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Electro-Magnetic Universal Chamber

Electro-Magnetic Universal Chamber

Test facility - EMuc

As a test room for the characterization of electronic components, an absorber chamber offers a defined environment with regard to electromagnetic (EM) fields and waves. Its EM-tight construction makes it possible to carry out measurements that are not influenced by otherwise omnipresent EM fields and waves from the environment. In addition to this shielding effect, there is the need for the walls of the test room to behave as if they do not exist, i.e. ideally the walls should absorb all EM radiation impinging on them, in order to simulate the behavior of infinitely large, free space. In the so-called "semi-anechoic chambers" this is made possible by lining the interior walls and the ceiling with the so called absorbers.

Testing operating thrusters requires combining the semi-anechoic chamber with a vacuum tank, in which the thruster (the test object) is running. The vacuum tank protrudes through one of the side walls into the absorber chamber. In order to affect the shielding and absorption capabilities of the absorber chamber as little as possible, this extension of the vacuum tank must be made of electrically insulating materials. This also requires that the vacuum pumps are separated from the engine by an additional EM shielding inside the vacuum tank, i.e., in this case a gas-permeable, EM wave absorbing honeycomb filter.

Only the interplay of the various system parts enables the measurement of electromagnetic interference (EMI, where i stands for "interference") and interference immunity (EMS, where s stands for "susceptibility") under space conditions - i.e. high vacuum. This test facility is unique in Germany and worldwide there are only a few other facilities of this type.

The normative standards ECSS-E-ST-20-07C and MIL-STD-451G are mainly used for EMC measurements. In addition to the qualification of electric thrusters as individual modules, small satellites can also be examined as a complete system in this test facility.



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