial aircraft, thereby helping improve safety.
Credit: NIST

Airline travelers are used to being instructed to turn off computers and cell phones during takeoffs and landings as a precaution against interfering with the plane’s navigational equipment, but outside sources of high-energy interference can be even more dangerous. Recent tests by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will provide much needed, independent data on how electromagnetic radiation penetrates aircraft, helping to ensure continued air travel safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires aircraft manufacturers to demonstrate that their aircraft have effective high intensity radiated field (HIRF) protection. The manufacturers conduct tests on their aircraft and provide those results to the FAA as part of the certification process. The tests are designed to show where and to what extent electromagnetic radiation, across a wide spectrum of frequencies, penetrates a given craft’s airframe. This information is important in determining if and where shielding is needed to protect vital electronic instrumentation from malfunction or damage while flying through ground-based radar beams, for example.

This effort was undertaken to assist the FAA with HIRF measurement procedures and data processing methodologies. The FAA has struggled with data sets provided by HIRF testers because they use a wide range of measurement/data processing techniques that are not standardized.

For an independent analysis of the situation, a NIST team recently performed HIRF tests on three representative aircraft to give FAA officials a frame of reference for the procedures and data reduction techniques used for typical low-level airframe HIRF attenuation/shielding tests. Having this information will help the FAA ensure that commercial aircraft are indeed meeting minimum shielding requirements and, ultimately, make the safety of tested aircraft more transparent. “This will get everyone on the same page,” says Chriss Grosvenor, a NIST electronics engineer. “The FAA and aircraft manufacturers now have a lot of unbiased data they can look at, and our method is just another method to obtain that information.”

The three aircraft chosen for the representative tests were a Boeing 737-200 and a Bombardier Global 5000 business jet, both owned by the FAA, and a Beechcraft Premier IA carbon-fiber composite business jet, owned by the Hawker-Beechcraft company. By measuring all three aircraft and comparing the results, NIST was able to provide a guide for the optimization of HIRF testing standards for the EMC aircraft manufacturing community. The tests were conducted over a two-year period using a commercial measurement system that incorporates NIST-developed ultra-wideband antennas, a network analyzer and an optical fiber link to obtain high-resolution measurements from the megahertz to gigahertz range. NIST-developed special software extends the number of frequencies to any desired value using a variable number of bands.

The findings of these tests were published last year* and were presented last week at the IEEE EMC Society Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility in Austin, Texas.

* C. Grosvenor, D. Camell, G. Koepke, D. Novotny and R.T. Johnk. Electromagnetic airframe penetration measurements. Paper presented at the 2009 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Austin, Texas, Aug. 17-21, 2009.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Penetrating Insights: NIST Airframe Tests Help Ensure Better Shielding For Flight Instruments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826152802.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2009, August 26). Penetrating Insights: NIST Airframe Tests Help Ensure Better Shielding For Flight Instruments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826152802.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Penetrating Insights: NIST Airframe Tests Help Ensure Better Shielding For Flight Instruments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826152802.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins