Overview of the Civilian and Military EMC norms

Preamble . As briefly described.in our introductory Article N°1 (Issue #2-2015 of EE Magazine), ElectroMagnetic Compatibility is both a functional neccessity – equipments must operate in their intended environment without being disturbed nor causing disturbances to other devices- and a society requirement: interfering with radio/TV broadcast, radio-communications and other RF services is illegal and punishable by laws. Since consumers cannot be easily prosecuted as guilty for using an equipment that is causing interference, the most efficient way of controlling this EMC situation is to apply stringent limits to manufacturers, such as the products they put on market will ”never” (exceptional situations accounted) cause interference.

This latter aspect has been the driving force for all the civilian RFI regulations worldwide, since the 1950-60 era. Similarly, non-interference is a crtitical concern for military systems, as well as civilian aeronautics & automobiles, because of the severe issues at stake, like mission failure and flight or driving safety if a radio-communication or navigation device is jammed. All the same, it would be an unmanageable mess if too fragile (EMCwise) equipments were put on the market, causing a monumental number of litigations between unaware consumers and vendors / manufacturers, or cancellations of contracts in the military trade.


Therefore, over the years, national and international bodies have devised complete series of emission and susceptibility EMC tests. The same was made in military domain by the various Departments of Defense. The fundamental difference is that Civilian Regulations are legally inforced, while compliance to Mil. Standards is a matter of contract fulfillment. In these Regulations & Standards, each one of the 4 facets of EMC domain (CE, RE, CS,RS) is covered by specific series of tests. Our twelve articles series is intended to be very practical, aimed for non-specialists and not heavy on theory. Yet, there are some basic definitions that must be covered right from the beginning, that will ease the understanding of the whole series. They will be addressed…


Dear colleague,

This text is unfortunately locked for further reading, but you can read all Michel Mardiguian’s texts and course material about EMC in the new book ”Everything you always wanted to know about EMC but were afraid to ask”. Click for more information!