Plans unveiled for 9th EMC laboratory

Paul Boughton

Global automotive development partner MIRA Ltd has announced the construction of a comprehensive new electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) chamber at the company's UK HQ in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Branded Heavy Vehicle Semi-Anechoic Chamber (HVSAC), the UK's first independent absorber-lined EMC facility has a 70-Ton floor loading capacity. The $1.5-million-plus investment reaffirms MIRA's position as one of Europe's leading vehicle design, development and certification centre.

MIRA's new Heavy Vehicle Semi-Anechoic Chamber complements the existing suite of vehicle test laboratories by providing a chamber capable of testing large military, off-highway and commercial vehicles in a RF semi-anechoic environment. The cavernous main chamber posts impressive dimensions measuring: 20m by 11m by 7m high.

EMC Manager, Peter Phillips, relates: “EMC chambers suitable for large or heavy vehicles are extremely rare. Electrical components are routinely tested in isolation, to prove a vehicles performance. This approach assumes all the individual systems work in harmony. Often we find this is simply not true. This new laboratory will enable our customers to assess the vehicle's entire electrical system simultaneously, ensuring compatibility. One vehicle test schedule in a single facility will save both time and money; both vital commodities in a vehicle development programme.”

Vehicle electronic control systems and features continue to escalate in number and complexity, driving the need to develop new facilities able to assess and resolve complex interdependent compatibility issues. EMC development is a vital enabling technology for the current x-by-wire revolution.

MIRA already boasts the largest suite of automotive EMC test facilities in Europe employing over 50 qualified technical staff. EMC Manager, Peter Phillips, states: “The operation of HVSAC will create 5 new full time positions and take our annual test capability to 20,000 hours through our nine test laboratories.”

HVSAC will help vehicle makers meet the requirements of ISO 13766, 2004/104/EC, CISPR 25, Def Stan 59-41, MIL STD 461, ANSI C63.4. The new chamber will share the same high quality standards of the sister facilities across the electrical group, being accredited to ISO 17025 and enjoying DTI Notified Body Status 0888.

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