Taking RF/EM Designs in New Directions
Often, one design leads to innovations in other areas. Select Fabricators has successfully taken one of its patented designs for the forensics industry and applied its principles with great success to wireless technologies testing.
Select Fabricators has been able to use its techniques for EM/RF shielding and isolation to design and fabricate wireless test technology pouches that can be used to facilitate LTE, UMTS, CDMA, and EV-DO device testing. SFi was granted a patent, US Pat. No. 8723053 that covers its innovative design including an RF shielded mesh window that can be used to manipulate the screen on a wireless device and a connected IO panel that provides a filtered USB 2.0 connector for device data extraction and power.
Not long after, a wireless customer came to SFi looking for a test pouch with a screen that would enhance test equipment performance by attenuating mobile device signals that could interfere with results as well as provide both visual access and the ability to connect with test instruments.
The design team at SFi took the forensic pouch as its base and created a wireless technologies test pouch that allows the test engineer full access to a mobile device through the RF shielded mesh window. This feature provides hands-on manipulation as well as visual inspection during the testing cycle. Location-based services testing including E911 can be conducted due to the pouch’s ability to contain a device’s RF signal which prevents carrier network access. To do so, a special built-in plate was designed to include (1) USB Filtered Coupler, (5) SMA Female Bulkhead connectors, and (1) 1000pf DB9 for control.
Over the next several years, Select Fabricators has been able to take the patented design and adapt it to specific company needs, whether it is the connectors needed to test equipment, the size, and shape of the pouch or the amount of shielding needed to effectively conduct the test.
The base pouch provides shielding of -80 dB at 500 MHz to 6 GHz (1) when made with double layer NovaSelecttm silver/copper/nickel fabric. A flexible foam insert was created to provide space between the unit-under-test and the pouch’s framework to eliminate contact.
Continuing to meet customer needs for test set-ups has lead SFi to use existing designs in new ways. A review of any company’s design library can yield innovations that make a difference.
1. SE measurements are made at a one-meter distance from the source.
*Note – The use of NASA’s name and link do not reflect any endorsement from NASA and is used for illustrative purposes only.