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Missouri University of Science
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An Introduction to EMC
- EMC - Electromagnetic Compatibility
- The ability of a device or system to function without error in its intended electromagnetic environment.
- EMI - Electromagnetic Interference
- Electromagnetic emissions from a device or system that interfere with the normal operation of another device or system
Many other acronyms are used to describe different EMC-related phenomena. A glossary of EMC acronyms is available to help you sort them out.
Examples of EMC problems:
- your computer interferes with FM radio reception
- operating your vacuum cleaner causes "snow" on your TV
- your car radio buzzes when you drive under a power line
- a helicopter goes out of control when it flies too close to a radio tower
- you pick up CB radio conversations on your stereo
- your telephone is damaged by lightning-induced surges on the phone line
- the screen on your video display jitters when the flourescent lights are on
- your new memory board is destroyed by an unseen discharge as you install it
- the clock on your VCR resets everytime your air conditioner kicks in
- your laptop computer interferes with your aircraft's rudder control
- the airport radar interferes with your laptop computer display
- your pacemaker picks up cellular telephone calls
- a hospital's EKG machine picks up Channel 5
The Three Elements of an EMC Problem