The iNARTE iNformer

Elya B. Joffe, iNCE (EMC-E, ESDC-E, EMC-MDE)
International Technical Consultant – iNARTE

Improvement Continues–Introducing the new iNARTE EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certification Program

In a recent iNARTE iNformer article we introduced our new ESD Control and Product Safety certifications. In this article, we wish to introduce another iNARTE certification program undergoing major improvement—the EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certification program.

Background

Traditionally, the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) community has been populated by small groups of dedicated specialists. With the enhanced emphasis on EMC caused by the rapid advancement of electronic technology and the increased probability of electromagnetic interference, the groups and programs that these people supported have been taxed to the limit. To avoid a dilution of capabilities in the face of expanding expectations or a critical shortage of EMC engineers and technicians it is desirable to establish a career path for professional development.
In 1987 it was determined that a credential certification process for EMC engineers and technicians was required to help improve the quality of direct technical support to the Naval Air Systems Command and eventually the entire U.S. Navy. In addition to improving the technical quality of support, it was determined that certification of personnel to a recognized standard would also provide a basis for the differentiating offers from contractors not having experience, qualified personnel on staff.
Additionally, certification provides a demonstrable benchmark to which government activities can train or replace professional technical staff.

Purpose of the iNARTE EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certifications

In 1989/90 the original EMC certification was intended to identify the most qualified engineers and technicians practicing in EMC testing and measurement, along with intersystem compatibly and mitigating engineering skills. The content of the early EMC certification program was almost entirely military, NAVSEA, and the US Navy.
In later years, as commercial EMC interests developed, the nature of the examination question pools changed, and by 2006 there were less than 20 percent MIL-STD–related content in a typical certification examination. In the recent year, in fact, the strictly military–related content has been completely removed from the “legacy” EMC certification exam, along with its recent enhancement and the significant change in examination specification and format.
Nowadays, there is still an important section of the EMC community dedicated to supporting military and military-related requirements, and many EMC practitioners seek credentials for their specialized knowledge of military EMC requirements. In response, iNARTE addresses this need with a special recognition program and is reintroducing MIL-STD EMC Specialist Certification. The iNARTE EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certification is geared towards qualified engineers and technicians/practitioners who have a vested interest in advancing their profession and the industry in the EMC field, with special emphasis on military standards and their application in requirements’ elicitation, design, development, testing, integration, and program management.
Becoming part of the iNARTE certification community provides global proof of your skills and demonstrates commitment to your career development. Career opportunities with government and civil contractors in the defense industry (which extends to the aerospace and maritime markets) in electronics, avionics, and many other technical fields, can depend upon iNARTE certification.
The purpose of the EMC MIL-STD Specialist credential program is to foster technical excellence in defense-oriented EMC engineering. This approach establishes technical competency criteria for EMC and enforces the criteria for technical personnel performing EMI control work in such applications. The program benefits the individual engineer, the technician, and the EMC community as a whole by establishing a standard of excellence in EMC engineering focused on military standards and their application that will endure and extend across the boundaries of private and government agencies.

iNARTE EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certification Structure

The New EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certification program is an “add on” to the “legacy” EMC certification. In other words, to obtain the EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certification a candidate is required to hold the “legacy” EMC certification.
The “extended” EMC program comprises a multi-tier structure, which builds upon the existing EMC certification structure. Figure 1 illustrates the iNARTE EMC Certifications with the EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certification program interrelationships.

Figure 1: iNARTE EMC MIL-STD Specialist Certifications Program Structure and Grades’ Interrelationships with the “Legacy” EMC Program

EMC MIL-STD Specialist Engineers may also be eligible to upgrade their certification to the “Senior EMC Engineer” grade, which is under consideration—as being a certified EMC Engineer is a pre-requisite for the EMC MIL-STD Specialist Engineer certification.
The brief proposed definitions of the proposed MIL-STD Specialist Certifications are presented below.

MIL-STD Specialist Certification Grades

a) MIL-STD Specialist Engineer

Similar to the “legacy” EMC certified engineers, EMC MIL-STD specialist engineers should have good knowledge of the theory and practice of EMC in general. However, in addition, EMC MIL-STD specialist engineers should have an expertise in military standards including, but not limited to MIL-STD-461, MIL-STD-464, and familiarity with commercial standards such as the EN550XX series, FCC Part 15 series and the EN61000-3, -4 and -6 series, their rational and implications on design and the corresponding EMC testing and test set ups to the extent necessary for adequate design and preparation of test procedures, and for the successful integration of commercial off-the-shelf equipment in military systems.
EMC MIL-STD specialist engineers should have the ability to review and tailor EMC requirements to meet specified product performance for all aspects of electromagnetic environmental effects (E3) compliance.
EMC MIL-STD specialist engineers should also have a comprehensive knowledge of power-quality related requirements, interactions, and implications on system design.
The uniqueness of the EMC MIL-STD specialist engineers certification—beyond the mere knowledge of the defense and other EMC standards—lies in their need to demonstrate knowledge extending across defense equipment, systems and platform/installation EMC design, integration, testing and verification, and should encompass broad aspects of intra-system and inter-system EMC, including RF compatibility, Electromagnetic Radiation Hazards to Personnel, Ordnance and Fuel, Lightning and NEMP. EMC MIL-STD specialist engineers should also be able to devise, design, and carry out electromagnetic site and platform surveys, and other non-standard or unique EMC tests.
EMC MIL-STD specialist engineers also should be knowledgeable in EMC program management, planning and tracking, and the associated EMC program activities and documentation, and hence require “soft skills” and particularly good writing and presentation skills to the extent enabling them to create engineering reports, EMI control procedures, test documentation (procedures and reports), and participate in design reviews.

b) MIL-STD Specialist Technician

Similar to the “legacy” EMC technicians, EMC MIL-STD specialist technicians should have basic knowledge of EMC—to the extent necessary to understand the rationale behind the MIL-STD EMC tests and set-ups—know the instrumentation and test setups, and be able to verify their proper operation and limitations. They should also know the pitfalls of real measurements.
In addition, EMC MIL-STD specialist technicians should have the necessary level of knowledge of military and other defense aspects of EMC. In particular, they should be very knowledgeable in the applicable military EMC standards and designing, building, and executing the corresponding EMC testing operations and test set ups.
The uniqueness of EMC MIL-STD specialist technicians certification—beyond the mere knowledge of the MIL-STDs and other defense EMC standards—lies in their need to demonstrate the ability to develop, author, and execute clear detailed test procedures based on the test requirements extending across equipment, subsystem systems, and platform/installation EMC testing and verification. EMC MIL-STD specialist technicians should also be able to support and carry out EMC surveys, and other non-standard or unique EMC tests.
The EMC MIL-STD specialist technician should be able to conduct the appropriate test methods and determine compliance with the applicable standards, help identifying failure thresholds, and assist in solving EMI problems when identified.
In addition, the EMC MIL-STD specialist technician should demonstrate ability to perform analysis of test results and prepare comprehensive subsystem and/or system level evaluation reports which verify and validate system performance, facilitate the initiation and closure of discrepancy reports.

Topics included in MIL-STD Specialist Certification Exams

The following is a list of the key topics included in MIL-STD Specialist Certification. Note that this is a preliminary list which is subject to change. The skill set levels would differ, of course, between engineers and technicians:

Topic

MIL-STD Specialist Engineer

MIL-STD Specialist Technician

Basic Theory

Basic EMC Knowledge

EMC Interactions and Coupling (Conducted/Radiated)

Spectrum Analysis

Electrical Circuits Theory

Transmission Lines

Field and Cable Interactions

EMC Standards
«

Military EMC and Power Quality Standards/Handbooks

Aerospace EMC and Power Quality Standards

International Commercial Standards

EMC Analysis and Verification

EMC Analysis and Prediction

EMC Simulations

Inter-system and Intra-system EMC Analysis and Design

Spectrum Engineering, RF Compatibility, and Emission
Control

EMRadHaz (HERO, HERF, HERP) Analysis and Protection

Military Systems EMC Design

Cable EMC

Shielding

Grounding, Bonding, and Corrosion Control

Terminal Protection (Filtering and Surge Suppression)

Countermeasure Components, Materials, and Special Devices

Product and Functional Safety

Interface Control

ESD Control

Nuclear EMP and Lightning Protection

Power Quality

Antenna, their Nature and Use

Amplifiers and Attenuators

EMC Testing and Validation

EM Surveys – Platforms and Facilities

EMC Test Facilities

Laboratory EMC Testing and Measurements

In-Situ EMC Testing and Measurements

Inter- and Intra-system EMC Testing and Verification

EMC Test Plans and Procedures and EMC Test Reports

EMC Management

EMC Program Management and Procedures

EMI Control Procedures

Design Reviews

Engineering Ethics

“Soft Skills”

The EMC MIL-STD specialist technician should be able to conduct the appropriate test methods and determine compliance with the applicable standards, help identifying failure thresholds, and assist in solving EMI problems when identified.
In addition, the EMC MIL-STD specialist technician should demonstrate ability to perform analysis of test results and prepare comprehensive subsystem and/or system level evaluation reports which verify and validate system performance, facilitate the initiation and closure of discrepancy reports.

Topics included in MIL-STD Specialist Certification Exams

The following is a list of the key topics included in MIL-STD Specialist Certification. Note that this is a preliminary list which is subject to change. The skill set levels would differ, of course, between engineers and technicians:

List of standards included in the exam shall be provided in the detailed outline. They include (preliminary list, level of knowledge varies for each):

  • Basic Military EMC Standards, e.g., MIL-STD-461, MIL-STD-464, MIL-STD-188-124,-125, and others
  • Military EMC Handbooks, e.g., MIL-HDBK-235,-237,-419,-454, and others
  • Common Commercial International EMC Standards, e.g., IEC EN 61000-3,-4,-6 series, CISPR and EN550XX series, 47 CFR Part 15 series, ISO-11451,-7637 series, IEEE STDs 299 and 473…, and others
  • Basic Military Power Quality Standards and Handbooks, e.g., MIL-STD-704 and MIL-HDBK-704 series, MIL-STD-1275 and others

Exam Structure and Duration

Similar to the “legacy” EMC certification, the exam duration shall be four hours, with 50 questions. The exam is open book.

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for these and more developments in the iNARTE iNformer column in the next issue of the EMC Society Magazine.
For More Information
For more information on the iNARTE and its EMC certification programs, visit https://inarte.org/certifications/inarte-electromagnetic-compatibility-emc-emi-certification/