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Top tips for RFI/EMI shielding in the aerospace industry

01 July 2019

The Aerospace & Defence industry have always been the main drivers for RFI/EMI shielding design and products. Achieving EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) in this sector is safety critical, whereas in everyday life it can just be a frustrating nuisance. David Wall, Chairman, Kemtron Ltd looks at some of the design challenges aerospace engineers face and talks about the best shielding options available.

Aircraft can get struck by lightning with regular occurrence which will cause an electromagnetic pulse or EMP. EMP will have a devastating effect on electronic circuitry, so it is important that the aircraft has a path for the lightning to continue without causing damage. Space is another matter; satellites are in a very hostile electromagnetic environment with solar flares that can emit a coronal mass ejection. We are protected on earth by the magnetosphere, but satellites don’t have that advantage, so shielding is paramount to ensure the safety of the satellite and its systems.

Greater integration of electronics mean electromagnetic compatibility between systems is of upmost importance to ensure they work in harmony and not interfere with each other. Aircraft are more fly by wire than mechanical systems, with complex software operating computerised systems. Sensors measuring the aircraft environment, flight data etc. all need to communicate with each other, operate independently and provide back up for system failure or malfunction. 

Read the full article in the July issue of DPA

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