Electromagnetic Compatibility for Electric Vehicles

Automotive EMC Load Simulators

During EMC compliance validations we monitor DUT (Device Under Test) errors visible for the occupant in vehicle in parallel with stored or not stored yet DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes). Disruptions in data bus or communication bus that do not set a DTC are not visible for the end user, since many of them are controlled safely by Vehicle Software & BCM.

The driver can be distracted by vehicle cluster signs/indicators turning red, like an imminent hazard. 

  • If the incident self-recovers, it may not be a problem but it depends on DUT's Classification and Required Immunity Level.
  • If the DUT does not self-recover and require driver's intervention, then the LS support software must mimic the user response to resume operation (automation). Such anomaly is marked in a data log but should not be a reason to stop on-going testing.
  • If the DUT does not self-recover requiring Hard Reset (VBATT on-off-on), then it's really bad. This is like a stop show but make sure it is always driven by DUT, never the LS.
  • The pass/fail criteria mentioned in EMC test plan must guide your LS design effort, especially to decide on what type of FO monitoring equipment is needed.
  • Ideally is to use production intent DUT's I/O loading and Vehicle Software reducing the entire effort to monitoring the communication bus & FO equipment (e.g. FO Voltage Probes, FO Signal/Data Probe).
  • The moment you’re forced to use excessive HW/SW simulation, you practically spend more time validating the Load Simulator instead of focusing on DUT's EMC performance.

  1. If possible, avoid using active electronic components for the LS placed inside ALSE chamber.
  2. Use production intent loads, ideally EMC validated by OEM.
  3. Use FO devices that are certified for 200 V/m, CISPR 25, 30KV ESD.
  4. The support software should not stop the show if errors occur, only the DUT should be able to stop the show.
  5. Pay attention how is the shielding of I/O lines terminated/grounded in vehicle and use if possible production intent cables and proper wire gauge.
  6. For remote grounded module, make sure the only possible connection to battery negative pole is via supply return line. 
  7. The LS metallic enclosure is bonded to GP (ground plane) as shield. 
  8. The LS metallic enclosure is not being used as grounding point for DUT or LS electronics.
  9. All signal return lines are closed to their source, never to GP.
Christian Rosu, Sep 28, 2020.

Validation Testing for Compliance to Automotive EMC Specs/Standards - EMC Test Plan

A successful electronic module validation testing depends on:

  1. DUT Design Performance (60%).
  2. Load Simulator & Support Equipment EMC compliance (20%). 
  3. EMC Test Plan (20%).

The Load Simulator must be CISPR-25, ISO 11452-2, and ISO 11452-4 compliant.

EMC Test Plan:

  • Select representative samples covering multiple vehicle platforms having design differences.
  • Select all applicable test methods except those that:
    • are not required for certain module category as outlined by OEM spec selection matrix.
    • are in conflict with design requirements imposed by Component Technical Specification (CTS).
  • Define for each DUT Type/Model:
    • Known sources of RF noise.
    • Functions Performance Classification.
    • Operating Modes per Test Method:
      • DUT Configuration:
        • Block Diagram including grounding scheme.
        • Connectors Pinout.
        • Test Harness Type & Mate Connectors:
          • standard 1.7 to maximum 2 m.
          • customized (inserted banana jacks & plugs @ 20cm from DUT  connectors).
          • ESD mate connectors with 2.5 solid core wire.
      • Activation Method:
        • Load Simulator HW/SW Configuration - Operating Manual.
        • Other DUT Support Equipment (e.g pneumatic activation).
        • Other DUT Support Software.
      • Monitoring Method:
        • DUT Test Points.
        • Load Simulator Test Points.
        • LS Configuration (e.g. switches, I/O lines). More details in LS Operating Manual.
      • How to evaluate a HW/SW Reset condition.
      • How to evaluate successful Self-Recovery.
      • Measurable Parameters & Tolerances:
        • Support Equipment:
          • Resolution (e.g. use oscilloscope vs DMM during voltage transients/dips/drops).
          • Fiber Optic (CAN, USB, E-Net, LVDS, etc). Must be 200 V/m compliant.
        • Support Software:
          • Configuration, data files format.
      • Differences between DUT Reset and Support Equipment Reset.
      • Pass/Fail Criteria per Test Point and DUT Function.
    • Reporting Data type and format (e.g. tables, plots, pics).
  • Negotiate EMC compliance deviations based on known DUT design limitations driven by cost/delivery.

Calibrating Filed Probes for Automotive EMC Standards

The accuracy of RF Field Level during ALSE RF Immunity per ISO 11452-2:2019 Substitution Method relies on the Field Probe calibration factors. An incorrect Field Probe Calibration may result in significant deviations from the field levels called by automotive OEM specs. The Field Probe Calibration Report provides correction factors that are introduced into RF Immunity Test Software (e.g. TILE, NEXIO). Using calibration factors acquired at 15 V/m instead of 300 V/m can force the RF Amplifier output to maximum w/o the Field Probe to report expected Field Level. Moving transmitting antenna 10 inches closer to the Field Probe would allow the probe to report the expected field level, however this level is in fact higher as consequence of using bad correction factors.

RF Field Probe Selection for EMC Testing

Calibration Factors: corrections are provided as dB adjustments & multiplication factors. Maximum field measurement accuracy is achieved when the detailed 3-axis calibration is applied.

     Probe Calibration Certificate

     A) filed level applied via calibration antenna (V/m)

     B) filed level reported by probe (V/m)

     C) calculated multiplier factor

          A = B * C (e.g. 100 V/m = 120 V/m x 0.8333 where 0.8333 is the correction factor)

Sensitivity/Dynamic Range: e.g. (0.5 – 800V/m for 0.5 MHz – 6 GHz)

Linearity: the measure of deviation from an ideal response over the dynamic range of the probe that may vary as a function of the applied field level. (e.g. ±0.5dB 0.5 – 800 V/m).

Overload: the field level where damage can occur to the probe (e.g. 1000 V/m CW).

Isotropic Deviation: the variation of the probe’s response from ideal as it is rotated in the field. The minimal isotropic deviation of spherical probes (±0.5dB 0.5 MHz – 2 GHz).

Response time: the time a probe takes to respond to an applied RF field (e.g. 20 ms).

Sample rate: the rate at which information can be retrieved from the probe (e.g. 50 samples/second). 

Probe Type: refers to the configuration of the probe sensors. 

  • An isotropic RF filed measures the total value of the field level and is unaffected by field polarity. This is accomplished by summing measurements from three different sensors placed orthogonal to each other. 
  • Non-isotropic probes measure fields in one polarity at a time for electric field or magnetic field. 

IEEE 1309:2013 is the Standard for Calibration of Electromagnetic Field Sensors and Probes (Excluding Antennas) from 9 kHz to 40 GHz. 

The EMC lab must inform the calibrator about critical requirements imposed by automotive specs/standards for proper field calibration factors:

  1. The frequency range or center frequencies as delineated by automotive OEM EMC specs (e.g CS.00054, GMW3097, FMC1278).
  2. The filed level for each frequency band (e.g. 80V/m, 100V/m, 200V/m, 300V/m)
  3. Field Probe orientation (all three axes X, Y, Z facing antenna).
  4. Use 1 meter antenna distance to Field Probe. This is not always possible, therefore using a lower distance in far field  (e.g. 30 cm) should be acceptable.
  5. Calibrate the probe using CW with transmitting antenna in both horizontal/vertical polarization.

IEEE 1309:2013 A.2.4.3 Field strength: if the probe or sensor linearity is better than ± 0.5 dB, the frequency response calibration of the probe can be performed at any field strength level, but preferably close to the field levels used in the EUT tests. It is also required that the same probe range and/or gain settings as used in the EUT tests are used in the probe calibrations.

IEEE 1309:2013 A.2.4.4 Linearity check for probe or sensor:

For applications needing multiple field strength calibrations, e.g., 3 V/m, 10 V/m, and 18 V/m, the linearity tests shall be performed for each level. Note that for automotive EMC testing the above e.g. translates to levels like 100V/m, 200V/m, 300V/m.

IEEE 1309:2013 A.2.4.5 Probe isotropic response

For isotropic probes using three orthogonal elements, it is recommended that the frequency response and linearity response measurements be performed for each axis individually. Each axis should be aligned with the incident field successively to provide a maximum response. Probe calibration in a single orientation, such as only the orientation used in a UFA calibration, is not recommended, because the transmitting antennas, separation distances, and the end-use environment are typically not the same between the two setups.

Example of RI ALSE Test Configuration

Example of Field Calibration using Field Probe Type A per FMC1278R3 

Example of Field Calibration using Field Probe Type B per FMC1278R3 

Example of Field Probe Specs (AR FP5082)

References: IEEE 1309:2013, ISO 11452-2, FMC1278 Rev3, 28401NDS02 [8], AR App Note #44
Christian Rosu, Feb 24, 2020

AR_App_Note_44_RF_Field_Probe_Selection.pdf (352.8KB)

Compliance to CISPR-25 Conducted Emissions Voltage

When comes to achieving EMC compliance for automotive specs a 2-layer PCB works only for very simple designs. Modules having CAN/LIN, USB, E-Net, LVDS are normally using 4-layer PCBs. If adding CPU and memory a 4-layer PCB may not be good enough.

Ford (FMC) mentioned 20 years ago in their EMC design guide for 2-layer PCB to use the “Ground Grid Technique” for top and bottom side of PCB. They also recommended the use of "Faraday Cage" by installing ground vias around the perimeter of the PCB every say 15mm that are connected together on both PCB sides by 0.4 mm thick traces.

The problem with CE-V is that even using a “ground grid” or “faraday cage” won’t prevent DUT’s noise to be coupled into Supply Lines. Assuming that in your case CE-V are higher on GND line I would:

  1. determine potential sources of noise with harmonics in FM band
  2. determine the noise coupling method (e.g. common mode current, common return path, ground loops)
  3. Clamp ferrite corres on the entire test harness to lower CE-V noise below limit. Clamp the same ferrite separately on VBATT or GND line to determine which one is more affected. 

RF filters are effective for emissions exceeding the limit with 2-3 dB. For conducted emissions exceeding the limit with 10 dB you better try to fix the layout first.

Christian Rosu Feb 8, 2020.

CAN Bus Hardware Verification

CAN Bus Termination

The termination is used to match impedance of a node to the impedance of the transmission line being used. When impedance is mismatched, the transmitted signal is not completely absorbed by the load and a portion is reflected back into the  transmission line. If the source, transmission line and load impedance are equal these reflections are eliminated. This test measures the series resistance of the CAN data pair conductors and the attached terminating resistors.

1. Turn off all power supplies of the attached CAN nodes.

2. Measure the DC resistance between CAN_H and CAN_L at the middle and ends of the network.

The measured value should be between 50 and 70 Ω. The measured value should be nearly the same at each point of the network. If the value is below 50 Ω, please make sure that:

- there is no short circuit between CAN_H and CAN_L wiring

- there are not more than two terminating resistors

- the nodes do not have faulty transceivers.

If the value is higher than 70 Ω, please make sure that:

- there are no open circuits in CAN_H or CAN_L wiring

- your bus system has two terminating resistors (one at each end) and that they are 120 Ω each.


CAN_H/CAN_L Voltage Verification

Each node contains a CAN transceiver that outputs differential signals. When the network communication is idle the CAN_H and CAN_L voltages are approximately 2.5 volts. Faulty transceivers can cause the idle voltages to vary and disrupt network communication. To test for faulty transceivers, please

1. Turn on all supplies.

2. Stop all network communication.

3. Measure the DC voltage between CAN_H and GND

4. Measure the DC voltage between CAN_L and GND

Normally the voltage should be between 2.0 V and 4.0 V. If it is lower than 2.0 V or higher than 4.0 V, it is possible that one or more nodes have faulty transceivers. For a voltage lower than 2.0 V please check CAN_H and CAN_L conductors for continuity. For a voltage higher than 4.0 V, please check for excessive voltage.


CAN Bus Ground Verification

The shield of the CAN network has to be grounded at only one location. This test will indicate if the shielding is grounded in several places: 

1. Disconnect the shield wire (Shield) from the ground.

2. Measure the DC resistance between Shield and ground.

3. Connect Shield wire to ground.

 The resistance should be higher than 1 M Ω. If it is lower, please search for additional grounding of the shield wires.


CAN Transceiver Resistance Test

CAN transceivers have one circuit that controls CAN_H and another circuit that controls CAN_L. Experience has shown that electrical damage to one or both of the circuits may increase the leakage current in these circuits. To measure the current leakage through the CAN circuits, please use an resistance measuring device and:

1. Disconnect the node from the network. Leave the node unpowered.

2. Measure the DC resistance between CAN_H and CAN_GND.

3. Measure the DC resistance between CAN_L and CAN_GND.

Normally the resistance should be between 1 M Ω and 4 M Ω or higher. If it is lower than this range, the CAN transceiver is probably faulty.

CISPR-25 RE per CS.00054:2018

CISPR-25 Generic Test Setup for compliance to CS.00054:2018

CS.00054 Radiated Emissions Block Diagram

The vertical monopole element is centered at 1m from the center of the 1.7m test harness. Note that 1.5m of the harness is running at 10 cm parallel with ground plane edge. The antenna counterpoise is placed +10/-20 mm vs GP. 

CISPR-25 Generic DUT Setup. The DUT is placed @ 20 cm from the edge of GP. The 1.7 m Test Harness is routed 90 degrees towards DUT.

The ground plane is connected to chamber's floor to a dedicated Earth Grounding Rod.

LISN (700 V DC / 500 A) & Load Simulator side of the test setup. 
DUT's B+ & GND lines are connected to LISN's outputs.

The antenna is centered on the 1.5m harness running at 10 cm parallel with GP edge.

The antenna is centered on the 1.5m harness running at 10 cm parallel with GP edge.

The tip of antenna is 1 m away from the center of the test harness.

The tip of antenna is 1 m away from the center of the test harness.

Octave Antenna Vertical Polarization with its aperture centered on DUT at 1 m distance from test harness.

Octave Antenna Horizontal Polarization with its aperture centered on DUT at 1 m distance from test harness.

Horn Antenna Horizontal Polarization with its aperture centered on DUT at 1 m distance from test harness.

Horn Antenna Vertical Polarization with its aperture centered on DUT at 1 m distance from test harness.

3-METER ALSE CHAMBER & Equipment Control Shielded Room.

RI 115 "ALSE chamber open door" test configuration

A few months ago I was surprised that UL lab (Novi, MI) runs RI 115 (Immunity to Hand Portable Transmitters) leaving the ALSE chamber door fully open. I have requested the test engineer to confirm that he follows correctly UL lab internal test procedure. The response was that this is practically near field RF immunity, therefore there is no concern to interfere with other lab test equipment.

This is completely false, the reason for closing ALSE chamber door during RF immunity is to evaluate the DUT performance in a noise free environment with minimum of reflections from the chamber's walls. By opening ALSE chamber door RF emissions from nearby test equipment, broadcast and mobile services may be reflected from walls affecting DUT performance simultaneously with the intended RF near field.

I would be very curious to understand how was possible for A2LA to certify such test setup. Is this "open door" RI 115 configuration acceptable for Ford?

CISPR-25 RF emissions ambient test pitfalls

CISPR-25 is not very specific about device under test and support equipment configuration during chamber ambient test. The automotive OEM require the ambient for RE, CE-V, CE-I with support equipment energized. The test laboratories will typically disconnect VBATT line from LISN output. The GND line remains connected to LISN. By doing so is assumed that DUT is not energized. The support equipment remains connected to the input of the LISNs being turned on (energized). The CAN bus is powered but w/o traffic. It is unclear if the load simulator energized it means powered but inactive (standby). By activating PWM pulses as inputs for DUT it may yield unwanted CE-I and RE ambient noise. All these aspects must be clarified in the EMC test plan.

In the sample presented the CE-V ambient noise is well below the 6 dB requirement. However, this type of noise is being captured while DUT's integrated buttons are being pressed and released via a pneumatic system with no electrical connection to DUT or test ground plane. Specifying that DUT must be unpowered may not be enough, the DUT's buttons should not be mechanically activated, nor its inputs subjected to electrical signals.

Christian Rosu

RI 115 copy and paste fake report

The automotive OEM that certifies EMC laboratories to carry out validation testing invested a lot of trust in accuracy and correctness of so called "sign-off" reports. This "sign-off test results"  or "not for sign-off test results" statement maybe an excuse for skipping a full review if the summary looks clean.

The automotive electronic device supplier must always verify in detail the report to clarify each reported non-conformance. Otherwise it may adversely affect the entire validation process through endless testing to fix potential false issues.

The sample of bad report shown below may easily go undetected by those searching for easy resolutions (pass / fail). 

Page #6 vs Page #18

In tis particular case two samples (7000 & 7002) are being evaluated for near filed interferences from portable transmitters.

The requirement for DUT in question is to pass Level 1 in band#9 (no deviation allowed under 7 Watts). The testing is carried out at 14 Watts, which is the Level 2 Severity. Whenever a deviation occurs the test operator must threshold the lowest severity level where the problem goes away.

The issue with the above result is that the same severity level threshold result was copied from one sample to another (7002 to 7000). It is impossible to have identical 3-digit accuracy readings between two test samples for the same antenna position and orientation. In fact, considering the uncertainty of test equipment combined with HW/SW tolerances of DUT it is impossible if scanning the same sample twice. The test result data file is generated automatically by the software running the test equipment. Chances to be a copy and paste mistake are zero.
Page #7 vs Page #24

Looking over page's date/time the scan below was generated before the scan above. However the order of pages is as was listed in the full report.

Page #9 vs Page #21
The test operator was in rush missing to change the test sample number from 7002 to 7000. Page #9 was supposed to show results from sample #7000. For the failed frequency step (850 MHz) the test operator slightly changed the Level 1 threshold value on the second tested sample (from 6.058 to 6.15 Watts) leaving unchanged the level 2 threshold values for all other  frequencies. Looking closely to date/time stamps they also are identical on both pages. Is this a honest mistake? 

This kind of precision in measurements would humiliate any theory so far.

Page #11 vs Page #23

The perfect DUT type ever, perfect RI 115 equipment, perfect test operator, perfect identical hand portable transmitters immunity!

Going over pages's date/time they both have the same stamp. Theb why inserting them such that they apear to belong to separate test samples?

Page #12 vs Page #19

Surprisingly, but there is an antenna position where the result was either correctly tested or correctly represented.

This was the only instance where the RI 115 result from one sample was not copied over the for the other sample.

Page #13 vs Page #25

The RI 115 make up report saga continues. As long as the customer is preoccupied by the deviation in Level 1 it will never pay attention that only one sample was fully tested. The really bad part is that the designer will believe there is some sort of stability in DUT's behavior when in fact it was a huge instability.

Again same date/time stamp but different test sample numbers. How was this possible?

Christian Rosu

Trialon EMC Laboratory, Burton, MI

Igor Klivak