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Oxley Developments has acquired an electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test chamber for its Ulverston headquarters to enhance its in-house capability.

The 4m-long anechoic chamber is designed to absorb electromagnetic waves and is also screened from any external noise.

It has been installed in the design and development test facility at the Priory Park site, where all new Oxley products are developed and tested.

The chamber is used to test the compatibility of different types of electrical equipment operating in the same environment in order to minimise the effects of electromagnetic interference, which can adversely affect their performance.

All Oxley products for defence platforms have to be tested to military standards, which are more stringent than commercial or industrial EMC testing.

Oxley typically tests to MIL-STD-461, RTCA/DO-160 and DEF STAN 59-411.

These tests involve accurate measurement of very low radio frequency levels for emissions testing up to 40GHz and very high radiated fields for susceptibility.

Mark Jordan, technical manager (electronics) at Oxley, said: ‘We’ve been spending a lot of time and money travelling to suppliers to carry out our EMC tests.

‘Getting our own EMC test facility up and running is something I’ve been pushing for and it will be a huge asset for Oxley.

‘At present we spend more than GBP90,000 per year on external testing in Dorset.

‘If the test fails we’ve lost time and money for nothing.

‘Now our electronics engineers can test products in-house all the way through their development and be sure that they will pass when they are fully developed.

‘We’ll be carrying out emissions, susceptibility and qualification tests, and we’ll be gradually adding new equipment to increase our testing capabilities,’ he added.

Anechoic means ‘without echoes’.

The walls of the chamber are covered with pyramidal panels, which reflect energy into the apex, dissipating it in the material instead of the air.

The panels are typically made from rubberised foam impregnated with carbon, designed to absorb incidental radio frequencies as effectively as possible from as many directions as possible.

The chamber is built into a screened room because most of the EMC tests that require an anechoic chamber to minimise reflections from the inner surfaces also require the properties of a screened room to attenuate unwanted signals penetrating inwards and affecting the equipment test measurements.

Oxley Developments

Oxley is a pioneer in the design and manufacture of high-quality components and systems, primarily for defence, aerospace, electronics and telecommunications industries.

Our main business is in night-vision lighting systems, LED solutions, EMI filters and interconnect components. Robust, reliable and high in quality, we design our products with performance, specification and longevity in mind.

We are renowned for our innovative work in lighting and developed one of the earliest night-vision lighting systems when night-vision goggles (NVGs) were first adopted for use by the UK Ministry of Defence. The company has since become a world leader in the supply of night-vision lighting for military aircraft, vehicles, shelters and naval platforms.

With more than four decades' experience, Oxley is highly regarded in the development of LED solutions to replace traditional incandescent and fluorescent lighting. From miniature LED components to integrated lighting systems, Oxley is the supplier of choice for both off-the-shelf and customised solutions.

Oxley is equally renowned for its electronic components business. Specialist products such as EMI filters and interconnection are all produced at our unique, high-tech facilities to bespoke and off-the-shelf requirements.

Established since 1942, the company has facilities in the UK and US, which include optical coating, machining, plating, manufacture and test facilities.

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